METHI PITA BREAD WITH AVOCADO N’ MUSHROOM FILLING
It was lunch hour, someone suggested we go to the Middle Eastern restaurant which opened close to work recently, so we drove in the crazy snow only to be greeted with the mouthwatering aromas of the Persian cuisine.The Turkish music floated in the air, in the background, the hot spicy lentil soup was served first, then came the pita bread with chicken fillers & many other delicious food with strange sounding names, yet each one carrying an authentic signature of the land it came from.Making a mental note to recreate that magic, of the soft Pita bread stuffed with the juicy chicken, I enjoyed my lunch, drowning myself in the delicious food & music.
The weather here is changing slowly, there are signs of Spring in the air, we do occasionally hear the birds chirping in a distance, the wind chill still in the air….the kind that makes you ache for some warm delicious food, baked in your oven at home.The thought of home baked Pita took over and here I was recreating the magic with a touch of Methi/Fenugreek leaves to add to the flavor.The mushroom & avocado filling was an instant creation of my own making , to fill up the warm soft pita bread with something creamy & juicy.One can use any kind of filling for Pita bread, meat or veggies would both be great, I chose veggies for a change and it made the experience that much more filling.Read on, for the recipe…
For Pita Bread:
All purpose flour- 2 cups
Wheat flour/Chapati Aata- 1 cup
Instant Dry Yeast- 2 tsp
Hot Water- 1 3/4 cups
Salt- to taste
Methi leaves- 1/2 bunch ( just the leaves alone)
1.Soak the dry yeast in warm water along with the sugar,wait for 15 minutes for the water to turn frothy ( proofing the yeast).
2.Now gently add it to the dry mix containing the flour & salt, gently adding water alongside till you get a homogenous mix, making sure you have added oil to grease your palms as well as to the dough to make sure it does not stick to the walls of the container.
3.Now gently add the methi/fenugreek leaves to the mixed dough & then knead it together into a ball.Keep covered with wet cloth for 20 – 30 minutes, while you prepare the filling.This allows the dough to rise.
4.Now take it out & make small round balls, big enough to roll the pita bread into after gently flouring the surface & the rolling pin, roll the round balls into 1/4 to 1/8 inch round shapes.
5.Now gently transfer them to a baking tray, after sprinkling water on top( this make them rise well & puff up) and place 2-3 at a time into the preheated oven at 400 degrees for 3-4 minutes before turning them over when they start to puff up.The color might not change much except a gentle browning owing to the sugar in the yeast, unlike when you cook it on a griddle, yet baking without oil is healthier of the two choices.
6.Now keep them in a basket,& then serve each one with the avocado mushroom filling, as shown in the picture by slitting them in the middle & stuffing the pita pockets with the filling
Note: It helps to preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, along with preheating the baking tray too, before you place the round pita dough to rise in the oven.
Ingredients for the Filling:
Onions- 1 ( medium size)
Avocado- 2 ( pulp gently mashed)
Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder- 1/4 tsp
Shawarma powder- 1/2 tsp( just to give it the Middle Eastern ouch, this powder is available in any Persian store)
Salt- to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Spring Onions- 2-3- to garnish on top
1.In a wok , heat some oil, then add the finely sliced onions, sauté them till light brown.
2.Add the cinnamon powder & stir till raw smell disappears then add the mushrooms( whole or sliced according to your choice) , the stir it along with all the other powders till its gently cooked.
3.Now add the mashed avocado paste into the same along with salt to taste & stir it all together.
4.Keep lid closed for 5- 10 minutes, until its cooked well.
5.Sprinkle cut Spring onions on top & serve it hot , stuffed in Pita pockets.
Makes an easy carry bag lunch food or dinner by itself.Play some Middle Eastern music in your home,served along with a delicious meal,it is assured , you won’t need any belly dance classes, the rhythm would flow by itself wink emoticon.Enjoy your meal.