What in the world is thalipeeth?
Thalipeeth (tal-i-peeth) is a crispy skillet bread that comes together in a single bowl without all the neediness of kneading. With staff-of-life goodness and Mother India's exotic allure, the 100 percent whole-wheat bread is bejeweled with veggies, seeds and spices. Sort of like a savory muffin in the shape of a thick pancake.
There are myriad versions of thalipeeth, but in the name of convenience and instant gratification, we're keeping things simple with ingredients that easily are found in the grocery store.
Pair with savory tomato jam and or raita (yogurt salad), or serve as an alongside for your favorite dal or hearty bean curry. Make a double batch and brown-bag the leftovers (it keeps well for several days). And did we mention it comes together in under 30 minutes? Add it to your growing list of menu inspirations and knead nothing further.
Makes 2 skillet breads
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for frying
1 medium English cucumber, grated
In a large bowl, mix flour with turmeric, cumin, cayenne, sesame and chia seeds. Add salt, jalapeño, scallions, oil and cucumber. Using your hands, thoroughly mix to evenly distribute spices. If dough seems too dry, add a tablespoon or 2 of water and continue mixing. Dough should be quite moist and sticky. Half the dough into 2 balls.
In a cold, nonstick skillet, add a drizzle of oil. Lightly oil your hands and place one of the dough balls in the center of the cold skillet. Using your fingers, press the dough outward to form a 5- or 6-inch circle, approximately 1/2-inch thick. Using the bottom of a wooden spoon handle, make 4 evenly spaced holes in the bread, about 1/2-inch in diameter. Carefully fill the holes with canola oil. Cover the skillet and heat to medium low, cooking for 6 minutes. Check the bread. Once bottom is crisp and golden, flip and continue cooking 8 to10 minutes more uncovered.
Allow pan to cool before cooking second loaf.
Note: The jalapeño and cayenne can be swapped out for favorite fresh herbs. Try a tablespoon each of minced fresh cilantro and mint.