A few weeks ago my husband and I stopped at a little Lebanese fast food in Bangalore and tasted Hummus and Falafel for the first time. They were great and we are officially hooked. But what I found most interesting was the Pita bread they served with the Hummus. It was exactly the kind of bread/ bhature which are cooked back at home during weddings and other family get-together’ s. I have never tried to cook them myself before, but today I was determined to have a go. I am happy to announce that they were a success and will now be a part of my cooking repertoire forever.
Bhatura can be enjoyed plain or with stuffing of urad dal. I went a step further and added my favourite Ingredient – Potatoes to the mix.
Normal wheat flour – I used my usual 2 and 1/2 cups
Yeast – 1 tablespoon
(I always have problems with yeast and so this time I soaked the yeast in warm water for 1 hour and then added 2 tablespoonfuls of flour to it and left it overnight. By morning I had this cup full of fermented flour.)
Add the cup full of fermented flour and salt to the flour and knead with warm water.
Leave for 1-2 hours.
This was the flour after 1 hour of kneading. And it was a cold morning.
Should have let it sit for longer but it was getting late and so I kneaded the flour some more and divided it into portions for the bhature.
Stuffing No.1 – Split black lentil a.k.a. Dhuli urad ( Soaked in water overnight – which I did not do)
Coarse grind the urad dal with salt, chillies and coriander. I mixed the chillies and coriander separately in one part and kept some urad dal plain to check the difference in flavour. The chillies won handsdown.
Stuff into a portion and make a small roti with your hands. Keep it for another half an hour.
Stuffing No. 2 – Potatoes
Ghee to fry.
Just warm some ghee in a skillet and saute the onions to a light brown. Add turmeric and salt and then the tomatoes. Cook for a while till the tomatoes are soft. Add the boiled and diced potatoes. Cook for a while and garnish with chillies and coriander.
Stuff the cooked potatoes in another portion and then make another roti softly with your hands. Leave for half an hour.
I decided to bake some of them and fry the rest. The ones above are on a baking tray, ready to go into an oven at 200C temperature for almost 10 minutes. They baked well but came out just a little bit hard.
The darker ones in the front are fried and were done quickly and were soft and tasty. The one on the left is plain without any stuffing and the one on the right is stuffed with potatoes.
The finished product. It isn’t really difficult.
LESSONS LEARNT :
1) Remember to add salt to the flour before kneading. Also instead of water use curd. They will be softer and tastier.
2) Let the kneaded dough sit and rise for 2-3 hours to get good aeration.
3) Try to bake at a lower temperature of 180 to see if they come out softer.