Another recipe purloined from Dan ‘Pour some sugar on me’ Lepard, which was in turn of other provenance, but such is cooking, dishes are passed from one to another and in doing so they evolve. Talking of Darwin, he was 200 the other day you know and Google honoured this on their homepage. I wonder how many deluded creationists boiled with rage when they turned to the Internet that day. Anyway, lentil-stuffed flatbreads to go with a lemon dhal, but equally adept at bedding down with a simple raita and assorted spicy chutneys.
Preparation time: 1 hour plus resting time overnight/8 hours
Cooking time: 10 minutes x 2
Skill level: easy, though multi-tiered
- strong white flour – 350g
- bicarbonate of soda – 1 tsp
- salt – Â½ tsp
- sunflower oil – 50ml
- milk and water – 250ml (half n half)
For the dhal
- red lentils – 150g
- clove of garlic – 1 – crushed
- turmeric – 1 tsp
- ground coriander – 2 tsp
- ground cumin – 3 tsp
- salt – Â½ tsp
First the dough. Mix the flour, bicarb and salt in a bowl, then add the oil and milk. Stir together, cover and leave overnight at room temperature.
An hour or so before you want to eat, boil the lentils and garlic in water for 10 minutes, then drain in a sieve. Turn on to a sheet of muslin or a tea towel, wring out excess water. Tip the lentils in to a bowl and stir in the spices and salt. Leave to one side until cold.
The almost there stage. Dust your hands and the worksurface with an abundance of flour and then cut the dough into 50g pieces. Flatten each piece with the palm of your hand. Take a spoonful of lentils (20g or so) and squeeze into a ball, then place in the middle of a piece of dough and fold the dough around it, pasty-like. Dab the edges with water and pinch to seal. Pat the dough into a circular shape and flatten with your hands, then roll till thin, making sure that the lentil contents are spread as evenly and widely as possible. Heat to very hot a large frying pan, lay in a flatbread and cook for a minute each side, or until colouring. Set aside, cover with foil, and repeat to fade.
Verdict: It has a nice bite, quite dry, hence the need for sauces, but works very well with lemon dhal, especially when wrapped round a big dollop thereof.
Drink: An interesting beer purchased in West Yorkshire from a small local brewery. Bizarrely it tasted far nicer when served at home than when drunk in a pub down the road from the brewery.
Entertainment: Dara O’Briain, new comedy hero, not the man who reads a script and says um a lot on Mock the Week, but the incredibly funny bloke who appeared at the atheist Christmas show at the Hammersmith Apollo in December and whose dvd we subsequently rented and enjoyed.