This month’s challenge has been hosted by Magpie’s Recipes for The Kerala Kitchen and she challenged us to make Chatti Pathiri which is a speciality amongst the Muslim and the Christian community in Kerala but enjoyed by all nonetheless. When I took up the challenge I was faintly confident that I would pull through since I was in Bahrain back then. I had my oven at my disposal and in my mind, the pathiri’s were sorted out. But due to unexpected circumstances I had to travel down to my mum’s place in Cochin and as the month end drew nearer, I felt my confidence fade fast. There was no oven and if at all I had to participate, I had to somehow manage with the stove top. I kept procrastinating till my mum herself pushed me to take up the cudgels, in this case the plain flour and the roller pin.
Within this challenge, I had one more personal challenge. My parents are strict vegetarians ( dad doesn’t even eat eggs) and while the recipes called for either egg or mince meat in the filling, I was faced with the prospect of giving up altogether. It was when I went grocery shopping with my parents, did it strike me that I could easily do my version of the whole thing. My eyes chanced upon the condensed milk tin and I knew I had my own recipe in the offing.
I quickly got onto a shopping spree and stuffed my basket with condensed milk, coconut, black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, assorted dried fruits and raisins. Essentially I followed shab’s recipe and decided on the sweet version of this delectable delight. I wouldn’t say that this Baklava – like treat is entirely easy but it isn’t overtly difficult as well. It is pretty much do-able and the results are stunning. My parents savoured every bit of it and later that night I overheard my dad praising it to the skies to my brother over the phone. That really meant something. It was a clear indicator that chatti pathiri had won a few hearts here for sure.
The Recipe for Chatti Pathiri
For the Pathiris:
1 cup (150 g) Plain flour
1/3 cup warm water
1 tbs vegetable oil
salt to taste
For the filling:
half a tin of condensed milk (I used nestle’s milk maid)
4 tbsp black sesame seeds
7 tbsp Grated coconut
3 tbs (30 gm) Raisins
3 tbs (30 gm ) Cashew nuts(Chopped finely)
3 tbsp almonds (chopped finely)
4 tbsp Poppy seeds
3 tbsp cardamom powder
1 cup atleast or even more of coconut milk ( I used the powdered variety that can be done to milk by adding hot water to it)
5 tbsp mix of Cardamom powder and powdered sugar
2 tsp Ghee
For the Pathiris
1. Mix the flour with water, oil and salt and knead into a dough like that of chappati. Keep it covered for half an hour.
2. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions.Using a roller pin, roll it out into paper-thin chappaties/round flat bread of uniform size(6 Inches inches diameter) on a dusted flour board.
3.Heat a griddle and cook the chappatis/round flat bread lightly on a tawa. Keep them aside.You should be able to get 8 chappathis with this amount.
Note:You can vary the size of the chappati /round flat bread depending on the size of the pathiri chatti or the vessel in which you are baking it.
For the filling:
1. Heat a Large frying pan.Add ghee and saute raisins, cashew nuts, poppy seeds, almonds, sesame seeds till seem a little golden brown . Then saute grated coconut along with cardamom powder until they start to change the colour slightly.
2. Mix the above with half a tin of condensed milk and keep aside. Taste to check the level of sweetness. Add more condensed milk if required.
For the coating and the assembling.
1. For coating, make the coconut milk from the coconut powder. If you already have ready-made coconut milk, that’s awesome. Add to this, cardamom powder and powdered sugar and keep aside.
2. Take a non-stick baking tray, or a deep skillet and spread couple of tsps oil or ghee / clarified butter all around.
3. Keep one pathiri/flat bread as the first layer. Using a spoon sprinkle the nut mix filling on top of the pathiri/flat bread.
4. Dip the second chappathi/flat bread in the coconut milk mixture, coat well and place it on top of the filling.
5. Sprinkle the condensed milk -nut mixture again and repeat this until all the pathiris, the coconut milk mix and the nut mixture is used up and pathiri being the top layer. Pour the remaining coconut milk mixture on top of pathiri (a generous amount) so that it drains on all the gaps on sides and form a thin layer on top. This is important to keep the Chatti Pathiri moist. If you run out of the coconut milk mixture after coating, make more and mix with sufficient sugar and cardamom and pour on top.
6. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until the top of pathiri turns golden. Alternately you can do what I did, which is to cook it on a stove top in a non stick deep skillet or deep pan. All you have to do is to place it at a very low flame and flip it carefully to cook on the other side. According to me, herein lies the test and I passed it with flying colours. Flipping of such a heavy set block of flat breads with filling is a mean feat. The flipping becomes a bit easy when the lowest layer of flat bread/pathiri is a little hard. When both the sides have cooked well, it is easy to slide it out of the pan into the serving plate.
7. After it cooled down a little, I drizzled it with some more condensed milk and decorated it with pitted cherries.
I was more than happy with the end result and it tastes absolutely fantastic. I have already decided to try it once again but with whole wheat flour and with a different filling. Thank you Rose of Magpiesrecipes for hosting this challenge. I really enjoyed the whole experience.