Living Fajita Loca

August 19, 2009 at 7:00 am 6 comments

That's it after 2.5 hours?

That's it after 2.5 hours?

I know what you’re thinking … that I only made fajitas because I wanted to use this title for a blog post. (You’re right — but can you blame me?!)

But more importantly, this 2.5 hour cooking marathon was an attempt to conquer a food that has eluded me throughout my cooking career … the flatbread.

Me vs. Flatbreads: A battle of wills
The flatbread seems like it should be the simplest of all foods. But there are hardly any exact recipes — you have just have to feel it. For example, one roti recipe gives the tip that a good dough should “peel off your hand without sticking to it.” It took a lot of adding more flour, then more water, then more flour, to get my dough to stop feeling like Elmer’s glue (and no, I never enjoyed eating paste).

My mom actually recommends using a mixture of whole wheat flour (2/3) and regular flour (1/3) to give the bread some texture, while still making it easy to knead and bind (apparently 100% whole wheat flatbreads don’t stick together as well). For me, though, the toughest part is actually rolling out dough into something that even remotely resembles a circle. Sadly, no shortcuts on that one — it just takes practice.

Thanks to Jeff’s handy rolling pin skills and my brother Mohit’s keen taste-testing abilities, I think we were actually able to turn out a fairly decent flatbread for our first serious attempt. Was it cheap? Yes. Fun? Absolutely. Will I continue to make flatbreads from scratch once this experiment is over? Well, it depends on how much practice I get. Not if it takes this long…

My amoeba-shaped flatbread

My amoeba-shaped flatbread

The Strangest Tortilla in the World
If you’re thinking that this flatbread is awfully strange looking for a tortilla, it’s because I didn’t follow traditional corn tortilla recipes. I actally realized that certain varietes of flour tortillas are almost identical to the Indian roti, with slight variations in preparation. So I decided to stick to what I know, and the results were delicious.

I served this roti/tortilla hybrid with avocado slices, beans (soaked the night before & prepared in a pressure cooker), sauteed peppers & onions, and a mango salsa (I recommend trying to get your hands on some Alphonso mangoes from India before the season ends).

It’s enough to make your head spin. Talk about living fajita loca…


Entry filed under: Bread, Indian Food, Mexican Food, Preparation. Tags: , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. David Mummy  |  August 20, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Great title – clearly a work of a genius. Plus, delicious looking flat-bread.

  • 2. shiwanis  |  August 20, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks! I can tell the character of a person by their appreciation for good food puns 🙂

  • 3. Phelps  |  August 20, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I’m sure those flatbread / rotis are delicious no matter their exterior shape! Great posting!

  • 4. stanley  |  August 20, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Your tortillas make me sad inside.

  • 5. kuang  |  August 26, 2009 at 4:01 am

    your tortilla is like the chapati i make here.

    i chop up cabbage and onion and make an omlet/scramble, lay it on top, and roll it up.

    they call them “rolex”; sell these for breakfast / post-club for $.25.

    • 6. shiwanis  |  August 26, 2009 at 10:03 am

      That sounds lovely! And I should confess that my tortilla was pretty much based on the Indian chapati. I should get some tips from you when you get back from Africa … you’ll be a pro by then.


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