Speaking of 660 Curries (I never seem to shut up about it, do I), I recently tried a recipe from the back of the book, where he puts the curry accompaniments. It was a basic chapati, or roti, recipe, but with the addition of fenugreek leaves. These are one of those specialty items that we bought some time ago but then seldom used, so I was thrilled to find something new to do with them. And I was startled at how good it was – the leaves perfume the chapatis with a fresh green scent, and also seem to make the dough softer and better to eat. Amazing. I make chapatis all the time, but this variation is going to become part of the regular rotation.
I don’t measure too carefully when I make chapati. To make breads for the two of us (about 6 small chapati) I generally use about a half cup of whole wheat flour, a half cup of all-purpose, a pinch of salt, and maybe half a cup of warm water, then adjust with more flour or water as necessary to make a smooth dough. For the fenugreek breads, I added 1/4 cup of dried fenugreek leaves, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes then drained before mixing into the dough. If I had fresh or frozen leaves (which I’ve never seen anywhere), then it would have been half a cup of chopped leaves. I kneaded the dough for a bit, rolled it into a ball and let it rest about half an hour under its mixing bowl.
When the rest of the dinner was ready, I cut the dough into six pieces, rolled them out into thin circles, plopped them onto a hot griddle, turning once, then put them directly onto a gas flame to poof them up. We usually just cook them entirely on the griddle, but since I had a spare burner available I thought I’d try the direct-on-flame approach, and it worked really well. So often when we cook Indian food, though, every burner is in use, so this may not happen again soon.
The breads rested in a basket lined with a clean dishtowel while we set the table, and were perfectly soft and chewy. It was difficult not to overeat. Plus the house smelled wonderfully of fenugreek all evening.