Nan , Rotis , Kulchas , Porotta….for all those on a healthy diet …these flat breads are what are on the “most avoidable” list …just because they are made with white flour or maida. But …if you substitute the maida with wheat (better than white flour) or any whole millet like bajra (pearl millet) or jowar (sorghum) or ragi ( finger millet) then it no longer remains in the avoidable list. The millets should be used as a fine powder and not in the grain form. Now when these get substituted for white flour there is some evident difficulty since these do not bond as well as white flour. You can overcome this difficulty by using one part white flour for rwo parts of any powdered millet ( better than 100% white flour) or i will tell you a nice trick to roll out the flatbreads when used minus the white flour.
In this recipe I have used the whole white flour since that is what is used by the vast majority. When on a diet , you can indulge. The idea of a diet is more of portion control instead of sacrifices. Small rewards in every diet provide the motivation to stick to the diet. So here goes….
White flour – 2 cups
Curd – 3/4 cup
Warm water as needed
Salt to taste
Yeast or baking powder – 1 tsp
Oil (use any) – 1 tsp
Mix the yeast well in a little warm milk and keep aside. Now in a large vessel take all the above ingredients and start kneading them together. I usually use my hands….they give me a feel of the dough. Once the dough is partially mixed add the yeast. Keep adding the warm water to the dough as you mix. The dough should be soft and should stick to your hands. Now apply the oil on to your hands and the balance oil on the dough and mix it well. Wet a muslin cloth, squeeze out the water and cover the dough with it. Keep it for 4 hours in a cool place.
After 4 hours you will find that the dough has sufficiently risen. Now make large fist size balls(pedhas) from the dough . Take one , cover it sufficiently with flour and on a smooth flat surface roll it out. Dont worry too much about the shape.The rounder the better. Now take this rolled out dough in your palm and start shifting it from one hand to another …the force is equal to a medium loud clapping motion ..at a fast pace. As you move the dough from hand to hand it starts growing in size due to the elastic nature of the white flour. Keep pulling the edges of the dough in between to make it longer. You need to use softer hands while doing this for wheat or other millet flours. In fact it would be better to use the rolling pin and surface throughout if you are not using white flour.
Usually this is done inside a tandoor in restaurants and dhabas. What you can do is keep an inverted wok on a gas flame and make it sufficiently hot. Then transfer the dough once sufficiently thin from your hands on top of this wok. Keep flipping it from one side to other until the nan is cooked and crisp.
For Butter Nan : apply a dab of butter on both sides.
How to roll flatbreads with Millet Flours: take a transparent polythene sheet and apply oil on it. Now take the dough ball , apply flour liberally on both sides and keep flattening it on both sides by slapping it from one hand to the other. Once you see small cracks coming in the dough transfer it between the oiled polythene sheet and roll it using a rolling pin. Apply very light pressure. The flatbreads with millet will not be elastic and also take care that you do not roll it too thin. Transfer from the polythene direct onto the pan or the inverted wok instead of using the hands bexause it could break if you try to lift it.
Calories in one Nan made from whote flour is 220 calories…a whopping 34 gms of carbs and most of it is empty carbs. Its not a very healthy esting option but view it as a treat to yourself for being good an entire week.
After all these simple pleasures do make life more beautiful.