I couldn’t resist putting a pic up of the beautiful vintage French chinoiserie fabric that I picked up in town today. It is about as bright and cheerful as the lunch I cooked: mini flatbreads with chickpea curry and cucumber raita. Just what you need to warm you up on a freezing cold day. I’m new to making flatbreads, but I can tell it’s going to be one of those things I cook all the time from now on. It’s so easy and cheap, and much better for you than the shop-bought varieties which have far too much salt in.
Mini roti (makes 8 small breads):
125g chapati flour, or fine stoneground flour
5-6 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt (omit the salt if serving to a baby, the breads will still taste good)
A bit of butter
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.
Add the water a spoon at a time, and mix with clean fingers to form a sticky dough.
When the dough holds together as a single ball, knead in the bowl for 8-10 minutes until it is firm, smooth and less sticky. When a fold in the dough appears clean, rather than grainy, I think it’s ready.
Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes to rest. I have made the dough before going out in the morning and cooked them over two hours later, they worked fine.
When rested, cut the dough into eight equal-sized pieces and roll into balls.
Lightly flour your worktop and rolling pin, and roll the breads thinly into 6″ rounds.
To cook, put a dry frying pan over a medium-high hob and cook each bread for about 45 seconds each side – or until the bread starts to bubble and puff with air and gently brown.
When cooked, spread lightly with butter on each side and keep warm in tin foil until serving. Best eaten straight away.
Chickpea masala (serves two for lunch or as a side)
Fresh chilli (optional)
1″ ginger root
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp each:
2-3 pieces cinnamon bark
1 carton/tin cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 green pepper, diced
2 fresh tomatoes, diced, seeds removed
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp water
Lemon, to serve
For the raita:
Greek-style plain yogurt
2″ cucumber, diced small
A few leaves finely chopped mint, optional
Lightly grind the cumin and coriander seeds, toast with the fenugreek in a dry pan for about 30 seconds to release their flavour.
Add a little vegetable oil and the chopped onion and fry until soft.
Add the chopped fresh chilli and grated garlic and ginger and fry for another minute or two.
Add cinnamon bark and turmeric followed by the diced green pepper. Sweat until the pepper is softened, then add the tomato, tomato puree, chickpeas and water and cook down for 20 minutes or so.
Add the garam masala and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Mix the chopped cucumber and yogurt in a bowl to make the raita, add some mint if you have some handy.
Serve a generous spoonful of chickpea curry on a flatbread, topped with the raita and a squeeze of lemon juice.
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