Mar 4, 2010

Tibetan bread in a skillet

This and the posts that will follow have been a long time coming. Call it blog fatigue or my tendency to bite more than I can chew, DSM took a back seat to other chores equally important, like going to school and trying to stay updated on my other blog, 359 Days of DSM. So, to all those who wondered and expressed concern at the absence of activity on this blog, Thank You. I appreciate the love and support of my virtual friends, which I find sometimes lacking in my real life friends.

A couple of weeks ago imprisoned in our own house by 6 inches of snow and too thin blooded to go out and play, we turned to culinary games. Fortunately for us, the day before the white flurries descended on our Tx homeland, I had scored a couple of cookbooks from our library, one of which was his favorite chef Jacques Pepin’s More Fast Food My Way. If you thought French cooks were snooty just watch Jacques in action and you will think your favorite uncle was showing you magic tricks with food. He can be found with his culinary magic tricks here or on PBS every Sunday.

As with all things, he is never happy with a first attempt and the long internment gave him ample time to
experiment till he came up with something he liked. It goes without saying that unlike me, he perfected the original recipe first, which is as simple as bread cooked in a skillet can get.
The original calls for flour, salt, baking powder, water, a few tablespoons of oil and a 12 inch skillet. It does, like all things instant, need to be consumed within a couple of hours, preferably right out of the skillet. The modified version is also easy, fast and tastes best right out of the skillet but you can use the leftovers next day. If you are watching your carb intake, this recipe is not for you. Go eat some moong dal dosas, recipe can be found here.
Unlike regular breads, this is a wait-till-the-last-minute to make a bread kind of recipe. So, plan and keep ready the rest of the meal before you make this. I made chole-palak (garbanzo beans and spinach curry) to go with it. Pair it with your choice of spicy curry.

Serves 2
1 ½ Cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 Tsp salt
1 Tsp baking powder
1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 cup water, plus about 2 tbsp more for steaming the bread

His additions: (also see note)
1 Tsp ajwain/ carom seeds
1/4 cups finely chopped cilantro

Whisk all the dry ingredients together and add water to make a thick, gooey batter. It should be thinner than a dosa batter but thicker than buttermilk.
Spread the oil in a 12 inch skillet, preferably non-stick and add a swirl of olive oil to it. Pour the batter in the skillet and spread it evenly on the floor of the skillet with the back of a spatula.
Add some water along the edges and cover with a tight fitting lid and get the bread cooking. Place on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. The water steams the bread and helps it cook. At the end of 10 minutes the water should be gone and the dough frying.
Reduce the heat and, using a fork, flip the bread. Cook the other side, covered, for another five minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover and cool a little in the skillet before cutting it into wedges. Serve with chole palak or curry of your choice.

Note: We have tried this with a 1:2 combination of APF and whole wheat flour too. I liked it, he didn’t. So try the original version first and then experiment with the flour combination.

You can use any combination or assortment of herbs to make the batter.


  1. She's back! She's back!
    Lucky devil, I've been eyeing that book for ages, but too cheap to go and buy it of course. Interesting bread, did the original recipe say what kind of fast food he was trying to mimic?

  2. Hey Jaya
    very new and intresting bread!! looks tempting..thanx for sharing...

  3. Ann, I got the book from the library. Plus, the links above have full episodes of him cooking. If I remember right, it is not fast food as in McD and Burger King but regular food cooked faster.

    You are welcome Jagruti. :)

  4. Tibetan bread looks great. Thanx for sharing the step by step approach for preparation.


  5. Looks good, DSM, thanks for sharing..

    Plzzzz..Curiosity is killing this cook, I am in TX too, Houston..Where are you? ...C'mon think of all the Iyer special sambars you can have, and you will get a baby sitter too, when you are enjoyin the food :D

  6. Tibetian bread looks really mouthwatering... like a salted crepe! The side dish looks awesome as well.

  7. thats a new and very interesting recipe Jaya. looks chewy and perfect for indian curries.

  8. Love the idea of making a bread on the skillet .. not having to bake it. :-)Blog when you feel like it Jaya ... am sure it is for fun and not to stress you out. :-)

  9. Ruchika, I am in DFW. But the two of you are welcome to come stay at our humble abode anytime, Iyer sambars and all. :)

    Thank you Deepa, Cool Lassi(e), HD.

    Sharmila, it took me a couple of months to get over the stress of blogging and now I do it just for fun. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  10. Just when I was wondering whether to issue a missing in action call! Good to see you back.
    Tibetan bread looks easy enough to make and sounds yum with some spicy curry.

  11. I like that last minute bread - while I go the moong chila way some times, I can afford to eat this sometimes - want to try this sometime soon. Haven't heard of this chef before

  12. This is a very interesting bread/ dosa whatever you call it. Never heard of it before, but sounds like an excellent thing to make when one is pressed for time (and ideas). :)

  13. thatz so new to me, very interesting

  14. It is so nice to see you made the Tibetan bread. I watched the episode by JP on PBS.You just reminded me to prepare it soon.

  15. hey thats a nice looking bread.

  16. I haven't updated my cookery blog for ages now. I guess it just happens!

  17. I think I saw this on Indo's blog. Very fascinating. So there's some oil, and some more oil - spread the oil and add a swirl of olive oil - how much in total?

  18. thats an interesting recipe...looks great:)

  19. Sra, out of the 1 tbsp of oil, swirl some in the pan and some around the edged of the batter. Since it is essentially cooked in a non stick pan, it doesn't need much. :)

  20. I remember watching this episode where Jacques described to Claudine how he learned it by asking the guy at this Tibetan restaurant he goes to-- it looked quite incredible, as does most of the stuff he cooks, and yours has turned out nicely.
    I love watching Jacques for his spot-on technique. He is such a perfectionist. :)

  21. I have seen this before, but never gave it a try. i will go over the recipe again and try it. sounds really interesting.

  22. Looks great Jaya and welcome back.

  23. have you disappeared again?

  24. Hey Jaya, I missed this post of yours. All the while I kept thinking that you were extremely busy with school, family and kid. Anyway I do peek into your 359 days at DSM once in a while and get your updates. (Love those snippets by the way!)
    I have been staaring at the bread but also the spinach garbanzo beans curry. You have the recipe somewhere on your blog?

  25. Hello,

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  26. Thanks Jaya...yes it's a very slow process i am realizing ....
    this bread is worth trying as it seems so quick for a bread..

  27. Hi there! I happened upon your blog while looking for poha recipes and I see you've been making some delicious looking Tibetan bread. I've also recently made another version, but I'm going to try your recipe soon. I love your blog:-)
    Here's a link to mine

  28. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!



Thank you for visiting my space. I miss my former editors, so any form of criticism/ appreciation is welcome. :)

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