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  • Makki ki Roti
    Indian Corn Bread

    YIELD: 10 TO 12 (4½-5-INCH / 11–13-CM) ROTI
    TOOLS: You’ll need a deep mixing bowl, a spoon, parchment paper, a small bowl filled with water, a tava or cast-iron skillet, and a tray.
    Makki ki Roti Sarson ka Saag (PICTURED HERE)

    There’s likely no other bread that exudes nostalgia in India like makki ki roti does for Punjabis. It shows up in movies and television shows alike, always paired with sarson ka saag (spiced mustard greens). It’s the one thing that I dream about having when my family returns to India to visit my father’s village in Punjab. Now you can make them for yourself and your family, to be eaten the traditional way or as a change of pace.

    • 1 cup /160 g corn meal
    • ½ cup /60 g corn flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • 2 tablespoons kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves), lightly hand crushed to release flavor
    • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons /240 mL boiling water (it must be boiling)
    • Vegetable oil, for pan frying
    • Sarson ka Saag ( spicy mustard greens), or Dal Makhani (black lentils), for serving (optional)
    • Butter or vegan margarine, for serving (optional)
    1. In a deep mixing bowl, combine the corn meal, corn flour, salt, red chile powder, and kasoori methi. Stir until well combined.
    2. Slowly add the water to the bowl, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Stir well until the dough slowly starts to come together but is still slightly crumbly. Be sure to use a spoon, as the water is very hot.
    3. Remove ¼ cup / 60 mL of the dough from the bowl, shape it into a ball, and place it on a 12-inch-long / 30-cm-long sheet of parchment paper. Remove another ¼ cup / 60 mL of dough, shape it into a ball, and place it next to the first piece, far enough apart that they will not touch when pressed down.
    4. Dip your hand in a small bowl of room-temperature water and use it to slightly moisten the dough. Press down on each piece of dough with the palm of 1 hand. Place a second sheet of parchment paper over the dough and press down on each dough circle with the palms of your hands until they have flattened into 4½- to 5-inch-wide / 11- to 13-cm wide patties that are about ¼ inch / 6 mm thick.
    5. Warm a well-oiled tava or cast-iron skillet over medium–high heat.
    6. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Slowly, carefully, peel each roti off the bottom sheet of parchment paper.
    7. Carefully place 1 roti on the tava and cook until brown on 1 side, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side 1 to 2 minutes, until cooked through. Transfer to a tray.
    8. Repeat Steps 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 until all the remaining rotis have been pan fried. Remove from the heat. Clean the pan with a paper towel after you make every 3 rotis.
    9. Serve the rotis traditionally with Sarson ka Saag (spicy mustard greens) or with Dal Makhani (black lentils), or with butter or vegan margarine for a quick breakfast. You can also stack the rotis, let them cool, and wrap them first in a dish cloth and then tightly wrap with aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.*

    *If you are storing the rotis, reheat them before serving by warming them on the stovetop in a dry cast-iron pan over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or place in the oven at 300°F / 150°C for 2 to 3 minutes.*

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Alta Editions LLC.