Tantalizing Lesu

Posted by Post Admin on April 26, 2013 / Photo Credit: AboutUttarakhand.com


The traditional Kumaoni/Garhwali bread known as 'Lesu' is made by placing a ball of dough made from Finger millet flour within a ball of dough made from wheat flour, and then deep-frying the whole thing in ghee until it is brown and crispy. Due to its accessibility and high nutritional content, finger millets, or koda ka aata, form a significant part of many meals in the hills of India. People in these regions enjoy robust health and rarely get sick because of the easy access to nutritious foods. Incorporating ghee into the recipe elevates the flavour of the Lesu, making it a fantastic addition to any meal.

  • Origin: Uttarakhand, India
  • Category: Lesu is a Pahari Vegetarian Bread which is considered Breakfast
  • Ingredient: Rice Flour, Spices are treated as main ingredients for this recipe. Other ingredients used are
  • Time and Flavour: This recipe takes approx 30-40 mins and the flavour is Neutral
  • Nutritional Information: Lesu contains 160 kcal calories per 100 g serving. This serving contains 3 g of fat, 4 g of protein and 30 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 1 g sugar and 2 g of dietary fiber, the rest is other nutritional component. [ These values may vary based on ingredients used and its quantity ]

Table Of Contents

Tantalizing Lesu

Photo Credit: AboutUttarakhand.com

Details Of Lesu

'Lesu’ is a traditional Pahari dish that originates from the hilly regions of India, particularly Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It’s a versatile and nourishing dish made from roasted and ground grains, commonly barley or finger millet (ragi). To prepare Lesu, the chosen grains are roasted until they turn golden brown, enhancing their nutty flavor. The roasted grains are then ground into a coarse flour. This flour is mixed with water to create a thick batter, similar to a porridge consistency. The batter is seasoned with ingredients like ghee (clarified butter), salt, and occasionally spices such as cumin or black pepper.

The batter is then cooked on a griddle or tawa, much like a pancake, until it forms a golden crust on both sides. The result is a flatbread with a rustic texture and a wholesome taste. Lesu is often enjoyed with ghee, yogurt, or a simple side of vegetables. It’s a reflection of Pahari cuisine’s practicality, as it utilizes locally grown grains and offers a satiating meal. This dish not only satisfies hunger but also embodies the simplicity and resourcefulness that define Pahari cooking, connecting the region’s culinary heritage with its cultural and environmental context.

Ingredients Used In Lesu

  • Wheat Flour [ गेहूँ का आटा ], 1 Kilogram
  • Finger Millet Flour [ कोदे का आटा ], 300 Grams
  • Carom Seeds [ अजवाइन ], 1 Gram
  • Salt [ नमक ], As desired


Method for preparing Lesu

  • Knead together wheat flour in a bowl until it has a soft, malleable texture. Set the dough aside.
  • Mix Ajwain and salt into Finger millet flour to create a separate dough.
  • Knead this dough until it is of a similar consistency as the wheat flour and then set aside.
  • Take some of the wheat flour dough and flatten it on a flat surface. Place some of the Finger millet flour dough in the center and wrap it up so that it is completely encased inside.
  • Roll out the dough with your hands until it is of chappati thickness then place on a hot griddle or skillet.
  • Cook for several minutes on each side until golden brown. Serve warm with your favorite accompaniment!

Health Benefits Of Lesu

  • Lesu contains carom seeds, also known as “ajwain,” which have digestive benefits such as relieving gas, bloating, and indigestion. It can also help with respiratory issues like coughing, congestion, and asthma. Ajwain has antimicrobial properties that may combat certain bacteria and fungi. Additionally, it might help with weight loss by boosting metabolism and digestion.
  • Finger millet flour is rich in essential elements, including iron, calcium, dietary fibre and antioxidants. Its low glycemic index helps to control blood sugar levels by releasing sugar into the bloodstream gradually. Additionally, because it is gluten-free, those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can enjoy it. Finger millet flour also has a high fibre content which promotes healthy digestion and prevents constipation. Plus, its complex carbs provide long-lasting energy and make you feel fuller for longer.
  • Wheat flour is a great source of dietary fibre which aids in digestion, encourages bowel regularity and makes you feel fuller for longer. It is also full of carbohydrates for energy as well as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamin E. Its high fibre content may reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease while its fibre content helps manage weight by increasing satiety and lowering appetite.

Although these components may offer some health benefits, it's crucial to keep in mind that everyone's experience may vary, and they must be consumed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet. If you have any specific health issues or concerns, it's recommended to speak with a healthcare provider.

To Conclude

The Pahari dish 'Lesu' is representative of the area's genuineness and ingenuity in the kitchen. This flatbread, made with buckwheat flour and flavoured with regional spices, is emblematic of Pahari cuisine. The skill required to knead, form, and cook 'Lesu' is emblematic of the transformation of humble components into a satisfying staple food. 'Lesu' is more than just a source of nutrition; it is also steeped in history, as it is frequently consumed during festive gatherings that highlight the little things in life that make us happy. Each bite reveals the mountain's bounty, the Pahari's culinary expertise, and the heart of a culture committed to its traditions. The Pahari way of life, represented by the word 'Lesu,' is robust, savoury, and deeply anchored in the soil. As it is served, it serves as a reminder of the ability of food to share history, strengthen bonds between families, and attest to the perseverance of the Pahari culture.

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