Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spicy Loli - Breakfast Flatbread #BreadBakers

Spicy and savory, flakey and rich, loli is a traditional breakfast in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It's tasty, quick to make and goes perfectly with a cup of hot sweet tea.

More akin to shortcrust than more traditional roti where gluten is developed by kneading, loli dough is made quickly, adding fat to the well-spiced flour, then just enough hot water to make it come together.

Our host for Bread Bakers, Anshie from SpiceRoots challenged us this month to share griddle breads and just with that one word, griddle, my head began to spin. A few years ago, I was reading a great book on bread, Going with the Grain - A Wandering Bread Lover Takes a Bite Out of Life by Susan Seligson, (<Amazon affiliate link) and I could only nod in agreement as the author discussed all the ancient ways that bread making sustains civilizations, whether cooked over hot coals in the desert or the communal brick ovens of northern Africa and Europe, both centuries ago and now. Every indigenous community seems to have its own flat or griddle bread, some more than one. If you are a fan of food memoirs and bread, I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

A quick Google search revealed that Ms. Seligson is indeed correct about the myriad breads, especially griddle and flatbreads since they are the easiest to make at home or in rudimentary kitchens without proper ovens, even outdoors. I was intrigued by loli, sometimes called koki, because it is savory and considered a breakfast bread in its native Sindh. I’m all about a savory breakfast. Another quick search brought me to this recipe on The Odd Pantry, which I’ve adapted to share here.

Thanks to our host, Anshie, for this excellent challenge and also for her advice on loli, specifically 1. make sure the chapatti atta says 100 percent on it and 2. do use ghee; it’s not the same with just oil.

This recipe is quick, easy and makes only two side plate sized flatbreads, perfect for your breakfast any day.

Ingredients
1/2 small purple onion
1 spicy red chili pepper
Good handful cilantro leaves
3/4 cup or 90g chapatti atta (100%) or whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter, plus extra for spreading on the loli while cooking
2-3 tablespoons hot water

Method 
Finely chop your onion and mince your chili pepper. Chop the cilantro.

Add the seasonings to the flour in a large mixing bowl, along with the salt.

Mix well making sure to separate the bits of onion and pepper, coating them with flour. Add in the two tablespoons of ghee.

Use a fork or your fingers to mix it into the flour, rather like you are making piecrust, until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.



Add in two tablespoons of hot water and mix again till it just starts hanging together. Add a little more hot water, if necessary, if it’s still too dry to form a ball.

Form the dough – no kneading, remember – into two balls.



Roll or press them out with your hands, one at a time, into rough circles. I found that mine stayed together better on the griddle if I pushed in on the sides after pressing the dough out, to sort of even out the edges. Tiny bits tried to fall off the first one as I turned, but the second loli was perfect.

Very lightly score the dough circles with a sharp knife.



Transfer the first dough circle onto your hot griddle and cook it for one minute. I put it scored side down on the griddle, to help it cook through.



Carefully turn it over with a big spatula and spread the top with some ghee. Cook for a minute on that side.




Turn it over once more and spread a little ghee on the other side. Cook for another 30 seconds to one minute or until it’s golden on both sides. You can turn it again, if you need to.

Repeat the same steps with the second dough ball. You now have two loli flatbreads to enjoy with a cup of hot sweet tea, which is their traditional accompaniment in a Sindhi breakfast.

Enjoy!



Are you a fan of griddle breads? Check out all the other regional specialties the Bread Bakers have for you today!
BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send me an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

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