Life is all about balance and yes I am talking philosphy as it pertains to our everyday life , even when cooking in the kitchen. In the process of using different gluten free flours for making chapatis some like quinoa flour are a HIT others are a MISS, well not really as I do not give up easily when it comes to cooking. So today I bring you Sorghum chapatis.
Sorghum originated in Africa thousands of years ago, and then spread through the Middle East and Asia via ancient trade routes, travelling to the Arabian Peninsula, India and China along the Silk Road. Today sorghum remains a staple food in India and Africa, and is growing in popularity in America. It’s the third most important cereal crop nationally and the fifth most important around the world.
Sorghum flour is a powerhouse of nutrition and adds great flavor to gluten-free baking. It is high in protein, iron, and dietary fiber, making sorghum flour welcome in pantries around the world. Sorghum flour is high in antioxidants, which support cardiac health. In addition, the starch and protein in sorghum take longer than other similar products to digest. Since it ltakes longer to digest it is great for a diabetic diet.
As a rule I do not like to mix different flours for many reasons, one of them being one kind may agree with you more than the other. Sorghum flour is not an easy grain to work with, dry and crumbly like the dry and arid climate it grows in, the dough breaks as you try to roll it. In certain parts of India where it is a staple grain lot of ghee or oil is used along with some water to moisten the dough and flatten it with the palm (that is also the reason, the grain considered a heating grain is eaten in colder months ). It is very difficult to roll it on a board. Even to flatten it with your palm requires lot of practice and skill. Well to cut the long story short I have added very small quantity of amaranth flour which is dense and rolls very easily to balance the dry, crumbly sorghum. It worked so well that it is now another Easy Breezy Gluten Free !!! Eureka moment.
These are small but very satisfying feel GOOD ( literally !!! ) in your gut victories !!!
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1 1/2 tbsp. amaranth flour
water to knead the dough
a pinch salt
- 1 tsp. Oil
- Little dry quinoa or sorghum flour to roll the chapatis
- Little ghee or butter to apply on the chapatis
- Rolling pin
- Marble or wooden board
- Cast iron or non stick skillet
- Continue to add the water in small quantities till the dough starts to come together and is not wet.
- The dough is ready when it starts to peel off your hands. Grease you palm and knead the dough some more to make it more pliable.
- Make a round ball and let it sit for half an hour or more.
- Divide this dough into 4 -6 balls of equal size. Meanwhile heat a seasoned cast iron griddle or nonstick skillet.
- Roll the ball between both your palms and make a smooth ball (it would not be smooth like wheat flour dough as there is no gluten but adding the Amaranth flour makes the dough more pliable )
- Roll the ball in dry flour and with a rolling pin carefully roll it out an inch or two and carefully peel it off the board and roll it in dry flour again. Adding amaranth flour makes the dough very easy to roll and it does tear as easily .
- Carefully continue to roll and repeat the above step till you have a circle of 3-4 inch diameter of even thickness. Use a spatula and carefully peel it off the board. The edges are not as smooth as that of wheat flour or Quinoa but you can cut the frayed edges with a knife to give it a smoother look.
- Do not be disheartened if the chapati does not come off the board or tears while doing that. Few attempts are necessary before you get nice soft, smooth chapatis.
- Put the rolled chapati on the heated griddle ( it should be on medium heat )
- After 20 seconds or so when the chapati loses its wet look, turn it on the other side, let it cook for another 20 seconds and you small bubbles turn it again, if the chapati is rolled evenly and without any tears it will puff up (may puff up partly).
- Use a paper towel or a clean dish towel to press the thicker edges so that they are well cooked .
- Normally a traditional whole wheat chapati is cooked in the 3 steps described above but sorghum chapati needs to be turned more than few times before it is well cooked.
- Once cooked, you may apply butter or extra virgin olive oil, or ghee and wrap in a soft cheese cloth and put it in an air tight glass or metal container. When enclosed fresh and hot in the container in the steam they stay soft.
Enjoy !! Serve with plain yoghurt, curries and salad.