Hand-held seasonal food fun – Deliciously spiced dal, with winter greens & cauliflower, given a grating of strong cheddar (we used a local, raw, grassfed one) wrapped up cosily in satisfyingly layered & buttery paratha-style flatbreads. Raising friendly ghosts and scents of Indian streets & steaming chai.
In winter we need bolstering food, extra nourishment & good fats, so these are brimful of veg, pulse & warming spice & we are not sparing the organic, grass-fed butter. These are great breads for speedy breakfasts & little lunchboxes too. We make ours with our sourdough starter but the method does not change if you sub in dried active yeast. A great winter go-to if you’re passionate about the local & seasonal as we are.
These are for picnicking & communing, to be shared and enjoyed. Pot (or flask) of masala chai essential.
For the paratha-style flatbreads:
- 300g of plain flour from wheat or spelt
- 100g of whole flour from wheat, spelt, rye or khorosan
- Sea salt
- 2 tsps of nigella seeds
- 80g Organic, grass-fed butter
- 1 tablespoon sourdough starter / 2 tsp of active yeast
For the filling:
- 3 spilling handfuls of speckled, brown or puy lentils - soaked overnight & cooked in boiling water
- 1/2 a head of cauliflower chopped up finely
- 2 cloves of garlic - minced
- 1 large onion - finely chopped
- A handful of fresh coriander
- 1/2 tsp each of fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds & mustard seeds
- A handful of winter greens from seasonal cabbage, sprout-tops, spinach or 'spring greens'
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp of turmeric
- 3/4 tsp of chilli powder
- ghee or coconut oil for frying
- A nugget of strong cheddar - ideally unpasteurised, organic & local
- 1 To make the bread combine your flours in a mixing bowl with a good pinch of salt, the nigella seeds & yeast or sourdough starter.
- 2 Melt the butter in a small pan and add about half to the bread dough. Add warm water to bring the dough together and combine with a spoon. Turn out onto a well floured board and knead for about 6 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy. Return to the bowl, cover & leave in a warm spot for an hour or two.
- 3 After at least an hour return your dough to your floured board. Roll out a fist sized ball of dough into a circle about 1/2 cm thin. Brush the surface with melted butter. Fold in half and brush again & fold and brush once more. Roll out the folded dough to the same thickness.
- 4 Heat a wide, dry frying pan or skillet on the hob until smoking. Carefully place your flatbread in the pan and cook until puffed & coloured, turn and colour the other side. Repeat these two steps until your dough is used up and you have a suitable stack of soft, buttery flatbreads.
- 5 For the filling add your cauliflower to the hot dry pan and turn until they take on a little char. Add a tablespoon of ghee and your onion and whole spices and stir until your onion is soft & translucent. Add your ground spices.
- 6 Add your cooked lentils, garlic & greens & season well with salt & black pepper. Fry until the lentils start to come apart a little, like refried beans.
- 7 Add a good handful of chopped coriander & and pile on your warm breads with a good grating of your cheese. Tuck in the bottom, roll into a wrap & serve hot & handy