Freshly Ground Wheat Berry Flatbread – Gehun Phulka

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 Lord Krishna’s Cuisine – The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking 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.

Phulka

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 The Cooking 4 All Seasons.

Gehun Phulka (yields about 20 medium phulkas)

Ingredients

Wheat 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 needed

Extra whole wheat flour for dusting
Oil or ghee for brushing on top

Method

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

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.

Undhiyu

Gehun phulka served with Nupur's Undhiyu

I served mine with Undhiyu, 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. Tried and Tested features One Hot Stove this month.

30 comments:

Srivalli said...

Thats a lovely entry Suganya..thank you very much!

Nags said...

gosh! u made the flour from scratch! and i fuss about making rotis with store-bought atta. maybe its the south indian in me, but i feel rotis are more work than dosa :D

Nupur said...

That is as "whole wheat" as parathas can get! What a wonderful meal, Suganya.
I was so excited the minute you entered the food blog world- this blog is outstanding and I have been a fan from day one :)
Undhiyu remains one of my favorite recipes of all time. I sometimes throw all the stuffed vegetables on a baking sheet and bake/broil them for an even better taste. I must update the post with that variation! Thank you for trying the recipe, dear Suganya.

Aparna said...

I would have also thought the rotis would be a bit tough. Nice to not otherwise. A great way of increasing the amount of fibre.

Laavanya said...

I've made Nupur's Undhiyu too and loved it... The rotis do look very rustic.

Trupti said...

hey suganya, nice entry.This is new to me thanks for sharing this recipe.

Shri said...

Very healthy and delicious dish.Thanks for sharing

ms said...

Rotis from home ground wheat berries- wow!( insert sound of jaw dropping :)). Ive used Yamuna devis book before and I really liked her emphasis on regional cusines of India.

Vanamala said...

fantastic recipe..lovely pics

bee said...

that is so cool. i have wheat berries. even better would be to sprout and dry them and then grind them. i thought i had ADD and couldn't tolerate picture-less cookbooks until i found raghavan's.

skribles said...

this gehun phulka with ground wheat in it sounds interesting and healthy too! Nice one.

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

beautiful pictures, they are mak\-ing me crave the phulkas!!! great entries Suganya! its great that u are patient enough to start with whole wheat berries!

Mansi Desai said...

I agree with you Sugs! the cookbooks without the glossy pics have the best home-made and authentic recipes ever! another gem like that is Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking...check it out when you have osme time:)

the undhiyu and roti look fab! and kudos to you for grinding it at home!!

Uma said...

delicious rotis!

Suma Rajesh said...

this is a soo unique recipe....i luved it...

Roopa said...

That looks real good!! You made wheat flour at home! Thats very authentic:) Very good entry for the mela too !

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

you actually made the flour yourself??!!?!!?thats gr8!!!! Love the pictures

Lisa said...

I would probably say Lord Krishna's Cuisine is my most treasured cookbook. You may have noticed I cook from it often, and I have on occasion written miniature reviews. In fact, it was my introduction to Indian cookery and I've not turned back since. I enjoy all of Ms. Devi's cookbooks, but none quite compare to Lord Krishna's Cuisine.

This lovely recipe I have not tried - yet.

Siri said...

I must admit to the fact that I tend to get attracted to the lovely, glossy pics on many cookboks, until recently!.:)

the phulka look yummy Suganya!

Sailaja said...

Lovely pictures and delicious recipe

Swati Raman Garg said...

tooo good .. i love gehun phulka...
and did i ever tell u suganya.. i lvoe ur pics...

Asha said...

I jhave that book too, amazing a white lady comes out with so many authentic Indian dishes! Lovely Phlka. I saw some whole wheat (Gehun) at the store, but didn't buy since I don't have a flour mill. Good one Suganya!:)

Jyothsna said...

You made bread from scratch!!! Wow!!

Jeena said...

Wow this is amazing! Good on you ! :-D

Cynthia said...

Your blog is such a visual treat, much like the books that attract us, the difference is that your posts have the goods to back up the gorgeous pics. I've just been catching up on the stuff I've missed.

zlamushka said...

Suganya, this is a great contribution. I love food that takes forever to prepare, tastes somehow better.... Thank you very much for the contribution, Nupur will surely love it.

Susan said...

It's really amazing how different grain techniques produce beautiful results. I would have expected the bread to be less soft, too. It's a lovely complement to Nupur's enticing recipe.

Kalai said...

Gorgeous phulkas! Curry looks delicious, too! :)

Ramki said...

The effort that has gone in is prodigious ! It is a pity phulkas are not cooked like this in many kitchens.

Nirmala said...

what are some of the varieties of gehun we get in India? Anybody know names?

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