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Cookery: Amazing chapattis

23 January 2008

by Deanna Baynes

A SIKH neighbour has befriended me. When she comes to see me she brings me chapattis, parathas, and puris with dhal (lentils). Her chapattis are amazing.

Chapattis (you will need a cast-iron flat pan)

225g/8oz chapatti flour

½ teaspoon salt

175ml/6fl. oz tepid water

Put all the ingredients into a food mixer, remove, and roll out with your hands. Knead for 5 minutes. Divide into 6 equal portions, wrap in cling film, and rest for 15 minutes in the fridge.

Roll them out quite thin. Heat your heavy pan, wipe it with a paper towel dipped in sunflower oil, when steam rises lower the heat and add the chapattis one at a time. Press it down with paper towel and bubbles will appear. Turn over, move the pan to the side of the flame, lower the flame to its minimum, and place the chapatti on the flame for no more than 4 seconds. Turn it over and repeat. This will make the chapattis puff up. Place in a dish and cover with foil. Serve with dhal.


225g/8oz red or yellow lentils

1 medium onion chopped

3 cloves garlic peeled and


2 medium tomatoes chopped

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

3 cardomom pods

2 red dried chillies

850ml/1½ pints water and more

1 dessertspoon butter

Put all ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil, and skim the top. Lower the heat and cook for 1 hour. (You may need to top it up with extra water.) Simmer for another 10 minutes and serve with freshly chopped coriander.

Carrot chutney (makes 2 small jars)

500g/1lb grated carrots

500g/1lb soft brown sugar

425ml/¾ pint water

140ml/¼ pint vinegar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 dessertspoon caster sugar

Cook the carrots in the water. When slightly reduced, and the carrots are tender, add the brown sugar and bubble for 15 minutes, then add the vinegar and salt. Bubble again for 10 minutes, and put aside. In another pan, add the caster sugar and caramelise it by turning the heat up. Pour it into the carrots.

Hopping continents: Satay sauce is popular in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, where it originated. Use it to make satay chicken kebabs, or as a tasty dip.

2 tablespoons smooth peanutbutter

1 dessertspoon tahini paste

2 dessertspoons soy sauce

2 dessertspoons chopped fresh coriander

2 cloves garlic

2 hot chillies

1 teacup olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

Put all the ingredients into a liquidiser and blend.

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