3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
tablespoons melted ghee or butter
1 cup lukewarm water, or a little more
cup ghee or vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon minced ginger or ginger mashed to a paste
1 cup (about 1/2 pound) coarsely chopped boneless chicken thighs, beef or pork
1 dried red chile or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
generous grinding of black pepper
Place the flour and salt in a bowl or in a food processor.
If working by hand, add the melted ghee or butter and
blend into the flour, then add 1 cup lukewarm water.
Stir with your hand or with a wooden spoon to blend
the water into the flour; if the dough seems stiff,
add a little more water. Turn out onto a lightly floured
surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until very smooth
and elastic. If using the food processor, with the machine
running, add the ghee or butter through the feed tube,
then add 1 cup water. A ball of dough should form; if
it doesn't, add up to another 1/4 cup water. When a
ball of dough forms, process for another 15 or 20 seconds,
then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface
and knead for about a minute, until smooth.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for
30 minutes to 2 hours, whatever is more convenient.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Heat the oil in a wok
or karhai or a large heavy skillet over medium-high
heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring frequently,
until the onion is well softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add
the meat, the chile or cayenne, coriander, salt, and
pepper and stir-fry, breaking up any lumps in the meat,
until it is browned and cooked through. Taste and adjust
the seasoning if necessary. Remove and discard the chile
if you used one. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into
sixteen pieces. Flatten each piece a little, turning
it over to flour it on both sides. Leaving the other
pieces lightly covered, roll two pieces out to 7-inch
rounds. Spread a generous 2 tablespoons filling on one
bread, leaving a 1-inch margin all round. Place the
other bread on top and pinch and roll the edges closed
all around between your thumb and forefinger, to make
a sealed fluted edge. Flatten gently under the palm
of your hand.
Place a heavy skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
Add about 2 teaspoons ghee or oil and spread it over
the surface with a spatula. Lower the heat a little.
Place the bread top-side down in the skillet, and cook
for 1 minute. Turn over and cook on the second side
until golden brown, then turn back to the first side
to cook until well browned. While the first bread is
cooking, roll out two more rounds, fill, and shape.
Remove the first bread from the skillet and serve hot,
or wrap in a cotton cloth to keep warm. Grease the skillet
again with about 1 teaspoon ghee or oil and cook the
Serve for lunch, with a bowl of soup or dal, and accompanied
by salad or wilted greens.
Ease of preparation: Moderate
Preparation time: 15 min plus time
Cook time: 15 min
Servings: makes 8 breads