“Mushy on top
And a crunch ‘neath,
A snack of sorts
Inspired by the streets
Easy & fresh
Lighter on the tum,
Step aside samosa
This is my new yum..”
Kachumbar in Hindi loosely means 'crumpled'. Referring to a mixed raw salad of finely chopped vegetables [never with Avocado though!], it is served alongside mains and is probably one of the only salads traditionally used in Indian cuisine. Bhatura, on the other hand, is a deep fried flatbread eaten with rich & spicy chickpea curry. A much loved (and reasonable) street food for the masses. The combination of the two - unheard of! And that is exactly where I come in.With a crisp chewy base, and a mushy topping with subtle spices, there is nothing not to love about this combination. Think India street food meets Aussie avo smash!
But before I dive into the recipe, I have to confess. I hate Avocados. Yes, go on, say it. I'm strange. I won't mind it at all.
The reason is simple. I had never heard of it through my high school boarding school years - a.k.a when your taste buds develop. When I did try it once, it was mashed up with tons of sugar and handed to me in a bowl as a nondescript green mass - a common way to eat it in in some parts of Southern India. I did eat it all, more so because I didn't want to upset my house help who didn't speak a word of english or hindi, and watched at me in smiling wonder as I took each bite. She had made it for me. But I swore never to eat it again. Never.
So well, you can't completely blame me for my avo-ersion. But after moving to the US, I was amazed by it's popularity! Not to mention my husband's excitement every time a piece of it somehow landed in his sandwich. So I decided, I must experiment with it. Apart from the regular smash and stuff, I tried a curried guac, avocado cream to top savory frittatas and now a quick kachumbar. This, I have to admit, is my favorite so far. I have a few more exciting recipes up my sleeve, but you might have to wait a little for those ;)
And I still don't love the vegetable, but I did eat 5 of these minis. Trust me, that counts for a lot.
Also published on The Society's Thanksgiving Menu for 2014.
Ingredients (makes approx 20 mini bites)
For the Bhatura
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (atta)
2 tablespoons full-fat yogurt
1/4 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons olive oil + more to fry
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
For the Avocado Kachumbar
1 ripe avocado, diced into cubes
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 red pepper, finely chopped
1 green chili, finely chopped
Bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped (stems included)
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
3/4 teaspoon rock salt
Salt & pepper to taste
Make the Bhaturas (flatbread)
Mix the flours, salt, baking soda, caraway seeds and paprika. Mix in the yogurt and olive oil. Slowly add the warm milk, a little at a time, and work into a soft pliable dough. Depending on the quality of flour, you might need a little less milk. On the other hand, if the dough seems dry, add a few teaspoons of warm water till it comes together. Wrap in cling film and keep aside for 2-3 hours.
Roll the dough out into a big circle of about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out 2-3 inch discs from it, till all the dough is used up. Heat 4-5 tablespoons of oil in a non stick pan. Add the discs one by one. Once they begin to puff up, flip them around. Cook till golden brown on each side. Cool on kitchen paper. Do this with all the discs. (Traditionally, these are deep fried. But given my extreme inability to deep fry anything, I usually shallow fry them with minimal oil in a frying pan)
Make the Kachumbar (salad)
Mix all ingredients for the topping. Taste to adjust seasoning. Avocados brown quickly, so make sure not to make this before your bhaturas are ready.