Archive for the ‘Indian Breads’ Category

Recipe for Plain Parantha

June 16, 2008

Paranthas are flaky and more elaborate than chappati/rotis. The dough is rolled out and brushed with ghee, folded and brushed with ghee again and folded again to form a quartered layered pie slice.   This is then rolled out again.  This triangle ia palced on a hot griddle.  The heat makes the layers of dough swell and puff, resulting flaky, pastry like flat breads. They may also be used as snacks, in lunch-boxs, light brunch items or traveling munching companions.  Allow 1 or 2 per person.
Ingredients:
2.5 cups chappati flour
1 cup water at room temperature
1 cup chappati flour in a large plate for dusting the dough while rolling it out
ghee for brushing the bread

Method to roll out the dough
Prepare Basic dough and allow to rest for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. To make triangular-shaped paranthas, divide the dough into Ping-Pong-size balls. With a rolling pin, roll out 1 ball to a circle 5 inches in diameter. 
 
Brush the circle of dough with ghee, and fold in half to from a crescent then brush again with ghee and fold into a triangle. Seal the edges well. Dust the parantha with finely sieved whole wheat flour and roll into a large, flat triangle or round parantha. Try to make the edges slightly thinner to ensure uniform cooking. Rather than shaping all the parathas at one time, cook each one as the next one is rolled out.
 
Method of cooking the parantha
Preheat a cast-iron tawa over medium heat. Place the rolled dough on the palm of one hand and flip it over on to the tawa. When the color changes on the top and bubbles appear, brush ghee over the surface of the parantha and turn it over. Repeat the process of brushing the parantha on the other side.  Keep flipping it over till both sides are browned and spots appear on the parantha.  With experience the parantha will puff on the tawa.
To keep the paranthas warm as they are cooked, place them in a towel-lined bowl and fold over the sides of the towel. Serve hot.

http://store.indianfoodsco.com/InfoPage.CFM?PageId=RecBread_Plain_Parantha01

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Recipe for Chapati or Roti or Pulka

June 16, 2008

I cannot go for many days without my roti.  Once you taste these unleavened, unsalted simple breads – a person is hooked.  This is simple, unpretentious home cooking but very satisfying, healthy and easy on the pocket book.   There are also excellent for those with a yeast allergy.  Rotis are made from small balls of dough that are rolled out and then partially cooked on a hot griddle and then finished directly over high heat.   The high heat makes the rotis puff up into a ball.  They are then lightly coated with ghee to keep them pliable until serving time.  Line a tortilla basket with a napkin and keep the rotis in it.  Allow 2-3 chapatis or rotis per person.  This is everyday Indian bread made in most Indian homes daily.

Ingredients to make about 6:
2.5 cups chappati flour with 1 cup water at room temperature made into a dough
1 cup chappati flour in a large plate for dusting the dough while rolling it out
ghee for brushing the bread

Method to roll out the dough:
Prepare the desired amount of dough from the Basic Dough recipe. After resting for 2-2 1/2 hours, knead well. Divide the dough into peach-size balls. On a lightly floured surface, flatten one ball of dough with your hand. Using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into a thin,round patty, about 5 inches in diameter. Roll from the center, turning patty several times to prevent sticking. Try to make the edges slightly thinner than the center. As you cook the chappati/roti, one could be rolling out the next, rather than shaping all of the chapatis at one time.

Method of cooking the chappati or roti:
Preheat a cast-iron tawa over medium heat. Place the rolled dough on the palm of one hand and flip it over on to the tawa. When the color changes on the top and bubbles appear, turn it over. When both sides are done, use kitchen tongs (chimta) to remove the chapati from the skillet.
Gas Stove: If you have a gas stove, hold the cooked chapati over a medium flame and it will puff up immediately. Turn quickly to flame-bake the other side. Do this several times, taking care that the edges are well cooked.
Electric Stove: If you have an electric stove, chapatis can be encouraged to puff by pressing them with a clean kitchen towel after the first turn on each side. Repeat the shaping and cooking  process until all chapatis are cooked.

To keep the chapatis warm as they are cooked, place them in a towel-lined bowl and fold over the sides of the towel. Serve hot, either completely dry or topped with a small amount of ghee or butter.

http://store.indianfoodsco.com/InfoPage.CFMPageId=RecBread_Chappati_Roti

Making dough for Indian Flatbreads

June 16, 2008

Put flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in a stream of water in the center.  Use one hand to mix the flour and water in a rotating motion from the center of the bowl outward, until the dough is moist enough to be gathered into a rough mass. Wet hands and continue until the mixture cleans the sides of the bowl and has become a nonsticky, kneadable dough. When the dough is kneaded, it will be elastic and silky smooth. To test the dough, press it lightly with a fingertip. If it springs back, it is ready to be rested. Resting the dough is the last step and allows the dough to relax and absorb the water and kneading.  Rest for 1/2 hour in warm climates and 1.5 hours in cold climates. Cover with a wet towel so the dough does not dry out.  The rested dough is light and springy, less resistant to being rolled out into the thin rounds.
I like to mix, knead, rest and then refrigerated for convenience and use daily.   My dough lasts in the refrigerator for about 5 days.  It also makes rolling out easier than the freshly made dough.

http://store.indianfoodsco.com/InfoPage.CFM?PageId=RecBread_About02

Indian Flat Breads and Equipment

June 16, 2008

There are many varieties of Indian daily breads -chapati/ phulka/roti, parantha, pooris, kulchas and Bhaturas. They are  made of finely milled whole wheat pastry flour and water.

Chapati/ phulka/roti are simple flatbreads made of flour and water and nothing else. Some recipes call for salt or oil but I like to make mine without them.  The cooks that use salt and oil say it tenderizes the dough.  For me the taste of salt and oil in chapati/ phulka/roti interferes with the overall meal as the bread does not stay neutral/innocent in taste.

Pooris are fried breads that are usually made on holidays, festive occasions and for entertaining.  Indian flat breads are used to scoop up curries and vegetables.  

Tools required for making Indian Flatbreads

– Cast Iron concave griddle 8-12 inches in diameter called tawa
– a shallow mixing bowl
– A rolling pin
– a large plate for dusting the dough while rolling it out
tongs for the beginner
– wok stand placed over the electric or gas burner
a grilling rack which is placed over the wok stand
– a wok for deep frying for Pooris and other fried breads only –

http://store.indianfoodsco.com/InfoPage.CFM?PageId=RecBread_About01