ur family friend, Shoyeba aunty, can whip up some real good curries,biriyanis and pathiri's. She always made it a point that she sent some food home whenever I came back from hostel. It could be her special chicken fry or biriyani. Whatever it was, me and my li'l brother attack it without looking left or right.
During Ramadan, she sends us food almost every week.And the hightlight always have been 'Chatti Pathiri'. It intrigued me. When we cut into it, they were multiple layers of pancakes and meat filling. It was very aromatic. I could never figure out how she managed to make it so even.
So, I decided to ask her to teach me how to make it...and she obliged. When I saw her making it, it was one of the simplest things you could ever make! But the end result looks like you were slogging in the kitchen all day long.
I have made it many times already, and I can say I have mastered it. Whenever I serve it at dinner tables, I get a very very good feedback about it. I have heard people going 'mmmm' over it :-) It makes the cook and oh yes,the blogger in me very happy! There is nothing like making one of the simplest thing ever and getting such rave reviews over it.
You can bake it in a cake tin or cook them in a saucepan, like how I did. I love doing it that way!
About the name 'Malayalee's Lasagna' , it was a personal choice as this dish is our own, from the Malabar region of Kerala, India.
CHATTI PATHIRI / MALAYALEE'S LASAGNA
My own recipe
Prep Time: 10 mins Cooking Time :25 mins
For the filling:
Minced chicken/Boiled & shredded chicken- 500g
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Onions-2 big, chopped
Ginger - 1" piece
Garlic paste- 6-7 cloves
Green chillies- 4, or to taste
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves-1 bunch,chopped
Oil- 2 tbsp(preferably coconut oil for the authentic taste)
Ghee- 1 tsp
For the pancakes:
Flour/Maida- 2 c
Water- as needed
Salt- to taste.
Coconut milk- 400 ml ( I used canned coconut milk, so it was thick. You can use thin or thick milk)
Coriander leaves- 4 sprigs, chopped
Ghee/Clarified Butter- 2 tsp
For the filling:
- Cook the mince with coriander powder and salt till tender & all the water is evaporated.
- Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies together.
- Heat oil, add the onions and saute it till transparent. Add the ground paste and stir for a while.
- Add the cooked mince and mix well. Add in the powders and chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
- Check for salt.Drizzle the ghee, mix well.Keep aside.
For the pancakes:
- Whisk together the flour, salt , egg and enough water to make a smooth , not-so- thick batter.
- Line your work area with newspaper or parchment paper.
- Heat a flat bottomed pan, pour a ladle full of batter over it and make thin crepe/dosa/pancakes out of it.You can eyeball the diameter of the crepe to the tin/pan you will be layering it.It's perfectly OK to be a little big.
- Do not flip, just cook on one side.
- Transfer them to the newspaper/parchment paper so that they don't get a chance to stick to each other.
- Mix the coconut milk and coriander leaves together.
- Take a medium sized saucepan (8") or a cake tin of the same size and smear the bottom of the pan with 2 tsp of ghee .
- Take a crepe/dosa/pancake and dip it in the coconut milk ( don't dip for more than 2-3 seconds, as it wil get soggy and might rip off) and put in the pan.
- Put some filling over it. Cover it with another coconut milk-dipped crepe. Repeat till the crepes and filling is over. You can dot some ghee in between each layers too.
- Pour the remaining coconut milk over it. It may or maynot cover the whole assembly of pancakes.
- Put the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook till the coconut milk is absorbed.If you are baking, pre-heat the oven to 180C and bake till the coconut milk is absorbed.(You will clearly see that the edges have become dry, that's when you need to switch off the flame or take it out of the oven.)
- Flip onto a serving plate (it will slide out magically) and serve hot!
UPDATE (22/03/11) - I felt it was time to update this recipe because a lot of you have tried it out and some of you are going to try it.
1. I find 'All Purpose Flour (bleached) /Maida' the best for this dish. I had once tried with Unbleached All Purpose Flour because I ran out of the other stuff and I must say, it was just OK. It is not something I would serve it to guests. It tasted like 'Chappathi's at the wrong time :D
2.Make sure you keep the assembled Pathiri saucepan on MEDIUM - LOW heat and cook for 20 mins maximum. All the ingredients except the coconut milk is cooked, so you just need that much time for the coconut milk to loose it's raw taste and the whole thing to absorb it's flavours.
3. I have said that cook till the coconut milk is absorbed. Yes, you need to cook it till it is no longer seen as how it was when you just poured it in. If you wanna check if the sides are dry, just slide a ladle's handle down the sides and push it a little bit. It just needs to be stuck together. 20 mins will be enough for this.
Jobin's never heard of it before and when I tried explaining it to him while we were discussing our menu for a party sometime back, he did have a wierd expression on his face. But I was convinced to convince him to convince himself that he will like it :-) And Oh Boy! He loved it!
Now he asks me to make it for every party! And I am a person who doesn't like to make the same thing again and again...but I end up making it after I hear his requests :-) He gets so excited when I serve it to the guests...like a kid. Maybe it's the layers...or the taste and smell of it...or simply because he was excited to see me layer it in a saucepan and flip it onto a plate! The second time I made it, he stood by my side to see how I create this small magic :-)
I love making things with layers so I enjoy making Chatti Pathiri ...and I think I have perfected it!So let's pull up our dining chairs, tie the napkin around our neck, grab our forks and get ready to eat!