Wednesday, October 6

Baba Ganoush and Chapati

Well, this adventure began a while ago, but I will start with today. Today I made chapati and baba ganoush for a potluck. I love both, and since eggplants are in season, it was just perfect. However, chapati has been a recent staple in our diets, here in the garden unit. That is, like Jill's pita bread, chapati has been a great way to make quick and easy meals, and its so simple!

I learned to make chapati, when I was cooking with Val, back in September. Amongst the other things we made, chapati was one of them. (We actually made paratha, but I was not confident enough in my paratha-making skills, to post that recipe. Chapati is made with the same dough used for paratha.) Then, just last week, Jill was hosting a Kenyan dinner, for her student group Watumishi (which means "people of service" in Swahili). On the menu, was chapati! I was so excited when I realized this common bread, and was excited to be able to contribute to her meal. With some research, I learned that many Indian foods are similar to Kenyan foods. Since that dinner, we have made many, many batches of chapati. I am finally confident in sharing the recipe with you and I hope that you too, can enjoy the warmth and delight that comes from a good homemade chapati!

About 2 cups of flour (chapati flour is great, and is available at your local Indian grocer, but if you don't have it on hand, whole wheat flour works wonders!)
About 8 ounces of water
About 2 tablespoons of olive oil
About 1 teaspoon of salt

(In case you can't tell, this is a recipe that doesn't require too much thought. In fact, measurements are unimportant!)
1. In a bowl, place flour in the center, and make a crater in the middle. Then, sprinkle salt in the middle and add the olive oil. Then, add some water and using your finger tips, swivel your fingers to incorporate the water into the flour. Continue to add water until you have incorporated all of the flour and the dough is not too sticky. Knead until it is smooth.

2. Let the dough sit for about a half hour. Then, separate into tennis ball sized portions. Roll until each portion is about one eighth of an inch thick. Place in a heated skillet, ungreased. Heat over low heat, turning about four times, until the chapati is cooked through. When the dough is done cooking, the chapati will be lighter in color, and browned on some spots. Also, a really good chapati will fill with air like a balloon on the stove! (When this happens, you will know and probably get really excited, like we did!)

This recipe is so simple, but definitely takes some getting used to. Try it a few times, and I am confident that you will figure it out for yourself. I hope you love it! And try pairing it with this little delight:
Baba Ganoush
1 eggplant
Olive oil
2 tablespoons of tahini
1 clove of garlic
Salt to taste
(Parsley, if you have it! If not, don't sweat it, it's still great!)

1. Cut the egg plant length-wise into fourths. Then arrange so the flesh is facing down in an oven proof dish and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven on broil for about 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Cook until the eggplant is cooked evenly, and mushy.

2. Scoop the insides out of the eggplant, and place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth.

ENJOY! Two simple recipes that are so tasty and quick. Sure to be a hit at your next potluck.

Happy cooking!

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