Good cookbooks meant glossy pages and eye-candy photos to me, in my earlier days of cooking. Lets admit, good pictures do make our heads turn. But, after a while, my infatuation over looks wore off. I took time to go through a book thoroughly, even if it contains just pages of recipes and techniques, before accepting or ignoring it.
One such unassuming, no-pictures cookbook I came across was by Yamuna Devi. This book is huge. Neatly divided into various sections like rice, breads, sweets, vegetables, chutneys, salads etc, this book is quite comprehensive. The thing I like the most about this book is, in addition to cooking with Indian vegetables, it also has simple ideas to cook with the Western produce. The other generic observation I made is the recipes are milder, meaning to say, they have been mellowed down to suit the western palette. In short, I feel this book deserves more recognition than it has now.
The recipe I chose to make is gehun phulka. Whole wheat berries are ground with additional flour and made into phulkas. Frankly, I didn’t expect them to turn soft, but I was glad to be wrong. They rolled out thin and even puffed up. I indulged a bit by slightly brushing them with ghee. Whole grain goodness with a touch of ghee, that’s rustic beauty. This is my entry for Roti Mela, organized by the energetic Srivalli at .Gehun Phulka (yields about 20 medium phulkas)IngredientsWheat berries – 1 cup
Whole wheat flour or atta – 3 cups
Curd – 3 tbsp
Skimmed milk – 2 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Water – a sprinkle, if neededExtra whole wheat flour for dusting
Oil or ghee for brushing on topMethod
Wash and soak the wheat berries for at least 10 and up to 24 hours. Transfer the berries with the soaking water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and dry berries on a clean kitchen towel. The berries can be prepared up to this stage and refrigerated in an airtight container for 4 days.
Wheat berries - raw, soaked and ground
The dough can be made in a food processor. Fit the steel blade and grind the wheat berries with ½ cup of whole wheat flour. The flour makes the grinding easy. Keep grinding until the berries are ground into a fine mixture. Add rest of the ingredients, except water, and pulse to form a dough. Transfer the mixture to a working surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until it forms a lightly loose and smooth dough. Sprinkle water if necessary.
If you are making the dough by hand, grind wheat berries separately with ½ cup of flour, transfer to a working surface, mix the rest of the ingredients as mentioned above.
The dough, initially, is not quite elastic. Also, with time, it absorbs water becoming tighter. So, add a little more water than it needs. Wrap and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
When ready, heat a griddle over medium heat. Pinch a walnut sized dough, dust in flour and roll it out into a thin round. Dust the dough in flour from time to time to prevent sticking. Transfer the rolled dough onto the hot griddle. When bubbles appear on the surface, flip to the other side. Cook for a minute , flip and cook for additional 30 seconds. The phulka should have light brown spots on both sides and will slightly puff up. Remove phulka from the hot griddle, lightly brush with ghee and transfer to a vessel lined with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with rest of the dough and keep the phulkas covered with the towel to keep them warm and soft.
Serve with your favorite curry. Wrap leftover phulkas in a piece of foil and freeze for later use.
I served mine with , courtesy of The One Hot Stove. Rightly named, this kitchen has never ceased to whip up delicious creations for more than three years now. The face behind the blog, Nupur, is such a warm being, and is one of my earliest friends in the blogging world. While I was overwhelmed during my earlier blogging days, she was right there to lend me a helping hand. If not for her gentle nudge, I wouldn’t be entering into DMBLGiT at all. Nupur, thank you for whom you are. Your friendship is dearly cherished by me.
Though a bit time consuming, undhiyu is very tasty and uses only those vegetables that are available in rural India. I have made this more than once, and having those darn tasty methi muthias doesn’t hurt either. Zlamushka at Spicy Kitchen invites bloggers to try out recipes from fellow bloggers. features this month.