Aug 23, 2010
Here the climate is doing somersaults.Visionaries say its due to global warming, which means 'by the man's missdeeds'.Well, I dunno up to what extend the carbon dioxide emission leads to global warming, or how early the polar ice belts would melt due to it, but all i know is it's pretty unusual that a whole week be humid in this part of land,making people crave for rains.It's either too hot or too cold here and the condition you call 'pleasant climate' prevails only for a couple of months, around feb-march, when you need not feel groggy while stepping out.The 'too hot' climate, you can do with,but the 'too hot and humid' climate is totally unbearable.The 'staying indoor poeple' like me doesn't have to confront the scorching sun or the gruelling cold, but I feel sorry for those who have to work out in such extreme climates...
The air conditioner in our flat tactfully masks the outdoor climate from my knowledge,but it can't fool me always..Nowadays I know, when the humidity rises outside..whenever it does, our linoleum floor gives a damp to touch feeling, reminding me of the 'monsoon' in our home land..Yes, the monsoon...when it rains dogs and cats everywhere sending the pleasant coolness indoors and the damp feeling to your foot...I would rather curl up by the window with a book in my lap, looking at the raindrops,listening to their 'pitter patter' for years to come...It's such a nostalgic feeling, you could never do away with.Together with it comes the memories of my mother baking something in the kitchen bringing the sweet aroma driving into my nostrils...Yes, that's what I must do..bake something homely to fill that void in the heart..to do away with the 'far away' feeling...
And what should I bake..a bit different from the mundane stuff? Something to feel at home in the gloaming...?Yes! the layers and layers of glee my mother used to bake , and we children used to eat galore..Chattippathiri. It would make your ifthar evening special too.I grabbed my resources and let it have a go..
Things I needed:
1 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
3/4 cup water
25g cashew nuts, broken to small pieces
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp kuskus or poppy seeds
Salt to taste
A round baking dish
For the pancakes:
Mix the flour and water thoroughly, until a semi thick batter is formed and no lumps are visible.(It should neither be too thick nor too thin)Add a little salt to it and mix well.Pour a ladle of batter on a heated griddle and make a thin pancake.The diameter of the pan cake depends on that of the baking dish you use to make the chattippathiri.Make at least 6 pancakes in this way.
For the pourings:
Boil the milk and add sugar to it and dissolve.Cool it. When the milk is adequately cooled,add 3 beaten eggs to it and mix well.Do not over mix.Add cardamom powder.Keep it aside.
For the filling:
Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and add sliced cashew nuts. Saute until brown and transfer to a bowl.Now saute raisins in the same ghee and transfer to the bowl when they puff up. Pour the remaining ghee into the milk-egg mixture.
Brush the baking dish lightly with butter or ghee. Now keep a pan cake in it.Pour a little milk-egg mixture over it. Now add a teaspoon of cashew-raisin mix and spread evenly over the pan cake. Carefully keep another pancake over it. Pour the milk-egg mixture, and go on with the process until all pancakes,the milk and fillings are used up. Sprinkle the top layer with the kuskus seeds and more cashew nuts and raisins. Preheat the oven to 160C or gas mark 2. Now place the baking dish carefully in the central rack without tilting and bake for half an hour until done. The milk mixture must totally dry up to be done. Mine took almost 45 min. If you don't have oven, you can prepare it in a circular sauce pan with a lid by cooking in low flame. This malabar speciality was originally prepared that way on fuel wood stoves by keeping coconut husk embers on top of the lid to provide uniform heat from all sides.After it is done cool the pathiri and cut to slices and serve.Enjoy!
If you can do with a little more egg, you can add 1 or 2 eggs scrambled with sugar and cardamom powder along with the cashew and raisin fillings.This would make your chattippathiri more yummy but unhealthy. As for me..I have always been on edge while coming face to face with high calorie food.So I have skipped that 'scrambled egg' part :)