Sunday, February 20, 2011

International Brunch

On Valentine's Day Austin absolutely insisted that I make parathas to go with our Indian feast. I had been wanting to try my hand at making flatbread for a while so I rose to the challenge. They were so delicious that I've been craving them something fierce ever since. Yesterday morning I finally caved and made them again. While I contemplated eating exclusively flatbread for brunch, that seemed a little too indulgent, even for a carbivore like me. For the sake of nutritional diversity I decided to whip up a sweet potato hummus, inspired by one of Gena Hamshaw's recipes, to go with the parathas.

I topped the open-faced sandwiches with some tomatoes which were a nanosecond away from going bad and some bell pepper that was hiding, practically forgotten, in the fridge. Although this brunch required a bit more time and effort than I'm usually ready to put into anything on a lazy Saturday morning, it was incredibly tasty and kept me satiated until my late dinner.

Parathas (Indian Flatbread)
Makes 12 parathas
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour plus extra to keep the dough from sticking
  • 2/3 cup water (you may need more or less depending on your flour)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil for the dough
  • 1/2-3/4 cup oil for spreading between the layers and frying
  • Optional: cumin and red pepper flakes for sprinkling in between the layers.
I used this recipe as a guide to make the dough and these instructions to assemble them. The process looks complicated but I promise it's actually quite easy and fun. After rolling the parathas into a circle, before forming the layers, I added a sprinkling of cumin and red pepper flakes. Parathas are great for open face sandwiches, sopping up saucy curries or just eating on their own.

Sweet Potato Hummus
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups
  • 1 small to medium sweet potato, roasted, baked or steamed
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved
  • 1/2 cup chickpea canning liquid (add more if you like smoother hummus)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (or tahini if you'd like to go more traditional)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
1. Put all ingredients except for the oil in the food processor and blend until smooth, scrapping down the sides if necessary. If the mixture is too dry, add more of the canning liquid or water.
2. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil.
3. Serve, with another drizzle of olive oil on top if you'd like.

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