When chefs with expertise in other cuisines turn to Indian, it is lovely to see their interpretations of dishes well-known to us. Parathas are regular fare at my place but I learnt of this interesting variation courtesy MasterChef Australia.
- Whole wheat flour (atta) – 2 cups
- Butter – 1 tablespoon
- Milk – 1/2 cup or so (to knead)
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon
- White sesame seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Nigella seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Fenugreek seeds, coarsely ground or powdered – 1/2 teaspoon
- Oil – a teaspoon per flatbread
In the picture above: Whole wheat flour (atta) with a cube of butter, milk and spicess – coarsely ground fenugreek seeds (methi dal), sesame seeds, nigella seeds.
Kneading the dough
Mix dry atta with butter and a pinch of salt till well-mixed. Add milk a little at a time and continue to knead till the atta forms a smooth, solid, pliable dough.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Rolling it out
Pluck a ball of dough, the size of a golf ball, and roll it out into an elongated ellipsis, about 5-inches in length. Why this shape? Um…why not? [Truth be told, I made it elliptical since that's how they did it on MasterChef Australia.]
Sprinkle a little of ground fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds and sesame seeds on one side of the rolled out atta, and give it one final stroke with the rolling pin. This is so that the spices don’t fall off the flatbread while cooking.
Heat a shallow flat-bottomed non-stick pan on medium-high flame and spread some oil on it. Place the flatbread spice-side down and let it cook till the side facing up begins to form small bubbles and the side facing down begins to turn golden.
Spread a little oil on the side facing up, turn it around and let it cook on the other side for a minute.
Indian spiced flatbread is ready to eat.
1. While toasting the flatbread, you might need to turn the heat down if the pan begins to smoke, then turn it back up after a couple of minutes.
2. Vary the sprinkling of spices – how about carom seeds, kasoori methi, fresh minced garlic?