October 10, 2010

Avarekai Akki Roti/ South Indian flat bread


Avarekai Akki Rotti (Green kidney bean with rice flat bread) is one of my favorite breakfasts mom would make. She was a multifaceted lady, cooking one of her many talents. Moving away thousands of miles from her, and living on foreign land, her cooking was what I missed second after her. 

Avarekai ( in kannada ), or Surti Papdi kidney beans as it is known to us in the US Indian stores, can be found in the freezer section.

Back home, especially in Bangalore, India, there is no way you can miss this season, usualy in winter, the roads are filled with vendors sitting by the roadside with heaps and heaps of these beans, fresh picked from the farms, and sold as whole bean pods, or peeled, now even de-skinned. The smell is intoxitating, and people try to use it in all their dishes, breakfast, curries, kheer, fried to a snack, you name it, the innovation is endless.  
I will try to show you how to make Akki  Rotti (rice flat bread) from it. This is an all time favorite breakfast of the Karnataka people.

What you will need:
1cup Akki hittu ( Finely ground rice flour )
1cup Avrekai beans boiled ( Take a handful of frozen or fresh, peeled beans, bring it to a boil with a little salt, drain and set aside.)
1cup finely chopped scallions and greens ( dill, cilantro )--Optional
1 medium sized onion chopped thin and lengthwise,
1 carrot grated, 1/4 inch ginger grated--Optional
1/2cup grated fresh/dry coconut--Optional
2tsp Coarse red pepper flakes with seeds
1tsp salt




    Add it all together in a large bowl, mix it well with your hand. Now add hot water and knead gently, till it forms a soft dough consistency. (The softer the dough, the smoother will it be to chew)

    This is how the dough should look, once its kneaded.
    Now, take a large lemon sized dough, place it on a greased paper, flatten it out with your hands. ( You may also put a top layer of plastic and roll it with a rolling pin, if you find it easier)




    I use 2 thick sheets of tissue paper that's well soaked and partially squeezed. You may use banana leaf, waxed paper, or Ziploc sheets.


    Use a flat nonstick pan or regular flatbread fry pan, I prep the pan surface this way. Heat the pan on medium to a smoking consistency, wipe it with half a shallot dipped in oil, this gives a nonstick coating, the old fashioned way :-)

    Turn the flattened rotti, face down on the pan and pat down gently. Carefully peel out the paper holding one edge. Let it cook on medium heat. You may add a little oil or butter to the edges. ( Remember, when using a plastic paper, peel the rotti on to yoru hand and very carefully place your hand, face down on the pan, Dont burn your hand, it needs practice, safe bet, use paper or greased paper! ) Lift the edges a bit to see the color, if its golden brown, flip it to the other side, carefully and gently.
    Let it cook the same way on the other side too. That's it, flip it on to a plate now. If you flip it too many times on the fry pan, it might tear.
    This goes great, when served with cilantro chutney or mint chutney and a tiny dollop of butter! Yum!