Friday, July 6, 2012

Garlic Chapati and Guacamole

vegan dish

I've been cooking quite a lot these days and posting a couple of food photos on my Facebook wall and on Twitter.

I thought to myself, "hey, why don't I just share my recipe on my blog so they'd learn how to make it themselves?"  So here's recipe #1.

chapati guacamole


A Mexican dip best paired with tortilla crisps and flat bread like tortillas, roti, chapati, naan, or pita.

If you follow the recipe strictly, you'll come up with a bowl that would be enough for:

- 4 pieces of chapati

You will need:

- 2 ripe avocados
- 3 tablespoons of lime or kalamansi juice
- 2 medium sized tomatoes (or one large western tomato) peeled, de-seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped/diced onion
- 1 tablespoon of coriander (also known in some places as cilantro)
- Your choice of hot pepper (jalapeño, bird's eye, tabasco, espada) de-seeded and very finely chopped (add according to heat tolerance with a minimum of one teaspoon)
- 1/3 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of chilli powder (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder (optional)

To make it:

1. Put the lime/kalamansi juice in a bowl.
2. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados and chop coarsely.
3. Add the avocado to the lime/kalamansi juice in the bowl.
4. Coarsely mash the avocado using a fork or a potato masher until it becomes a bit smooth and creamy.  It's okay to have little lumps here and there.  NEVER EVER BLEND IT.
5. If you don't like the onions to crunch in your mouth, you could crush it using a mortar and pestle.  If you're okay with crunchy onions, skip this step.
6. Add all other ingredients into the bowl with the avocado and mix well.
7. If you think it lacks salt, add a little more to taste and mix it in.
8. Chill in the fridge for one hour before serving.

Garlic Chapati

Chapati is a type of flat unleavened bread that traces its culinary origins from the Indian Subcontinent.  It's commonly made using only flour, water and a bit of salt but, in this case, I'm going to add garlic so we'll call it Garlic Chapati to avoid confusion.  It is best eaten with sauces like curry and marinara, or dips such as guacamole.

For every four (4) pieces, you will need:

- 1 cup (150 grams) of plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 cup (80 millilitres) of water
- 2 teaspoons of garlic paste

To make chapati:

1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and make some sort of well or hole in the middle.
2. Stir the garlic paste into the water.  You will notice it form a suspension.
3. Pour the garlic and water mix onto the well in the bowl.
4. Mix the flour and the water to form some sort of ball.  Do not add any more water.  Just keep rolling the ball around until it collects the rest of the remaining flour and you are able to form a compact dough that is slightly sticky but soft.
5. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover it with cling wrap or a plate and leave it in room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.
6. After resting your dough, divide it into four equal pieces.  Using your hand, form each piece into a small round flat disc about half an inch thick.
7. Drop the disc onto a lightly floured surface and, using a floured rolling pin, gently roll the disc out into a very thin and flat circle about 7 or 8 inches in diameter.  Don't worry; it doesn't need to be perfect.
8. If you have a roti pan or flat pan, use it.  Otherwise, you will have to settle for a frying pan with a flat base.  Put it over a stove on medium heat.  You don't want it too hot or you'll end up burning the chapati.
9. Drop on one chapati at a time.  Yes, in case you're wondering, you have to cook it individually unless you have a freakishly large pan lying around your kitchen cabinet.
10. After 30 seconds, you will notice the chapati begin to puff up.  Flip it over using a cooking spatula--preferably perforated.  On the flip side, use the spatula to push the puffed bubbles down without breaking or puncturing the bread.  Do this for about 10 seconds then flip the chapati over again.
11. Press the bubbles gently with the spatula.  Your aim is not to have no bubbles (because if we wanted to do that, we could easily just poke a hole on it but that's not what we want to do).  We want to have just one large puff like a balloon and not individual bubbles.
12. After another 10 seconds, flip it over again and press gently for 15 more seconds before putting it on a plate.  It's not necessary to achieve the balloon effect but it is necessary to keep gently pressing the chapati down as you cook it.
13. Repeat the process for every piece of chapati you cook.