Tucked away in the Miscellaneous Breads section of Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman is a recipe for a flat bread which uses no leaven, yeast or baking powder. It is made with water, flour and a little salt, spiced up with a potato filling, full of ginger and chilli and other seasoning, rolled out and cooked quickly on a skillet.
I started my preparations fairly late one day and put both the dough and the potato mix in the fridge overnight and carried on the following day. It’s not the fastest process in the world, so even though there is no waiting for dough to rise time, there is a lot of handwork involved.
Curiously my biggest problem came with the potatoes; JH says to grate cooked potatoes. So being lazy I thought fine I’ll put them in the food processor on a coarse setting. The first one went through fine and then they started to liquify into something resembling primordial slime. So I stopped, rescued what I could and carried on grating by hand, which was much easier.
It was fairly easy to get the filling inside the dough, especially as both parts had been thoroughly chilled. It was more fiddly to roll out the balls to a thin seven inch disk without the filling breaking through the dough. I had a couple of break throughs but it wasn’t too bad.
Getting the temperature of the skillet just right was also a bit of trial and error but we got there and then, just as Abby said in her post – whoosh they blew up into balloons – something like a pita bread does, and as the potato filling cooked, any steam generated inside the paratha found its way out.
We cooked them all, made a quick Rogan Josh chicken curry using – I will not tell a lie – a delicious fresh ready-made curry sauce with no nasty additives, fresh chicken, courgettes and coriander (cilantro), steamed some basmatti rice and ate away.
Now the question is, did I make them properly? You see, I thought they were a bit bland and a lot of work for something to scoop curry sauce up with. The texture is just what you’d expect from a soft wheaty unfermented bread and is a little lifeless. I’d prefer to eat naan or dosa, but I am glad I have had a go at them though! I’m also left with a huge can of ghee. I’m looking forward to making some sourdough later in the week when I have a moment.
What’s your favourite bread for mopping up a spicy sauce?