Thursday, September 5, 2013

This is a very traditional and ancestral bread prepared for several decades in my family. It is served with boneless mutton khurma and yogurt with sugar. There is a bit of religious history behind this recipe and it is prepared in a particular quantity and served in a gathering during auspicious occasions or when something you had desired has fulfilled. One very small piece of bone is left in the meat and whoever gets it has to repeat the ritual by cooking the bread in a desired ratio of the quantity and invite a gathering. It is called 'sehman fatiha'.

I love this roti. It is so rich and tasty. Khameer actually means natural yeast. Flour was mixed with sour yogurt, sugar and some fennel powder and stored in airtight container for several hours to turn it into a yeast starter. Even potatoes were used with sugar and flour to prepare an yeast starter. These days instant yeast and active dry yeast are easy substitutes.

Here is the recipe..

Makes 8 rotis

Ingredients :
Wheat flour - 2 cups
Almonds - 15
Instant Yeast - 1 teaspoon
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt as per taste
Ghee - 1 tablespoon + additional
Warm milk as required
Saffron - 4 strands
oil for deep frying

Method :
1. Soak almonds over night in water. In the morning peel the skin and grind it to a smooth paste using some milk. Keep it aside.
2. In a small bowl soak saffron strands in 1 tablespoon of warm milk.
3. In a mixing bowl add wheat flour,  yeast, sugar, salt and mix well.
4. Dissolve the soaked saffron strands in the milk.
5. Add ghee, almond paste, dissolved saffron milk to the flour and start kneading.
6. Add warm milk and knead to a soft but stiff dough. Knead well for 8-10 minutes.
7. Apply some ghee on the dough using your fingers, cover with cling wrap or a cloth and let it rise for an hour or till it doubles in a warm spot.
8. Punch down the air and knead the dough for a minute.
9. Divide the dough into 8 balls of equal size.
10. Roll one ball at a time into a disc by dusting some wheat flour. Do not roll it too thin. It should be of the thickness of 2 chapattis or thicker if desired.
11. Roll all the rotis similarly.
12. Heat oil for deep frying.
13. Deep fry the rotis one at a time on medium flame till cooked and golden in colour on both sides.
14. Drain from oil and place on kitchen towels.
15. Fry all the rotis similarly.
16. Best served warm but can also be served cold.

Enjoy khameer ki roti.

This roti tastes best when deep fried but can also be cooked on a tawa by spraying some oil.

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