Nani's Bhakri

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
A stack of fresh tikhi bahkri!
A stack of fresh tikhi bahkri!

Bhakri (baak-ri, with a rolled r) is a type of Gujarati flatbread made from wheat flour and often used to pick up and absorb other sauced foods like shaak during a meal. Like an heirloom, the methods and tools for making bhakri are passed on from mother to daughter, a matrilineal staple of Gujarati cuisine. Though I was born and raised in America, my mother's family moved from Baroda, India in the 1970s; cooking is the way my Nani ("mother's mother") - who does not speak English - connects with and communicates with her grandchildren and keeps us grounded in our Indian roots. In my family American-Indian family, bhakri are equivalent to Americans' "grandma's cookies," a wonderful treat given to me with masala chai and a good cheek-pinching when I popped in to visit my Nani on my walk home from the bus stop after school. Though bhakri do not have to be spicy, and there are a dozen flavours based on the region ("methi" or fenugreek dough bhakri are the most popular in Gujarat), the bhakri pictured are tikhi ("spicy") bhakri, a yellow color as a result of added spices like turmeric. No matter where I am or what circumstances I encounter - either fresh from the pan or foil wrapped in the mail - I can always count on a warm, spicy, and delicious token of affection from my sweet Indian grandma. 

Place(s): Baroda, India
Year: 1972

– Kiran Williams

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant