The bread I'm talking about is called Baati and is a specialty of the state of Rajastan. Translated, Rajasthan means The Land of the Kings, and the people of the region were renowned for their warrior skills and chivalry. What can you say about a bread that was traditionally made by some of the fiercest warriors of the sub-continent and left to bake under desert sands all day with a marker to guide them back to bread deliciousness when all the conquering was done? Nifty? Ingenious? Try On the Menu! These guys were not just Kings of Rajasthan. To me they were the Kings of Make-Ahead which of course is one of my favorite lands.
|Maharana Pratep Singh 16th Century Ruler of Rajahstan|
Baati is traditionally served with dal, but it can also accompany other curry dishes and sometimes is even stuffed like a samosa for a hearty complete meal. The Baati I made was just a simple bread, and once the dough is set can be popped in the oven on a baking sheet with very little effort.
Baati, Indian Bread
Here's what to do:
This recipe makes about 16 Baati, they're small but full of ghee so you may want to halve this amount.
In a large bowl sift together
4 cups of chapatti flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
When the water is all mixed in, knead the mixture into a nice soft dough.
Now for the fun part (the ghee!)
Take the cloth off of the dough and gradually drizzle into it 1/3 cup of melted clarified butter or ghee.
Knead it in well.
Now the dough is ready to be shaped. Divide the dough into 16 small balls and place them on a greased baking sheet.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Flatten each ball slightly, cover them and keep 'em aside till you're ready to bake.
Did they work on the table? Yes they did. Would I make them again, absolutely! In fact I can't wait to serve them, this time as part of the traditional Rajasthani Dal Baati Churma meal. Because everybody needs some Baati sometime. Sorry, I just couldn't help myself.