Shamrock Chips/ Flat Bread
The first time, I heard about St.Patty’s Day was when my kid came back from kindergarten one day & when asked how was school, replied,”Oh, we had fun trying to catch Leprechauns”…having never heard of them before, I thought it was some kind of a gecko/garden lizard & was wondering which teacher in her right mind would send them to catch these geckos.The story got even more interesting when he continued on how they colored everything green in their class, that was when I actually learnt about a day like this, since then have made it a tradition to learn about it each year.
“St. Patrick was born in the fourth century in Britain and as a teenager was kidnapped and brought to Ireland. He was later released but returned to Ireland as a missionary to tell the pagan nation about God. It is said that he used a three leaf clover to explain the trinity to the people. Some historians believe that he passed away on March 17th. To celebrate the life he led there are over 100 parades held on March 17th in the United States.”
“Leprechauns are said to be two feet tall, green wearing, shoe making fairies that can be heard by the sound of their hammering. They have also hidden away a pot of gold. If you catch a leprechaun they will show you their hidden gold. These folklore creatures are said to be very mischievous.
On St. Patrick’s Day a leprechaun comes to our house and does some pretty crazy things. Can we catch a glimpse of him in hopes that he will lead us to his pot of gold?!?!”
“What does the leprechaun do??
-Leaves chocolate gold coins for the kids to find.
Turns the toilet water green.
Leaves toys out on the floor.
Leaves a tray of shamrock shaped tortillas”…..and so the story goes.Each year I learnt a bit more about the tradition, the Irish blessings, the color green & the saints starting from my kid, to the hairdresser to the well meaning friends & each year I have enjoyed taking my kid to these parades & sharing in their joy & spirit.
Finding a four leaf clover is considered lucky as a part of the Celtic charm, they believe it wards off evil spirits & helps the one who carries it with them experience a bit of Paradise.Still remember how my kid searched for a four leaf clover to give it to me, all the way during our walk in the park when he was little, since then these Shamrocks, have been close to my heart, who would have thought there is a story behind a little leaf ?
This evening, I experimented with the making of “Shamrock chips/flat bread” some I baked, some I cooked over the iron skillet to see the difference in taste, makes for an Irish tinged supper, while you watch your Netflix on a Saturday night .The baked chips turned crispy & could be had with any dip or hummus, the cooked one was softer, we had it with methi chicken (chicken in fenugreek based gravy).Either way it was yummy.
All purpose flour/Aata- 2 cups
Milk- 1 cup ( luke warm)- makes them softer
Ghee( Clarified butter)- 1 tsp -helps in kneading without sticking to your fingers
Cilantro/Coriander leaves- 1/2 bunch
Curry leaves or powder- few or 1/2 tsp
(the Cilantro & the Curry leaves are added to give the green color, I did not want to use food color, but one could use it if one prefers)
1.Knead the flour well in luke warm milk until it forms a dough consistency, the ghee helps to prevent it sticking to the mixing bowl or your fingers.
2.Make a fine paste of the Cilantro & curry leaves & mix this paste into the dough, do not add water to grind the paste)
3.Set aside for 10- 15 minutes by covering the mixing bowl with a wet towel ( this is done, I believe to keep the bread moist, the chips might not need it)
4.Roll the dough on a floured surface into a thin sheet ( the larger the better).Now,use a cookie cutter with a clover/shamrock shape & gently tease them out.
5.You may cook them on the iron skillet like you would for a flat bread or you can place them on a gently oiled baking sheet & bake them in an oven at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes after preheating the oven.The former ( flat bread) you can eat it instantly with a gravy, the baked Shamrock chips you can store in an airtight container for 3-4 days & perhaps use them while watching reruns on your TV (talk about mindless eating !)..either way, you will see rainbows & a pot of gold when you are done with them .Simple & easy, Irish supper, while blessing your food the Irish way, which goes…….
” May the roof above us never fall in.And may the friends gathered below it never fall out” (an Irish proverb)
Enjoy your culinary treat with memories of the parade & the dancing that is done on this day & be a part of the celebration, Irish heritage or not.