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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Chapatis

firstrolloutOur son lived in South Africa for two years and learned to make this staple Indian flatbread.  Since his return to the States, we’ve enjoyed them as a treat from time to time.   They are actually more nutritious than tortillas because no shortening or lard is required.  Most of the recipes I’ve seen also call for whole wheat flour, which is a good thing!  I adapted the recipe from the website: All Things Kenyan.  I chose this one because it seems most like the one my son makes — with the same “jelly-rolling” techniques.  That added step makes them particularly fun to pull apart as you eat them.  During Christmas break, my son and his wife fixed them for us with chicken, vegetables and a “Red Hot Sweet Chili” sauce that we picked up at the local grocery store.  They were a hit!

Chapatis are delicious with curry, all kinds of vegetables, chutney, or anything!  They may also be served warm with butter and cinnamon sugar.  The bread itself doubles as the utensil.  Pull it apart in pieces and use it to pick up the other foods.  It is filling and fun!

Chapatis

  • Yield: 4 chapatis
  • Prep: 30 min (including “rest” time for dough)
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Ready in: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour – white or whole wheat, or parts of each
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • oil
  • water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix dry ingredients well.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp of oil to the flour mixture and mix in with your hands until flour feels a little bit like sand.
  3. Add enough water to form an elastic dough (it took less than a cup).  Knead the dough a little until smooth.
  4. Divide the dough into four parts.  Roll each ball into a circle and spread 1/2 tsp. (or less) of oil over it.Oil on chapatis
  5. Roll each circle up, like a jelly roll, then roll up the resulting strip.  They will resemble snail shells.firstrollchapatichapatissecondroll
  6. Let the rolls sit 20 minutes or more.  Roll out each ball until thin.firstrollout
  7. Cook on a hot skillet or cast iron pan until brown and flip to cook other side.  They will bubble up, but are more dense than tortillas.
  8. Serve with desired accompaniments or toppings (shown here with chicken, cabbage, peppers, onions and seasonings, and sweet chili sauce).chapati final

 

NOTE:  I talked to my son and discovered that he skips the extra “roll-out” step in the above recipe.  He simply rolls out all of the dough at once, spreads on the oil, cuts it into strips, and rolls up each strip (that’s him in the photo below).  Then he rolls out each “roll”.   We tried both ways, and decided we like his the best.  It pulls apart better when you’re eating them.

Daniel chapatis

 

Country Carrots

Country Carrots cookedI’ll admit, I don’t expect this post to be a blockbuster — people just don’t generally go searching for new carrot recipes.   I  probably wouldn’t give it a second glance myself, but that’s unfortunate, because this recipe is  astounding.    Even carrot haters need to try it just once.  It is simple, natural, and delicious!

Years ago, after one of my babies was born, neighbors came calling with casseroles and dinners for my family.  I happen to subscribe to the the idea that if I don’t have to cook it, it’s automatically scrumptious.  However, that theory was tested when my sweet neighbor, Mildred, showed up with a casserole, salad, and…. a pan of baked carrots.   I managed to fake some enthusiasm, but as the door closed behind her, I wondered dubiously if any member of my family would even sample them.  I wasn’t going to volunteer for the job.  However, since I like to be honest when thanking people for gifts,  I thought I’d better take at least a bite so I could tell her how “fresh” they tasted, or some other vague compliment.

Lo and behold, I was shocked to discover they were delicious!  I coaxed my husband into trying some, and a few of the kids as well!  We finished them off, and I’ve fixed them ever since.  When I later confessed the whole incident to Mildred, she just chuckled and said, “You’re not the only person to be afraid of them at first.  I get that alot.”

Here are a couple of things I’ve learned since then:

  • This won’t work with “baby” carrots (blecch!  I can’t stand those things anyway!)
  • The natural sugars in the carrot are REALLY enhanced in this dish
  • It’s best to make the carrot sticks nice and thin and long
  • The carrots taste best when they are allowed to “carmelize”.  We like to let them get brown and a little crispy in places.
  • You must add the butter and salt (for optimum results).  If that bothers you, look elsewhere for your next carrot recipe. :)
  • Give yourself plenty of time.  These are best when roasted for at least 90 minutes.
  • You can really play with the temperature and cooking time on these.  Turn down the temp. to increase the time, and vice versa.

Don’t be put off by the cooking time, by the way.  At least with these, you fix ’em and forget ’em.  Once they’re in the oven, your work is done!  They are just not what you would expect!  They are not mushy or bland in any way.  I wouldn’t eat them if they were.  I feel a little funny calling this a recipe though.  It’s really more of a list of instructions.  DO give these a try!  Just once.

Country Carrots

Simple to fix and naturally delicious!  Slow roasting makes the carrots sweet and savory, all at once.   A surprise taste sensation!

  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Prep: 15 minutes
  • Cook: 90 minutes
  • Ready In: 1 hour 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  •  8-10 medium carrots, cut into sticks (don’t use “baby” carrots)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. butter
  • salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place carrots in a thin layer in a 9X13 baking pan
  2. Sprinkle with salt to taste
  3. Dot with butter piecesCountry Carrots uncooked
  4. Cover and bake in a 375 ° oven for 90 minutes, until brown in places.Country Carrots cooked

 

 

 

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