Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#221 Cilantro Chili Stuffed Flatbread

I've been entertaining guests from out of town for the past few weeks so you'll have to excuse me for my silence, social alienation and time away from my blog.
Today, I am eager to share with you something that I served my guests.... flatbread baked in the traditional oven. A Middle eastern or Indian leavened flat-bread is generally baked inside of a hot tandoori oven. Although sometimes it is lovingly called 'Tandoori Naan', there are countless varieties of other flatbread that you can bake from this lovely dough. The elasticity and smoothness of the dough makes it easy. You can roll them as thin or as thick as you'd like. In the modern urban household a tandoori oven is not commonly found so Naan is usually baked right in a tradional oven. Flat bread is just as easy to bake as the simple Naan, dinner rolls or 'rotis', and this one is so versatile that you could just eat it without dunking into a dip or curry. All because they're  absolutely fresh, delicious and healthy with onion-cilantro flavors.

After a good night's sleep, last Sunday morning I woke up with a boost of energy and zest to try something I've never got my hands into...... baking fresh flatbreads instead of rotis for my guests!!
It was quite an adventure, but I had a beaming smile on my face (almost like the new chef at a Kabab place) when the stuffed bread came out of the oven looking gorgeous and smelling divine. Most importantly everyone simply loved the soft texture and flavor when I placed the platter on the table. I would say these were more 'Naan'-like than 'Pita'-like since I stuffed them with onions.
Place the onion sutffing on one circle and cover with the second flatbread.
1 package active dry yeast
2 Tblspns Sugar
3/4 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tspn salt
1/4 cup ghee or butter
3 Tblspn yogurt

For Filling: Chop together the following very fine-1 onion, 2 green chillies, 1/2 bunch cilantro.

How to make the Flatbread:
1. Pour the warm water in  ameasuring cup, add the sugar and yeast and let stand a few minutes for it to bloom, Mix weel before letting stand for 10 mins. It will froth and bloom.
2. Stir together flour, salt, yogurt and butter to combine and knead for about 10 mins until a smooth dough is formed.
3. Place this dough in a well oiled bowl and cover the bowl with a wet towel. Let rise in a warm area for about an hour or until the dough has risen to double its size.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Divide the dough into 23-24 pieces and roll out into circles
on a floured surface about 1/2 cm thick.(you could make it thinner if you plan on making sandwiches inside the pita halves)
5. Place half of the circles on a greased cookie sheet without touching one another. Spread 1 tspn of the onion mixture over each circle and spread around to the edges.
6. Now place a second circle over the first covering the onion mixture and making a sandwich of the onion mixture. Pinch the edges together to seal well. Using a fork make marks over the top of the sandwiched circle.
7. Brush the tops with oil and cook in the oven until they are lightly browned and slightly puffed up.
8. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
Suggested side dishes with Flatbread are Salmon Tikka Masala                               
or my next dish Spiced Spinach and Mustard Greens


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