Across Africa, South America, and the East there are variations of a basic flour water mix used to make ‘bread’ in a dry pan to be eaten with traditional stews. In Ethiopia injera is the flatbread made from teff (a fine grain that varies in color from white to dark brown) and fIour and left to ferment until a yeast forms after around 4 days.
Injera becomes both a plate on which the stew is placed or can be served alongside the typically spicy chicken stew that is the national dish of Ethiopians. Lebanese Mountain bread, although a flat bread also uses yeast to get a more doughy texture.
Moroccan flatbread is probably closest to the Indian chapatti, which is also made without yeast or fermentation, however, the Moroccan flatbread is slightly different in that there are some spices added.
As you cook your Moroccan flatbreads in a dry pan – no oil added – your kitchen will smell delightful as the aromas of the cinnamon, cumin, and coriander are released.
Moroccan Flatbread Recipe
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon dried cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander cilantro powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
- Mix the dried spices with the flour in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the center and add the water a little at a time incorporating the flour, until you have a dough ball. I find that one and a third cups of water is usually sufficient.
- Using floured hands knead the dough on a floured bread board until it is smooth and elastic – this should take about 5 minutes.
- Return to the bowl to rest for about half an hour and cover the bowl with a clean cloth.
- Divide the dough ball into around 6 pieces, pinching off lumps of dough with the fingers.
- Roll each piece into a ball then roll out into a circle on a floured board.
- Heat a skillet and fry one at a time for around 1 minute each side on a hot stove, turning once they start to puff up.
Serve the Moroccan flatbreads warm with lamb tagine, or any hearty stew, tearing off pieces to soak up all those last delicious bits of the gravy.
They can also be used to serve with eggs at breakfast time, mince, or can even serve as a wrap with chicken and various salad ingredients at lunchtime.
I must admit, when preparing the ones for today’s recipe I rolled one up like a pancake after spreading it with butter, some flaked almonds, and honey! It was delicious, warm and aromatic – those spices made all the difference.
As a child I wanted to grow up and marry a farmer… simply because it was so different from my life right on the shores of the ocean. Well, I didn’t marry a farmer but a surfer instead. The urge, however, to grow stuff and make great food for a big family never left. We are on acreage with a sea view and easy access to fresh caught crayfish and other seafood – the best of both worlds. As an artist and writer I enjoy creating new recipes, tweaking traditional ones, and sharing the results not only with family and friends, but online.