Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Bangladeshi Breakfast


Vegetables With Ruti

A healthy breakfast - a rare occurrence for me nowadays.

I don't have proper breakfasts anymore. It's not that I can't eat so early in the day like some - I just value the extra minutes of sleep I get by forgoing it. I know it's unhealthy so I'm not here to encourage anyone to do the same. I also try and make up for it during the weekends, and today I made an attempt to rustle up a traditional Bangladeshi breakfast. This was my first go at cooking all of this on my own, so it didn't go perfectly, but I've noted down tweaks to my method below to make sure the mistakes don't happen again. I should also point out that I don't have exact ingredients amounts for this recipe because it was the result of a quick phone call with mom - as is often the case!

Ingredients (for the vegetables)
  • Garlic paste (I used 1 teaspoon)
  • Ginger paste (I used 1 teaspoon)
  • Powdered turmeric (I used 1 heaped teaspoon)
  • Cumin seeds (I scattered a handful)
  • Dried bay leaves (I used 2 leaves ripped into quarters)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Half a small cauliflower
  • A handful of green beans
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 courgette
  • 4 green chillies

Method (for the vegetables)
  • Chop the vegetables up into bite sized pieces
  • Parboil the vegetables in a saucepan along with the garlic, ginger and turmeric
  • Add the vegetable that takes the longest to cook first, and stagger the other vegetables according to their individual cooking times
  • Heat some oil in a pan, and toast the cumin seeds and bay leaves on low heat
  • Add the parboiled vegetables, season with salt and turn the heat up to medium
  • Stir to mix the vegetables, cumin and bay leaves
  • Cover and leave to cook till the vegetables are tender

 Top left, vegetables boiling. Bottom left, vegetables almost done with an extra scattering of turmeric. 
Top right, cumin seeds and bay leaves toasting. Bottom right, everything mixed up together for the final bit of cooking

Ingredients (for the ruti)

  • Flour
  • Hot water

Method (for the ruti)

  • Mix the hot water into the flour and knead till the dough can be formed into a ball as shown below (the amount of dough in that picture is enough for one ruti)

I didn't make one ruti on purpose, I just didn't realise I'd need more flour!

  • Roll out the dough into a round shape about 2 to 3 mm thick, making sure to dust the surface used for rolling with flour

I also need to invest in a proper rolling pin and practice rolling...

  • Transfer the ruti to a frying pan and cook for about 5 minutes on high heat, flipping it round to the other side halfway through
  • Press down onto the ruti while cooking with a spatula to make sure the dough cooks through
  • After a few minutes the ruti should start to inflate like the one below, meaning it's almost done

And I need to practice this too - that should have inflated more.

  • Remove from heat and serve immediately with the vegetables

Additional Information
Normally mom would have cooked this with panch foron - a Bengali blend of five different spices - but cooking this with cumin and bay leaves is pretty common as well. Experiment with the combination of vegetables, I've seen Bangladeshi families adapt this to all kinds of local ingredients.

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