Having spent a good portion of my life in Doha, I have to say that the thing I miss most about it is the variety of fabulous food available. Of course, here in Chennai there are many places that offer Arabic cuisine and some of them are really good..but in most cases, they miss the mark when it comes to Kaboose or Pita bread.
I have seen a lot of recipes and have been planning to make them..but I was putting it off mainly because I still try to avoid a lot of experimenting in an oven. Recently though, while I was watching Masterchef Australia, I realised that the Pita can be cooked on the stove top too.. !!
And yesterday, everything just fell into place...
There are a few versions out there including some whole wheat pitas..but I just wanted to see how close I could come to recreating the taste we know and love..
The recipe is very easy, but the dough needs kneading time of 15 minutes and about 3 hours to rise. So it has to be prepared in advance.
Plain flour - 3 cups
Luke warm water - 1 and 1/2 cups
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 and 1/2 tsp
Dry Yeast - 1 packet or 2 and 1/4 tsps ( I have yeast from Doha, which is quite strong, so I used just 2 tsps level)
Oil - 1 tsp
In 1/2 cup lukewarm water, add the yeast and sugar. It has to bubble up and rise and totally dissolve.
In a big bowl, mix the flour and salt evenly. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast liquid. Just mix it through, and add the 1 cup of lukewarm water slowly to form a sticky and loose dough.
On a flat surface, throw some flour , tip out the wet sticky dough about 10 to 15 minutes till it is not sticky any more.. Now the consistency will be elastic, still loose, but smooth.
In a clean bowl, coat with some oil. I poured about 1 tsp , coated the base, put the dough inside, and turned it all over till the oil was coated evenly.
Leave it to rest with a lid on, or a towel to let it rise. the dough doubled in size in about 2 and 1/2, to 3 hours.
Again flour the work surface, knead the dough, roll into a rope shape. now cut out lemon sized dough, roll, and then flatten it out like chappatis.. I made mine slightly smaller. Thin it out as much as u can.
On a really hot tawa, with the flame on medium, just put a flattened disk of dough.When u see small bubbles starting to rise, turn over. Slowly press, and increase the flame to high. this should puff up the bread. Once it puffs up, bring the flame back to medium, see that it is cooked evenly on both side, take it off the tawa.
Stack cooked breads in a basket or dish lined with a tea towel . The bread was soft, evenly cooked and delicious..
You can freeze left-over cooked breads and also refrigerate the dough upto a week. Enjoy.