Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Flaky Flat Bread

Did you know that Portland, Maine was named Bon Appetit's "Foodiest Small Town"? How exciting is that?! I was absolutely star struck when the BA Foodiest (Andrew Knowlton) was on the local news. It showed him talking about some of the local great places that I love; Novare Res, Two Fat Cats Bakery, Standard Baking Co., and Fore Street (OK...I haven't been yet but I know I will love it. We are going on Friday). There are so many places that I am dying to try but we live an hour away and just don't get down there as much as we (I) would like. Ask me anything about the restaurants in Hallowell!

Another place that I enjoy that wasn't mentioned by BA was the Green Elephant. I brought Seth there for his birthday last year and we had this Indian flat bread with a dip that was so good. Nearly a year later I found a recipe that sounded similar. This is Kerala Parotha described by Foodess as a flaky south Indian flat bread.

I thoroughly enjoyed this bread. It is meant for dunking into the juices of hot curry and getting the last bits of curry goodness at the bottom of the bowl. I chose to serve this as an appetizer and made a curry bean dip as an accompaniment. Another great piece to this flat bread, it freezes well! It made about 8 rounds and I froze 5 of them. I just heated a bit of oil to a pan and added the frozen bread, flip once and you're done!

Kerala Parotha
Source: Foodess
Yield: 8 rounds

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp oil
3/4 cup water
4 tbsp butter, melted
oil, for frying

1. With a fork, mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add beaten egg, oil, and water, and mix with fork till dough starts to come together. Turn out on floured surface and knead into a smooth, elastic ball, about 10 minutes. You may need to add more flour or water to make the dough a workable consistency.

2. Return dough to ball and cover with a damp towel. Leave it to rest for 1 hour or more.

3. Pinch off lime-sized balls of dough, and roll them out into thin circles on a floured surface. Brush a thin coat of ghee over entire surface. Starting at one end, roll dough into a thin roll (like rolling up a jelly roll, or cinnamon buns). Holding one end of the roll between fingers, twist the dough in on itself in a spiral, pinching loose end into the circle to secure. Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.

4. Heat 2 tsp oil in a cast iron pan over moderate heat. Flatten the spirals of dough with the palm of your hand, then thoroughly flatten them into thin circles using a rolling pin. Transfer to hot pan, and cook until air bubbles form in dough, about 2 minutes. Brush with butter, and flip. Continue cooking till golden brown, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a serving plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Add another 2 tsp oil to pan and fry next parotha, continuing the same procedure for all the dough.


Chris said...

Yum! Looks great!
I wonder how this bread is different than Naan?

bldvdb said...

Hi Chris, this bread is much thinner than naan. I've only had naan from the store or a restaurant but it was thicker and softer than this stuff. Both very good!