Give us this day our daily bread
By Monish Gujral 24th February 2013 12:00 AM
My mouth always water by the thought of tandoori roti with a blob of home made white butter, mango pickle, freshly grilled kebab and plain butter milk. None of my meal is complete with out roti or parantha. I normally have a parantha in breakfast. There is always a variation and an element of surprise in it as the filling sometimes is of raw papaya, cottage cheese with coriander and spices, spicy cauliflower, egg, or a simple mashed potato with the left over dal of the night and fresh youghurt. Lunch comprises a simple chapati with vegetables and salad .
I simply can’t do without my whole wheat roti, which is also called flat bread in English. While I was writing my book On the Kebab Trail, which took me to many countries in search of most delectable original kebabs, I found that most countries have their own recipes of flat bread. I always thought that in the West people normally eat different variety of baked breads as we see in bakeries such as brown bread focassia, whole wheat, buns etc., while experimenting with the recipes of kebabs I realised that some kebabs actually pair well with flat breads rather than our tandoori roti or paranthas or naans. For instance in Middle East, pita breads are popular, then there is Norwegian flat bread, Moroccan flat bread, Italian flat bread, Turkish Lavash and rosemary or garlic flat bread. Even tortilas is a tyoe of flat bread popular in Latin America.
So lets try some delicious flat breads in our kitchens and try pairing them with the kebabs.
Recipe for Pita bread
This is some thing that most of us have eaten. It is immensely popular with doner kebabs and an essential part of Lebanese cuisine. Pita goes with most of the kebabs and dips .
- Yeast-2 tsp
- Salt-1 1/2 tsp
- Honey-1 tsp
- Butter or oil-2 tbsp
- Water-1 1/2 cups
- Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup water (warm).
- Add honey and stir.
- Stir the flour with salt in a bowl.
- Make a well in the flour and slowly add honey water mixture.
- Now slowly add a cup of warm water. Stir with a wooden spoon to make an elastic dough.
- Place the dough on a flat surface and knead for 10 minutes.
- Rotate the dough ball in the bowl over oil or butter.
- Cover and keep them in a warm place for 3 hours.
- Knead the dough again and make it into a rope shape.
- Cut 8 portions and shape them into small ball shape.
- Place them on a lightly floured surface, cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Pre heat the oven to 250º C. Ensure that the rack is at the bottom of the oven.
- Be sure that you pre heat the baking sheet.
- Roll each ball into a 5-6 inch disc and place them on the pre heated baking sheet.
- Bake each disc for 4 minutes or till the bread puffs up
- Turn over and bake for another 2 minutes.
- Remove the pita with spatula and enjoy hot with dips or kebabs.
Recipe for Turkish Lavash
Turkish Lavash is also known as balloon bread or cracker bread. It’s called cracker bread because of its crispy texture and ballon, because it puffs up like a ballon. It is one of the most common breads eaten by Turkish people. It is also popular in Iran, Iraq and the Caucasus.
- Yeast dry-2 tsp
- Flour-2 1/2 cups and extra for rolling
- Salt-1 tsp
- Sugar-1/2 tsp
- Olive oil-2 tsp
- Water-1 1/4 cups
- Dissolve the yeast and salt in 1/2 cup warm water, set aside for a few minutes.
- Sift flour in a bowl and add sugar.
- Make well and mix in the yeast mixture.
- With a wooden spatula make a soft dough.
- Knead the dough on a smooth surface and make a smooth and pliable dough.
- Roll the dough ball with oil and set aside for 2 hours covered with a damp cloth.
- Transfer the dough on a smooth surface and knead again.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal parts.
- Flatten the small dough ball into a small disc with moist palms.
- Place on a non stick pan over medium heat , when hot put the dics on the pan and brown both the sides lighty
- Serve hot immediately
While I was in Turkey, I really enjoyed this with Turkish kebabs and spicy dips.Hope you enjoy these different kind of breads like I have started to replace my tandoori roti sometimes with these flat bread.