I do not know how to knead and roll out dough. I do not know how to make chapati, paratha or any Indian bread for that matter...nopes not even poori. Thank god for frozen wheat chapatis we get at the local grocery, I really don't know what I would have done without it. Ro and myself have tried out all possible combinations and methods of dough mixes and fail miserably every time. We even bought one of those roti/ chapati press and it still didn't work. Well, if the kitchen/ food gods think we are not meant to learn and do it the right way..so be it. Shana frozen chapati comes to our rescue and when we feel a bit bored with the chapatis, we buy the theplas, the parathas and the kheema parathas (oh yeah!) in between. Please don't jinx me and say..let Shana foods go into insolvency or something like that...I'd be heart broken..really!
I was completely content with this arrangement when we were invited to a friends for dinner and she made the most amazing thing ( N & W if you are reading this..I'm so grateful to you for introducing me to this..its become an absolute fav of ours). She said it was called Murtabak (Murtabaq) and my husband claimed it was similar to Baida roti (yeah he's a closet Mumbaite). Whatever it was, I loved it..even more because there was no kneading and rolling since it was made with filo pastry. I got the recipe outline from her and incorporated my laziness into it, so my version of Murtabaq/ Baida roti/ Mince meat roti goes like this:
Basic mince meat recipe:Minced beef- 250 gms
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste- 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder- 1 tsp
Pepper Powder- 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/4 tsp
Meat masala- 1 tsp (optional)
Salt- to taste
Mix all the powders and GGP along with the mince meat and pressure cook with about 2 tbsp water for about 10 minutes after you put the weight on (approx. 3 whistles). Let off the steam, open the lid and if there is a significant amount of water, cook on high heat for a few minutes till some of the water has evaporated. You can add salt, spice etc. at this point, if there isn't enough. Alternatively, heat some oil in a frying pan and throw in the mince meat along with the gravy and fry on medium heat till all the gravy has been absorbed and it becomes somewhat dry.
For the pastry:
Uncooked filo pastry sheets- 8 large rectangular sheets, each cut into 4
Egg- 1, lightly beaten
Oil- to lightly grease the pastry sheets and to shallow fry
Place a pastry square (the one you cut out from the big rectangular one) onto a lightly greased plate and using a basting brush lightly brush some oil onto it. Top with another pastry and continue till you reach the 4th pastry which you shouldn't oil.
Top the fourth pastry sheet with about 2 tbsp (or more) of mince meat. Spread it out. You don't want to over fill it, so be sure you even it out.
Now continue with the remaining 4 pastry squares on top of the filled sheet, oiling each before topping. It would be like a parcel, with the sides all held together by the oil and the mince meat filling in between 8 layers.
So you basically end up using 2 rectangular filo pastry sheets for each filled. (Am I confusing you..cos I myself am a bit confused now..but don't worry its not rocket science..you'd get what I mean when you have the pastries in front of you)
Continue doing this with all the 8 sheets and keep them ready to shallow fry.
Heat a non stick frying pan and drizzle some oil onto it.
Do an egg wash on one side of the roti and carefully place that side down on the pan. Yup it would sizzle away...and I had the smile of contentment on my face :)
Fry for about 3 to four minutes or till lightly crispy and golden brown.
Do an egg wash on the top side, and flip it. Wait for that side to become brown and crispy and then drain on paper towels.
Continue doing the same to all the 4 parcels.
Serve hot with curd and pickle or slice them up into smaller squares and serve as an appetiser with chutney or chilli sauce.
Notes: You can bake it instead of frying. N told me, it would be a bit dry if you do it in the oven, but if you are health conscious, you might as well do that. Just do the egg wash on both sides and place on a baking tray and follow the instructions given on the filo pastry packet as to how long you need to bake it..prob about 20 to 30 minutes in a 160C oven.
If you do not want to cut the rectangular pastry sheet into 4 square sheets, then you can do the exact same procedure as is and finally when you are about to fry it, cut it into two halves. You can then slice them up into how many ever you want just before serving.
Fillings can be anything..mutton, pork, veggies etc.