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Griddle-Cooked Corn Flatbread (Makkai ki roti)

January/February 2008

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This flatbread (classically not flavored) from Punjab, deemed peasant food, often accompanies a puree of mustard greens and garlic drizzled with ghee (clarified butter). This version incorporates vibrant flavors that can easily accompany any meal or even be served with a dip for an appetizer.


Griddle-Cooked Corn Flatbread (Makkai ki roti)

Makes: 12 flatbreads

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely ground yellow corn flour, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh ginger
  • 2-4 fresh green chiles, such as Thai or serrano, stemmed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, or butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Preparation

  1. Combine corn flour, all-purpose flour and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Pulse ginger and chiles in a food processor until minced. Add to the flour mixture along with onion and cilantro.
  3. Drizzle warm water over the mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring it in as you go, until the mixture starts to come together and form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead until a soft dough forms (it will still be a little bumpy from the vegetables). Divide the dough into 12 portions and shape each into a ball. Keep the balls covered with plastic wrap or with a slightly damp paper towel.
  4. Fold a large sheet of foil in half lengthwise. Combine ghee (or melted butter) and oil in a small bowl. Place both next to the stove.
  5. Coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Place a ball of dough between sheets of wax paper (leaving the others covered). Press it down to form a patty, then roll it out into a 1/8-inch-thick disc, 4 to 6 inches in diameter (the edges won’t be perfectly round and will appear jagged and cracked). Gently peel the dough off the paper and add it to the hot pan. Cook until the underside is light brown in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip it over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Brush the top with butter-oil mixture and flip it over to sear it, about 30 seconds. Brush the second side with butter-oil mixture and flip it over to sear that side too, about 30 seconds. Slip the bread into the foil sleeve to keep it warm.
  6. Repeat with the remaining dough. Serve warm.

Tips & Notes

  • Shopping Tip: Yellow corn flour is made from finely ground dried corn. It's finer in texture than cornmeal and should not be used interchangeably. A good substitute is masa harina—finely ground, lime-treated dried corn (hominy). Find yellow corn flour in the natural-food sections of supermarkets, in natural-foods stores or at bobsredmill.com.

Nutrition

Per flatbread: 114 calories; 3 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 3 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber; 147 mg sodium; 79 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat


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