Mint Parathas

Mint paratha - final

This week LSH and I were eating out at a friend’s. She had a curry evening planned and so she asked me to bring bread (with wine obviously!). I was surprised by this – last time I took Indian breads they looked more like crispbreads than naans. So having been given a second chance I was keen to impress. So alongside the Missi Roti and some pistachio naan breads I made this flatbread. It’s a simple recipe,although it does involve a bit of “bread origami”, and is just a bit different with its flaky texture and flecks of mint.

Mint paratha - fan

Take 225g of chappatti flour (or a mix of 50:50 plain and wholemeal) and put in a bowl. Grind 1 tsp of dried mint into a powder and add to the flour along with a handful of roughly chopped fresh mint leaves. Mix together with a pinch of salt and then mix in 140ml of warm water. Put to one side for about an hour.

Divide into 6 balls. Take one and roll it out thinly into a rectangle. Brush with melted butter and then fan or pleat together. Then coil it into a snail.

Mint paratha - coil

Roll the coil out into a circle before dry frying on a medium heat for a couple of minutes each side. Repeat with the rest of the bread. Serve warm with your favourite curry.


Easter Baking

The run up to Easter has been cold this year. Whilst the snow has (finally!) gone from our back garden, the weather is still too cold to make a start on usual Easter gardening tasks. So more baking it is.

After teacakes on Good Friday, Saturday saw the baking of a cheese and bacon bread as requested by my LSH. He was making chicken tagine for dinner so I decided to make some North African flatbreads to accompany it.

Farid Zadi’s Algerian flatbreads with their spicy flavour looked just the thing. Unfortunately the recipe was from an American site so a bit of translating was needed. The original recipe can be found here. My “briticised” and two person friendly version is below.

Algerian flatbreads

These reminded me of the parathas that we get in our local curry house so I’m tempted to change the spice base to turn them into an Indian flatbread to accompany our curry in future. I think that adding a bit more cumin with a pinch of chilli powder and omitting the paprika should do it.

Algerian Flatbreads (makes 6)

Mix 110g white bread flour and 115g sieved whole meal flour in a bowl with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil.

Add about 140ml of water a bit at a time until you get a soft sticky dough (you may need more or less depending on your flour).

Turn out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead for about 5-10 mins until its smooth and silky. Form into a ball and put into a clean bowl covered in 1tbsp olive oil. Cover and leave for an hour or so (mine was left for nearly 2 with no ill effects).

Mix 1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, paprika and turmeric with 2tbsp olive oil. Stir well until it forms a thick oily paste.

Divide the dough into 6 ( mine weighed about 65g each) .

Lightly flour the worktop and roll out each piece into a thin rectangle about 1 or 2 mm thick. Brush the surface with a thin later of the spiced oil (use about 1tsp per piece). Then roll up tightly and form into a spiral. Repeat.

Lightly flour again and then roll out each spiral into about a 10cm round (or whatever fits your frying pan). I stacked mine separated with baking parchment which made it easier to then flip them into the frying pan.

Heat a frying pan on about a medium heat and dry fry each bread for 2min each side until its puffed and golden.