Friday, March 27, 2009

Breakfast for Today - Chapati with sauteed tomatoes

This morning's breakfast menu - made chapati with tomatoes sauteed with onions. Chapati is a flat unleavened Indian bread made from whole wheat flour (made from hard wheat), also called "atta flour." (Hard wheats have a high protein content, so doughs made out of atta flour are strong and can be rolled out very thin. Breads made from atta include chapati, roti, naan, and puri. Atta is obtained from grinding complete wheat grains. It is creamy brown in colour and relatively coarse compared to other types of flour. Since nothing is removed from atta, all the constituents of the wheat grain are preserved. High bran content of atta makes it a fiber-rich food).

The chapati's recipe is from my mom - and she is known for her soft chapatis. It's a healthy and wholesome meal - a great way to start the morning - and it's delicious too - soft warm chapati served with any side dishes you prefer. Herewith is the recipe for chapati:

Makes 5 medium-sized chapatis
- 1 cup of atta flour
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of warm water (the amount of water required depends on the consistency of the flour once you mix it)
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp of olive oil

1. Place atta flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Gradually pour in water and add in olive oil. Draw in the flour and mix into a crumbly dough.
2. If dough is too dry, add a little more water and mix until the dough binds well together. Knead the dough for 10–15 minutes until it is pliable.
3. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with a piece of damp tea towel. Leave aside to rest for at least an hour.
4. Knead the dough again by hand for 3–4 minutes then pluck out a small piece of dough, the size of a golf ball.
5. Place it on a lightly floured tabletop. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a circle (of whatever size you prefer). Dust lightly with extra flour.
6. Place a non-stick flat pan over a medium fire. Once the pan is warm, place the rolled-out dough on it.
7. When small bubbles of air pockets are seen on the surface of the dough, turn it over and cook the other side. Pat down the edges of the dough with a dry tea towel. This helps to puff the chapati up.
8. When the chapati is cooked, serve immediately with any side dishes you prefer - potatoes, or dhal curry, or tomatoes sauteed with onions, or even cheese!

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