Chatti Pathiri is a traditional dish from the Malabar cuisine which is a layered pastry usually made in the North Malabar and Malabar region of Kerala State. This dish is made both in sweet and savory variations.
Chatti Pathiri is very similar to the Italian lasagna where instead of pasta, pastry sheets/ pancakes made with flour, egg, oil and water is used in this recipe. Here we are making the sweet variety of Chatti pathri in which sugar; beaten eggs, nuts and raisins, seasoned with cardamom are stuffed in this dish whereas the savory ones are made with traditional meat filling used in making samosas or savory puffs. Once layered, it goes in for baking at 180 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. An essential ingredient to enhance the authenticity of the dish is the white poppy seeds, used extensively in Malabar cuisine while making biryani and meat stews.
Pathiri is a pancake made of rice flour and is part of the local cuisine among the Mappilas of North Malabar and Malabar region in Kerala state of southern India. Crushed rice is made into white dough and baked on pans called oadu. After preparation it is soaked in coconut milk to keep it soft and enhance the flavor. Other popular dishes from the Malabar cuisine are Adaku Pathiri , Kunji pathiri (steamed rice dumplings in meat gravy), Ari-pathiri (rice chappathi) , Malabar Fish Moilee, Malabar Masala Chicken Curry, Malabar Chemmen Curry (Prawns).
Malabar forming the northern Kerala is a mix of culture and its cuisine is noted for its variety of pancakes and steamed rice cakes made form pounded rice. Malabar food is generally mildly flavored and gently cooked. Malabari Moppila biryani is delicately made till the mutton is cooked until tend and the rice flaky which is delicately spiced with the right portions of condiments to offer the taste lingering for long. Any meat like mutton, chicken, fish or prawn can also be added in making this dish. It is one of the signature dishes from the Malabar cuisine.
Traditionally pathiri is also known as pathi or ari pathil in some parts of the Malabar region. The word ‘pathiri’ traces its origin to the Arabic word fateerah meaning "pastry". It is believed that pathiri itself originated with the Arabs in Malabar. Today, pathiri is still a popular dish among the Muslims in Kerala. This dish is generally prepared for dinner a served with meat of fish. In some regions, pathiri is regularly served during Iftar in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
To prepare this delicious layered Chatti pathiri, firstly knead maida well by adding 3 pinches of slat with warm water. Make about 10 equal medium sized then chapatti. Take a non stick pan and heat on slow flame. Half cook the chapattis and keep aside.
Then take another frying pan and put about ½ cup ghee and heat it over low flame. Add cashew nuts, raisins and fry till it becomes golden brown. Remove it into a plate. After that add the poppy seeds and fry it for a second and just strain it in a tea strainer. Keep those fried ingredients aside and take a bowl and beat 7 eggs by adding sugar, cardamom powder. Take another small cup and pour just half to the small cup of those beaten eggs and keep it aside.
Pour the remaining beaten eggs (remaining in the big bowl) in a hot pan by adding 6 teaspoons of ghee. Mix it well and scramble it. Then take a non stick medium size container and put it over simmer heat. Add ¼ cup of ghee and take one half cooked chapatti and dip it in the egg which we had kept aside in a small cup. Put that chapatti in the non stick container and sprinkle little bit of fried poppy seeds, nuts, and raisins and also those fried scrambled eggs. Continue the same procedure with the rise of the 9 chapatti. Spread the chapattis evenly and check that there should be no gaps in the sides of the container and on the top. Add some poppy seeds, nuts and raisins over the last chapatti. Pour the rest of ghee which was used for frying and close the container with the lid and just cook it for about 15 minutes in low heat. Remember it should not be cooked in high heat. Open the lid after an hour and it will be in the form of a cake. Remove it into a plate and cut into pieces and serve hot.
Tip: Remember to make chatti pathiri with soft maida chapattis. Serve hot or else the ghee gets hard or microwave just before serving.
Chatti pathiri is delectable dish that be served as a dessert too. For trying this palatable dish, click on the below link for detailed recipe:
Traditionally, the baking of chatti pathiri is done in a sealed container with the coconut husk coals at the bottom and more on its lid which also has the added virtue of imparting a very delicate coco-nutty scent of its own to the dish baking crisp in the container. Although the traditional method of preparing them calls for placing them on hot coals, chatti pathiri may be prepared on regular oven or stove-tops.
Furthermore the chatti pathiri can also be assembled ahead of time and stored in the fridge and then baked just in time for any feast. Fresh-baked chatti pathiir would fill the house with flavorful aromas and keep your taste buds in high spirits for any happy feast.