Thursday, 5 July 2012

Batbout (Moroccan Pita Bread) and Classic Carrot Salad

Batbout (Moroccan Pita Bread) and Classic Carrot Salad

Today's Blog contains two of my favourite dishes from Morocco. Simple to cook and very versatile. You will really enjoy the fresh taste of Batbout (Moroccan Pita Bread) and wonderfully fresh Carrot Salad. So let's first start with the bread.

Batbout (Moroccan Pita Bread)

Preparation Time : 25 minutes
Cooking Time     : 30 minutes
Rising time          : 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time           : 2 hours, 25 minutes
Difficulty             : Medium
Serves                  : 4

Ingredients :

  • 4 cups of White Flour / Maida 
  • 2 cups of Semolina (Suji) and/or Wheat Flour (Atta) 
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil (any Vegetable Oil would do)
  • 1 tablespoon Yeast
  • 2 cups Water (approximate), divided  

Method :

1) Activate the yeast by mixing it with 1/4 cup of warm (not hot) water and a teaspoon of sugar. Set aside in a clean cup and cover the mixture until it's frothy, this will take about 5 to 10 minutes.
2) Blend the flours, remaining sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast, the oil and the rest of the water, and mix to form a dough.
3) The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it's too sticky to work with, add a little flour one tablespoon at a time. (Remember the dough will absorb a bit more flour if you knead it by hand.) If the dough feels a bit stiff, work in additional water, a tablespoon at a time.
4) Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface, for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
5) Roll the dough in a smooth ball and leave it to rest, covered, on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes.
6) Divide into medium sized balls. Roll out each ball into a thin circle about 1/8 inch thick. Set the rolled out dough on a clean, dry towel and cover. Leave to rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
7) Preheat a very lightly oiled cast iron skillet, griddle or other non-stick pan over medium heat. Cook the batbout, turning several times, until golden brown on both sides. The browning will be a bit uneven since the bread puffs up as it cooks, but that's okay.( In the same process we prepare Chapati, but remember not to put Batbout on direct flame)
8)Transfer the cooked batbout to a rack to cool. It's okay to stack them while they're warm.


Batbout will keep fresh for two days at room temperature. They freeze well, and can be heated in a microwave directly from the freezer. Just be careful not to overheat them or they'll dry out.
Now we start the second part Classic Carrot Salad

Classic Carrot Salad

Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Cooking Time      : 25 minutes
Difficulty             : Easy
Serves                  : 4

Ingredients :

  •  1/2 kg fresh Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8" slices
  •  4 tablespoons Olive oil 
  •  2 Cloves of Garlic, partially crushed
  •  2 tablespoons fresh Lemon juice
  •  2 tablespoons fresh Coriander Leaves, Finely Chopped 
  •  Salt to taste
  •  1/2 teaspoon Cumin, Lightly roasted and then crushed 
  •  1/2 teaspoon Paprika (you can use Kashmiri Mirch instead) 
  •  1/4 teaspoon Hot Paprika ( If you don't get this, use any teekha Lal Mirch Powder)

Method :

1) Boil the carrots in salted water until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

2) Drain, and immediately cover the carrots with cold water to stop further cooking. Drain again.
3) In a medium pot or skillet heat Olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, gently saute the garlic cloves in the olive oil for two or three minutes over low heat.

4) Discard the garlic, and add the carrots, lemon juice, Coriander leaves, and spices. Saute over low heat for another two minutes, and remove from the heat.
5) Serve the marinated carrots either warm or chilled.

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