Thursday, 29 January 2015

Remembering Anwer Sultana: Baisani Roti with soy and Afghani Chutney

Chickpea flour flat bread with Dill

Dill – also called soy in Urdu always reminds me of Anwer Sultana – My nani – maternal grandmother. Couple of decades ago during winter vacations, all of us cousins would come down to Rawalpindi to spend winter break with our grandparents. Nani had a huge herb and vegetable garden at the back of the house. The garden had one particular herb every winter – soy/dill. The shrub always grew taller than me, an 8 year old back then making me disappear in the dill patch while trying to catch ladybirds. They too loved the perfumed dill as much as I did.

Nani loved getting Baisani roti made at the tandoor situated close by. She would supervise and instruct our cook named Rasheed aka Sheeda as how to make the dough. It always had plenty of fresh dill from her garden. Once the dough was prepared, sheeda would take it to the nearest wood fired tandoor and get the baisani roti made. The tandoor wala knew how begum sahiba liked the rotis. We kids loved having it with home churned butter while soaking the winter sun followed by a kino eating marathon.

January marks the death anniversary of Anwer Sultana who now rests at Emanabad, a small city situated 30 kms from Lahore. I found myself strolling down the memory lane catching ladybirds while buying some dill at the local vegetable shop last week. I have not known a woman as kind and as beautiful as Anwer Sultana. I do wish she was still alive so we could have the conversations we never had a chance to have! Now they only happen in my head!

This baisini roti with Afghani chutney can easily replace your doritos and salsa any given afternoon!

Chickpea flour: 1 cup
Whole wheat flour: ½ cup
Butter: 50 grams (melted)
Fresh Dill – Handful chopped
Fresh Coriander – handful chopped
Crushed Red chilies – ½ tsp
Green Chili – 1 thinly chopped.
Roasted Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp lightly crushed
Roasted Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp crushed
Water – for kneading

Needs a Food Processor & a Griddle
  1. Add everything except the water in the food processor. Pulse it for 10 seconds.
  2. Now switch on the machine and slowly add ¼ cup of water till everything comes together and forms dough.
  3. Take the dough out and knead it for 2-3 mins. Put it in a bowl with a tbsp. of oil on it. Cover and let it sit for 30 mins.
  4. Now make small balls of dough, roll them out and cook them on hot griddle on both sides.
  5. Remove, cut in triangles and serve hot with Salsa or chutney.

Ingredients for Afghani Chutney

Mint – 1 cup
Fresh Coriander leaves – 2 cups –chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves
Tomato – 1 large (Try finding a green one)
Fresh Green chilies – 4
Juice of 4-5 Lemons – medium sized
White Vinegar – ¼ cup
Salt – to taste

Add all the ingredients in a liquidizer and make a smooth paste. In case more liquid is needed increase the amount of vinegar.

Anwer Sultana