Batbout | Moroccan Pita with Nigella Seeds | Stove-top Flatbread

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I am not too fond of a very long descriptive title for a blog post, even if that drives more traffic to the blog. Most of the time I keep to the original name and its English translation for everyone's benefit. For today's post, I have been overthinking on what to call this flatbread. A little history will help you understand my dilemma and why I chose to call this Batbout, a Moroccan Pita, which has nigella seeds and my current crush - laban! :-P

Batbout | Moroccan Pita with Nigella Seeds | Stove-top Flatbread

Look at that pile of bread, so inviting! You want to hold them gently, tear them neatly and scoop some gravy generously and chew mindfully, slowly, and reach for more... mmm.. while at it.. listen to some news from my world... will ya?

Meanwhile in Yanbu,

Last night, the ladies of the FB group in Yanbu that I have already talked a lot about, gathered for dinner with family at the Waterfront Park. This is my first time taking part in such gatherings and is by far the best way to get to know others if you are new to the city or have decided to get out of your nest- like me. :-) In any other part of the world, I am sure the hubby wouldn't have bothered to accompany, but thanks to the country we reside in, the man has to drive me to the venue :-P I had a good time knowing some of the active members of the group, tasting some of the best Pakistani and Indian dishes, etc, and a good time with Ragee's foster mom's kids post the party. :-)

Also, Yanbu's Annual Flower Show has begun and I just got back from there this morning. Though I was not too keen to go this time, I was surprised when F said we should go as it is open in the morning too. So we rushed right after a quick breakfast and... more on that later. :-)

because this recipe is long overdue:

A few weeks month ago, (see I told you, long overdue) I prepared Methi Chole curry from Whisk Affair blog and also attempted her recommended Bakarkhani Roti only to have tweaked it too much that it no longer remained Bakarkhani. That day, out of a sheer experimental mood, I added nigella seeds, used buttermilk (laban) to knead the dough and roasted on tawa instead of an oven. I had shared the result on Instagram too.


A few days later, I was skimming through the Darna Magazine and spotted Batbout that was so much close to the recipe I had prepared except for the Laban. I must say, with all due respect to Bakarkhani, what I made is definitely Batbout made with Laban and a few borrowed ingredients of Bakarkhani. :-)

Now that I am convinced it is Batbout, I did some research and was so glad to know that it is prepared on the stove-top like I did. :-D Batbout is a kind of Pita, home to Morocco which puffs up like a thick bread and the addition of semolina makes this bread best for sandwiches. Batbout is also called as mkhamer, toghrift and matlou' which is leavened using yeast and is usually served with grilled meat.

Batbout | Moroccan Pita with Nigella Seeds | Stove-top Flatbread

My version of Batbout is definitely not the authentic but largely remains Batbout in most other factors or so I like to believe. From what I learnt, Batbout can be made in all kinds of shapes and size. While thinner ones (like the one I have made here) are used to scoop tagines and dips, the smaller and thicker ones are cut open and filled like a burger or sandwich. There are so many Moroccan food bloggers and Youtubers, and yet, most of their recipes do not match! So I suppose every family has their own.

I am a hardcore Instant Yeast user and so the recipe process includes the same, unlike the "testing" step that usual active yeast has to undergo. I have never been betrayed by them because I keep them cool-headed  (in freezer)

Today, I am sharing a thinner Batbout that was served on a weekend for lunch with Butter Chicken

Batbout | Moroccan Pita | Nigella Seeds and Buttermilk Stove-top Flatbread

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
2 tablespoon fine semolina
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 teaspoon nigella seeds
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
Salt
1 tablespoon ghee
1 cup room temperature or 20 seconds microwaved buttermilk

Batbout | Moroccan Pita with Nigella Seeds | Stove-top Flatbread

Batbout | Moroccan Pita with Nigella Seeds | Stove-top Flatbread

METHOD:

  1. Combine the flours, semolina, sugar, salt, cardamom powder, nigella seeds, and instant yeast in a mixing bowl. 
  2. Add melted ghee and the lightly warmed buttermilk, and mix to form a soft, manageable dough.
  3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, for about 10 minutes or until smooth, non-sticky and elastic.
  4. Divide the dough into equal sized balls
  5. Place each ball on a lightly floured surface with some distance between each ball and cover it with a neat cloth. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. Ensure to start working on the first ball you had kept to rest and work in that order. Roll out each ball into a thin circle of 1/8 inch thick and lay them to rest on a flat surface, covered.
  7. Leave them to rise for about 1 hour for a thin bread and 2 to 3 hours for a thick sandwich bread 
  8. Preheat a lightly oiled cast iron skillet, or a non-stick pan over medium heat. 
  9. Cook the bread by turning several times, until puffed up and golden brown on both sides 
  10. Transfer the cooked batbout to a rack or towel-lined basket to cool. 
  11. Serve hot with thick gravies, kababs etc. 
Batbout | Moroccan Pita with Nigella Seeds | Stove-top Flatbread

If you are interested to know how a basic batbout is made, check this video by my favourite YouTuber. There are tons of recipes out there that range from very easy to very difficult. :-P

This post has been in the draft for too long and I have been tweaking and adding relevant content each time I think of publishing it. And yet, today it doesn't feel right to publish this post without mentioning the fact that I am extremely sad and feel so helpless living so far away from home as my grandfather is very ill. He has always come out beating the illness and surprising even the docs. Please do pray for him.

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