The April Daring Cooks Challenge was brought to us by Joanna from What’s On The List. She taught us all about Pathiri and challenged us to create our own version of this inspirational Indian dish!
This isn’t something I’d normally have a go at, but I was really glad I did. It was totally delicious – loved the spices and the delectable nutty aroma of ghee. There’s quite a lengthy method involved, plus a long list of ingredients, but in practice it’s not overwhelming at all. You can, for instance, do the pancakes one day, freeze them, then do the remainder of the dish another day.
For the crepes:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) grape-seed oil or neutral-tasting oil
- 1 cup (4¼ oz) (120 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour, sifted
- pinch of salt
- oil for crepe pan
For the filling:
- 250 gm (9 oz) boneless chicken, suggest thighs
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon roasted curry powder (or Garam Masala)
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli paste
- 20 almonds, roasted, ground
- Handful of spinach leaves (I used a whole bag of baby spinach)
- 1 tablespoon (15 m) (½ oz) (15 gm) ghee
- 2 teaspoons ghee additional
- salt to taste
- 1-2/3 cup (400 ml) coconut milk
- 1/2 tablespoon coriander leaves
- For the crepes: In a jug or mixing bowl add vinegar to milk; allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- In a bowl (or larger jug), combine milk mixture with remaining ingredients; refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Heat pan coating pan lightly with oil; remove excess oil with paper towel. Pour batter to desired size; flip when edges start to lift. Place completed crepes on baking paper and layer. Put aside. If not proceeding with the recipe, you may like to freeze the crepes – just seal them in a Ziplock bag and thoroughly defrost them before using.
- For the filling: Cut chicken into bite size pieces and remove any excess fat. Place in a food processor and mince; set aside.
- Place almonds in a pan; roast under grill (broiler) for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted; remove. In a food processor or mini grinder, grind almonds until fine; set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, and roasted curry powder; set aside.
- In another small bowl, combine ginger paste, garlic paste and chilli paste; set aside.
- Prepare (i.e. dice) red onions; set aside.
- With all ingredients now prepared, heat a large fry pan on medium heat, then add 1 teaspoon ghee. Turn the temperature down a little and add ginger, garlic chilli paste; sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add red onions; sauté for about 5 minutes or until soft; move onions to one side of pan.
- Add in powdered spices to opposite side of pan; sauté for about 1 minute; combine with onions.
- Add chicken mince; sauté until brown.
- Add finely ground roasted almonds.
- Add a good handful of spinach; allow to wilt; approximately 3 minutes. Remove mixture from the heat; set aside until completely cool; about 30 – 40 minutes.
- Assembly: Melt two tablespoons of ghee and keep aside with a pastry brush.
- In a bowl, combine coconut milk and coriander leaves; set aside.
- In a cleaned 8-inch (20 cm) fry pan, heat pan over low heat, add 1 teaspoon of ghee until melted.
- With the pastry brush, coat both sides of the crepe with the coconut mixture; then use the second pastry brush to coat only one side with ghee. Place the coconut mixture only side face-down into the fry pan. (The side with the ghee should be facing up.)
- Add completely cooled chicken mixture; continue layering for as many layers as you choose to do or until mixture runs out.
- Add remaining coconut milk and coriander leaves mixture on top of the layered crepes (i.e. the pancake stack will be sitting in an inch or two of coconut milk).
- You have two methods to choose to complete the dish; continue on the stove top or place Chatti Pathiri in a preheated moderate oven 350°F/180°C, until all the coconut milk evaporates; you will notice the side starting to become dry.
- When all the coconut milk evaporates, remove from oven and flip from pan onto a plate to serve.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting