I still have to meet the first person who doesn’t like chapatis. I mean, what’s not to like? The soft gooey texture is insanely satisfying and it is the perfect edible utensil to sop up all those delicious curry flavours.
99% of the people on this planet -too consumed with social networking and making a career- just microwave a store-bought packet of chapatis or order some Indian take-away. There is nothing wrong with that –I mean, you have the right to have a life!- and those vacuumed chapatis will still give you that satisfying indulgence of sopping up gravy…
But dear readers and fellow food lovers, if you ever want to experience the full chapati experience, you have to make them yourself! And before you start screaming in total fear of the daunting process of having to transform your kitchen into a flour-exploded palace, remember this: making chapatis is dead easy. And it does not make a mess at all!
Making your own chapatis is not only incredibly gratifying, it also gives you the opportunity to experiment and add flavours to the dough that you normally wouldn’t find in a store-bought stodgy packet of chapatis. (At least not in my supermarket.) I added some finely chopped chillies and lime zest to give the already splendid chapatis a zingy and spicy dimension. But other great flavour combinations would be: coriander and mint, turmeric and nigella seeds, desiccated coconut and green chillies,… The possibilities are endless so have fun with it!
When you make chapatis, you of course need something to sop them in: a good curry. This vegetarian curry was the best I ever made. Even my brother, who normally hates all things meat-free, loved it! What makes this curry so special is the truffle potatoes, which have an exuberantly purple colour. It is absolutely fine to use regular potatoes are sweet potatoes, but I saw these purple beauties in my supermarket and I just had to buy them! Other ingredients in this curry are chickpeas, Chinese cabbage and red pepper. And loads of spices of course.
Lime and Chili Chapatis
Ingredients (makes 6):
- 250gr strong white flour
- 160ml water
- 20ml olive oil
- 5gr salt
- 2 chillies, finely chopped
- Zest of one lime
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth.
- Put the dough into an oiled bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into equal pieces. Roll each one into a thin disc, about 20cm in diameter.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When the pan is hotter than hot, cook the chapatis, one at a time, for 1-2 minutes on each side until browned and somewhat bubbly.
For the curry paste:
- 1 large onion
- 3 cm piece of fresh ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 large chillies
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 2 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp cinnamon
For the vegetables:
- Approx. 5 truffel potatoes (or regular potatoes or 3 sweet potatoes), diced
- ½ Chinese cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 500ml tomato passata
- 500ml coconut milk
- 2 heaped tbsp. of garam massala
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- Juice of a lime
- Lots of fresh coriander
- Mix all the ingredients for the curry paste together in a blender. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil or ghee in a large pot and sauté the paste until it starts to smell heavenly.
- Add the diced potatoes and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato passata and coconut milk and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage, peppers, garam masala and fish sauce and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes until everything is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the chickpeas and finish with some lime juice.
- Sprinkle on some fresh coriander.
- Sop away with your chapati!