I have them, those peculiarly creative moods, where constant gray days demand bouts of chromatic pop. You’ve seen how I like to paint my food. It’s a nostalgia that stems from grade school, the smell of crayons and playdo that I ate drew with, sentimenting that just doesn’t leave you no matter how old you are.
Not that we’re using crayons on food. This is where the strange cogitative mindstate I mentioned above shows me I need to color my rice, my desserts, maybe, even my life. Really, who wouldn’t want to see a rainbow on their plate?
These here are chapatis. Chapatis (chup-aah-thees). What are they? Well, let me educate you, friend, real quick, if you’ve never encountered Indian food and the thing most normally seen as bread for the entire subcontinent. In loftier parts of the country they’re known as rotis and can sometimes be what entire households fixate their meals on. They are made of a fine milled wheat flour, not similar to the horsefeed, some wholewheat often tastes and looks like. Mixed with liquid and kneaded to a soft dough, rotis/chapatis are rolled flat and cooked on a griddle with marginal(in my case plentiful) fat, sometimes not.
Chapatis compensate for the rice/ potatoes, even chewy bread that fill out the richer Western meal. In actuality, rather than being a mere side, a stack of rotis are main spread on curry splashed plates. They provide a carb source much more nutrient dense than you really want to believe, which could be reason for the thousands of tons of wheat consumed in the world’s second most crowded country. That, people, is something to laud. And perhaps model ourselves.
So are chapatis green? No. They are usually the color of wheat. But this is my recipe and if I wish to make them look like superhero skin on fleek, so be it.
They say we eat with our eyes. I did not know, because up until publishing recipes and clicking decently aesthetic pictures of the same, I really did believe my mouth did all the work. Honestly, I like it that way.
However, I do understand that a visually appealing plate of food would make someone with no appetite turn into a wolf… from experience …hmm(?) Maybe.
It is terribly hard to mess this up. And if you do, you can blame the two machines, a rolling pin and possibly the skillet for any wrong that could be. Since they do most of the work, I mean.
1 ½ cups chopped frozen spinach, lightly thawed
4-5 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1 serrano pepper ( Indian green chili), chopped
water, if needed
1 ½ cups finely ground wholewheat flour(Indian atta flour), plus more to knead
3 tbsp olive oil or any cooking oil
In a blender or mixer, process spinach, cilantro, pepper, salt to a smooth puree.
Add in only enough water for it to reach a thickish liquid consistency.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using knead attachment or bowl of food processor, add green puree and up to 1 cup wheat flour, oil salt. Knead in machine till smooth dough turns out, sifting in additional flour, pouring in sufficient water for mixture to be elastic and pliable.
Take dough out on a work surface and knead gently a few more times. At this stage, it should be smooth and shiny. Cover with a damp clean kitchen towel 10-15 minutes.
Divide dough into 1- 2″ balls. Roll out one and leave the rest covered.
Have a flat top pan or griddle heated to medium on the stove? Place rolled out round onto skillet.
Heat on both sides, brushing with additional oil if needed(or butter:-) till cooked/burnished with brown spots on both sides.
Repeat with remaining balls.
These rotis/ chapatis make for an awesome meal with a magnificent accompaniment, such as this or this, this or this. However, served with nothing but a few smears of butter alone is also ridiculously epic.
Alternatively, if you need that arm muscle workout, something I definitely qualify for, yet have no desire to fulfill, by all means, use your hands to knead, pull and roll.
For wonderful, easy and yummy recipes, you MUCH check out Tisa’s Blog Blessings From My Kitchen