This vegetable-studded bread requires no kneading or rising; just mix the ingredients and spread the dough on a skillet.
- 1 medium English cucumber
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 9 tablespoons canola or peanut oil, divided
- 1 large green serrano chile, finely chopped
Peel the cucumber, and then grate it using the large holes on the grater. You want about 1 cup.
Place the flour in a large bowl. Crush the cumin seeds slightly by rubbing between the palms of your hands to release their aromatic oils, and then add to the flour. Stir in the salt, cayenne, sesame seeds, and turmeric, and mix until well blended. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil, the cucumber, and chile, and mix in well. Add a few tablespoons of water, if necessary, to make a sticky dough. You don’t have to knead this dough at all; merely bring all the ingredients together. Halve the dough and form into 2 balls.
Place 1 tablespoon of oil in the center of a cold, heavy, medium skillet. I prefer to use cast iron, but you may also use a nonstick one. Coat your palms with oil as well. Place 1 of the dough balls in the center of the oil on the skillet and, using both your hands, gently press it out into a large, even circle about 5 inches in diameter. Make sure it is of even thickness all around, about ½ inch thick. Using your forefinger or the handle of a wooden spoon, make 4 evenly spaced i-inch holes in the thalipeeth. Fill theselittle “wells” with oil. Cover the skillet and place over medium-low heat. After about 5 minutes, uncover and check. If the bread is well browned on the bottom, carefully turn it over. This time, leave the bread uncovered. The bread is done when it is browned well on both sides, about 10 minutes more. When making the second thalipeeth, remember that the skillet will be hot—you can either wait till it cools down, or proceed very carefully. Oil the pan again and repeat the above steps.