Chausela – A rustic flatbread.It is quite similar to gujarati thepla. Not as thin as theplas though and what makes them special is these flatbreads are cooked in mustard oil. There is raw mustard oil in the dough giving them a smoky flavor. On hot summer days, these are amazing for lunch with a cold raita made with tender lauki or shredded cucumber, a garlicky chili chutney and achaar. These cannot be stored like theplas, make a fresh dough, cooked and serve right off the skillet.
My grandmother’s family had western ultra pradesh influence and this flatbread is a perfect example of regional recipe gems embedded in the heart of indian states. The dough is not gluten-free, a little atta (whole wheat flour) is added for binding. Chopped onions, ginger garlic along with spinach(or any greens can be added) and cilantro go in next along with few spices and yogurt.
These are utterly soft and delicious to eat and if you ask me quite wholesome too. You can change up the vegetables – add methi in place of spinach or add grated squash. Either way, these are a welcome switch from usual rotis.
Ingredients (Makes 6-7, 5 inch flatbreads)
- 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
- 1/3 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
- 1/3 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach
- 2-3 green chilies (adjust to taste)
- 1 tbsp grated garlic
- 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp ajwain seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp whole milk plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp mustard oil + more for cooking
- water as needed for kneading
In a wide dish or in your food processor add all the ingredients except water and mix to combine. Add water slowly 1-2 tbsp at a time to make a stiff dough. Knead it a few times to bring it into a ball, cover and let rest for 10 mins. After resting, the dough will be soft, since the vegetables release water due to salt. That’s why its important to not make a soft dough to start with.
Pinch 6-8 equal portions. Preheat a griddle/tawa on the stove. Roll on a floured surface into thickish discs. Cook using mustard oil generously-about 1 tbsp oil each side. Flip and cook on other side.
Serve with lauki raita (recipe below)
Peel and grate one small lauki. Remove big seeds if any. Yield about 3/4 cup. Add 2-4 tbsp of water and ddd it to a pressure cooker or instant pot and cook for 1 whistle. Cool down completely. Squeeze the liquid out and reserve.
Whisk 1.5 cup thick plain yogurt with 1 tsp roasted cumin, cut up green chillies to taste, 1 tsp kala namak(black salt) and 1/4 tsp sugar. Add table salt to taste. Use the reserved water to thin out the raita as needed. The leftover liquid can be used to make roti dough.
In a small pan, temper 1/2 tbsp cooking oil with some 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add 1/2 tsp red chili powder(or to taste). Pour over the raita and mix. Add some chopped cilantro. Chill for 30 mins and serve.