Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Occasionally getting it right

Those of you who know me well, might be surprised to learn that I am just now beginning to try my hand at making Indian food. Now, I've dabbled here and there, even in the U.S. before I moved here I would throw in some masala and cinnamon and chili powder to my beans. But it was only recently that I decided the day had come to make some roti. (Roti is the flat bread that accompanies every Punjabi meal. Punjabis treat roti so well, they compete for attention with the first-born son.)

I had watched numerous Punjabi ladies make these before. And being a somewhat experienced cook, I figured I could handle this little project. Just a simple mixture of wheat flour and water. Let the dough rest after kneading, if you can. Then break off the dough into small balls, roll it out and slap it into a tawa. A tawa is the special roti-making pan that I don't own. I'm blaming my failure on my lack of equipment. 

You can see a picture of the barely-edible roti below. It was both crispy and chewy. I don't know what happened. One Punjabi I consulted thought maybe I had used too much flour. No matter, because I just successfully made my first batch of curd!  I will never go back to spending $5 on Greek yogurt again. And I recommend you all take a break from our industrialized food system and begin making your own too. I mean, you'll have to buy the milk, but try to go to your local farmers' market for this. Then warm the milk until it is about room temperature (luke warmish). Add a small spoonful of yogurt to the warm milk (my guess is one small spoonful to about 2 cups of milk. The more yogurt you add, the more sour it will be). Give it a little stir and cover the container. Wrap a large cloth around the container (I've been using my wool sweater) and let it sit for about 10 hours. I let mine sit for around 20, just because I forgot about it, and it came out wonderfully thick. Of course, this is the real deal whole milk yogurt we're taking about here.  I had tried once to make yogurt when I was working in Vermont on a goat cheese farm. It was ok, but came out a bit soupy. I guess that is because it wasn't 42 degrees Celsius there, as it is here. But I think you can still do this in the cooler months. Perhaps warming the oven before you put the milk-yogurt mixture inside would do the trick. Next I'm going to start making lassis!  

Mexican and Spanish fiesta: nachos and
sangria. I foolishly paid $5 for a can or
El Paso refried beans. But boy, were they tasty!

Failed attempt to make ricotta.

Weird chewy, crispy roti

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog. This may sound like a random request, but I'm an absolute dessert fiend. Do you know of any good recipes for Indian-inspired lemon squares?