The New Year has already started and I am still writing about it with capitals and struggling to get over the hurdle of what to post first in 2007. Remember "kya karoon kya na karoon...yeh kaisi mushkil hai.."
Everybody had time to set beautiful first posts while I was knee deep playing host, spending time with my son and partying! :(
Now you all must know what kind of student I was in school! And blogging with so many events feels like school sometimes! Submissions, Assignments, Research!!
Anyway so to start you all off on a wonderful year, let me introduce you to one of my favorite recipes, the Kerala Porotta.
The Kerala Porotta is a flaky pastry like multilayered flat bread, a speciality of Kerala. It is made from maida, (enriched wheat flour) by a long labor and time intensive process. The flour is mixed with water, oil and egg to make a soft dough, and allowed to rise for 5-6 hrs. It is stretched and flattened by hand in order to save the air pockets which arise from the stretching and then cooked on a griddle.
While at home, my experience with the porotta was limited to the fun part of stretching and flipping, rolling it into the twisted circles.The first few times I tried making it were a disaster with the porotta stretching w..e..l..l… but then rebounding back like elastic. It looked soft, it left soft but on cooking, it was a hard unyielding mass, not at all like the flaky porotta from home.
At the same time, a friend’s mom (who had previously lived in Malaysia) was visiting and she demostrated the easier way Malaysians make the same porotta. I have mentioned the similarities in Malay and Mallu cooking in one of my earlier posts.
The Malaysian Roti Canai is either stretched out and fried as it is or folded into squares, a process which is easy and retains all the pastry like layers intact.
You will need:
Unbleached all purpose flour-2 cups
Baking powder-1/4 tsp
Fine salt-1/4 tsp
Hot boiling water-1 cup
1.In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, 2 tsps of oil and fine salt.
2. Bring a cup of water to boil, immediately pour into the flour mixture, use a mixing spoon to stir, and after 5-10 minutes, knead it with your hand until it is a smooth blend. Do not add any more water.
3. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it rest for an hour.
4. Divide the dough into 12 pieces.Roll out the ball as big and as thin as you can get it to be, sprinkling a little flour as you go along. Gattina suggests that whenever you feel the dough refuse to spread, cover and let it rest,and continue working on others.
5. Brush a drop of oil on the whole surface and fold as shown in the pictures, brushing oil on each alternate layer. Take care not to put too much oil or it won't roll out. Once it is a square, roll it out to be about 6" wide on each side.
6. Pre-heat a griddle, and cook on medium high heat on each sides. Flip only after one side gets a little opaque. When the layers start puffing up, spread half a teaspoon of oil on each side to let it crisp. Each porotta takes about 2-3 minutes for cooking. Maintain medium heat throughout to evenly cook it with hardening it.
If the heat is too high or too low, the porotta will get hardened.
7. Remove the porotta and serve hot.
Thanks to all of you who voted for us. It made us the second place winner! Don't forget to check out my post over at the Daily Tiffin..Its on kids's cooking this time.
Kerala Porotta, Roti Canai, Malaysian Recipes, Food Blog, Indian Recipes, Malabar Recipes