Sunday, 28 June 2015

Another Fancy Chapatti (Onion and Radish)

Onion and Radish Chapatti

We awoke to a crazy wind, bending trees with frantic leaves sailing through the air.  Bravely I went out with my coffee and found the wind was warm.  Almost unheard of in these parts, especially first thing in the morning.  I sat in the sun and recalled the warm breezes of Goa.  That did it. I needed an Indian breakfast.

Luckily I still had some kala channa masala on hand, and as always plain yogurt and Indian pickles.  All I needed was a nice chapatti and I remembered I had lovely radishes in the crisper.  I raced back indoors and started making these, and in less than thirty minutes I had four of these lovelies.

3 radishes, grated
1 piece of red onion, grated to about 2 tablespoons
2 cups whole wheat flour (I live in Alberta and I believe in sourcing local ingredients, hence no Indian atta for me!)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
½ cup or less of warm water
Extra flour for rolling out dough

The reds make the chapatties look pretty too.
Grate the radishes and onions, and place in a medium size bowl.  Add the flour, salt and yogurt.  Using your fingers, stir and gauge the moisture levels in your dough.  Normally I use about 1 cup of water to 2 cups of flour, since this is a dry climate.  But as the onion and radish added moisture, I had to go by feel.  

You want the dough to be on the sticky side.  Not liquid, but definitely not dry.  Once you’ve slowly mixed in water, a bit at a time, knead the dough in the bowl, using just one hand.  It should be pliable, and a bit sticky.  Knead for about five minutes, till you have a smooth elastic feeling ball.
Heat a griddle on medium heat.  Break off a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball, or a bit larger.  With extra flour on your hands,  roll in your palms to get a nice round ball.  Put it on your floured rolling surface, flatten it with the palm of your hand, and roll it out to as circular a shape as you can get.  (Mine still look like maps.  Maybe when I’m 80 will I master the perfectly round chapatti.) 

You want it to be very thin.  Peel it off the surface and dust it with flour, and flip it over and dust again.  Keep rolling till it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick.

Place on the griddle and start on your next ball.  Keep a careful eye on the griddle.  When the chapatti changes colour and texture, and starts to puff, flip it over, and press it gently with the back of a spoon to encourage more puffing.  When the puffing commences nicely, flip it again and brush ghee over it.  Now it will puff more.  Flip it once more and brush more ghee onto it.  In a few seconds, take it off the griddle and place it in tin foil.  Cover it and go to work on the next chapatti, until all are done and resting nicely in the tin foil.

If I’d had time to make South Indian coffee, I would have been totally satisfied, but I didn’t want the chapattis to get cold, nor did I want to become frantic with hunger  My coffee recipe doesn't take long, but sometimes I have little patience.. 

Chapatti, plain yogurt, pickles, kala channa masala, all I needed was the good coffee...

Have I mentioned that I’ve renamed our deck ‘Goa’?  For now, while our temps are in the 30s, I can pretend, as long as I don’t look out onto the soccer fields across the street.  Try as I might, I cannot pretend they are the Arabian Sea.  

Looks exactly like Goa, right?  

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