Indian cornbread (makki ki roti) served along with Mixed Winter Greens (saag) (page 98 of Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking) sprinkled with some jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) is a popular meal from the northern Indian state of Punjab. Growing up, it was always a treat when my mom made this for a meal in the cooler months. This bread can also be enjoyed by itself or along with plain yogurt...it makes a unique addition to the Thanksgiving meal as well! My daughter loves kneading the dough and patting out almost perfect circles all by herself...makes me a proud mamma! Click here to see pictures of her making this bread!
Makes 6 cornbread discs
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: about 1½ minutes per flatbread
Refrigerator life: 2 days, but tastes best freshly made and served hot
Freezer life: 1 month (Place a sheet of parchment paper between each flatbread before freezing to prevent them from sticking to each other. Then place the stack in an airtight container, plastic bag or tightly wrap in foil.)
Reheating method: Place the refrigerated or frozen bread in a microwave and heat. Or, place the bread on a skillet over medium-high heat, flipping frequently.
1 cup (140 g) finely ground yellow cornmeal (also called corn flour) ½ cup (60 g) chapati flour or whole wheat flour, plus extra flour for dusting 1¼ teaspoons carom seeds (ajwain) or dried thyme leaves ¾ teaspoon salt ½ cup (125 ml) water 7 tablespoons vegetable oil 6 thin pats of unsalted butter (optional)
Making the dough 1. Place the cornmeal, chapati flour, carom seeds, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix together. Add the water and 6 tablespoons of the oil. Using one hand, thoroughly knead the mixture together for about 2 minutes to form a smooth and soft dough. 2. Place a large cast-iron skillet (with a low rim to allow easy flipping) over high heat.
Forming the dough 1. While the skillet is heating up, separate the dough into 6 equal pieces. 2. Roll each piece between your hands to form a smooth ball and then slightly flatten it between your palms. 3. Working with one flattened dough ball at a time, dip both sides of the dough in loose flour. Place on a flat surface. Use your fingers and palms to gently pat the dough to flatten it to form a 5-inch (12-cm) circle. You may flip and turn the circle while patting it out to get an even thickness and round shape. If the dough is too soft and breaks, knead in some loose flour.
Cooking the flatbreads 1. When the skillet is hot, carefully slide the flattened circle onto your palm and place it on the skillet. The skillet must be hot; otherwise the bread will become dry and hard. Cook for about 35 seconds, and then using a spatula, flip the bread. There should be some very small brown spots on the bread. 2. Cook for about 35 seconds and flip again. There should be very small brown spots on the flipped side. 3. Spread ½ teaspoon of the oil evenly on the bread and flip it. 4. Cook for 10 seconds, pressing down on the brad with a spatula, and flip again. 5. Cook for 10 seconds, pressing down on the bread with a spatula. Remove the bread from the skillet. 6. Continue to pat out and cook the remaining dough. Enjoy now or stack them and wrap tightly in foil to keep them warm until ready to serve. Serve with a pat of butter on top of each hot bread. You may also refrigerate or freeze for later.
Recipe from "Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Easy Recipes for the Hurry Home Cook" by Shubhra Ramineni. Reprinted with the express permission of Tuttle Publishing, a member of the Periplus Publishing Group. www.enticewithspice.com
Copyright 2011-2016 Shubhra Ramineni. All rights reserved.