Loli

This is a really easy, relatively healthy and very sentimental recipe for me.

Loli is a Sindhi* breakfast dish. In all honesty it is much more than this as it is the quintessential Indian ‘on the go’ travel food and because of this it plays a prominent role in family life and memories.

It is a flavorful flat bread to give it a more universal description, but you won’t find it in any Indian restaurant.

It is an item that keeps well and therefore travels well. It is used for breakfast, picnics, for taking food with you for a plane or car journey. My grandma used to carry them in her pockets, handbag, suitcase and in fact after she had passed we found 30 Loli’s packed up and ready for the various Loli fans she fed every week, including 4 wrapped up in foil and newspaper and packed in her suitcase for Mr. B.

Everyone loves Loli’s, and my grans kitchen always had a stash in her kitchen. Family would come in and give her a hug and then move over to the silver tin she had to the right of the stove and dip their hands in, like a cookie jar, to find what treat was in store.

She was always in the kitchen, making us our favorite foods (of which there are many family members and many favorites). The only video I can find of my grandma, which I must have watched over 1000 times in the last few weeks, was of her making Loli’s so I’d like to think she was next to me when trying out this recipe. She would have laughed however, as I used a wine bottle instead of a rolling pin and struggled to get my Loli round instead of oval.

It is easy to vary the spice levels of a Loli as Chili is added to the dough mixture and so can easily be added or subtracted. My grandma made a variety therefore, just like in everything she did, to make sure everyone was happy.

Thank you Bigmama, for always putting us first. Miss you everyday, xoxo

*Sindhi cuisine refers to cuisine from Sindh, formally of India, now part of Pakistan. There is a lot of intense history and culture wrapped up in Sindhi cooking, but it is best known for its variety and simplicity.

This recipe was adapted from simplysindhirecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (healthy version)
  • 1 medium Onion finely chopped
  • 1 green Chili finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Mint leaves finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. Red Chili powder
  • 2½ tbsp. Oil
  • ½-1 cup of water
  • ½ tsp. Cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for rubbing on Loli

Optional

  • The original recipe asks for just wheat flour, which just means use any flour with gluten. My mum noted you could use chapatti flour, which is also called ‘Atta’. This is made of durum wheat and has high gluten content that helps with the elasticity and therefore can be rolled out very thin. Using whole wheat flour as I did, makes for a healthier but more dry and dense version.

Method

  • Chop onions and green chilies, you want pieces no bigger than 2/3mm
  • Chop coriander leaves and mint leaves, small dice
  • Sieve flour and add salt, cumin seeds, red chili powder, onions, green chilies, coriander leaves, mint leaves and oil
  • Mix well and add very little water, knead into stiff dough.
  • Divide the dough into 6 even sized balls.
  • Roll each one with a rolling pin, you want a round shape and for the Loli to be not more than 1cm thick
  • Prick the Loli with a fork. This will ensure cooking of the Loli from the inside.
  • Heat a frying pan, and oil
  • Place Loli on the frying pan and cook on a medium heat on each side adding a little oil from sides, until small brown dots appear on surface (this will take a couple mins).
  • Use a flat spatula to press Loli as this will help in cooking the inside as well as to get a crisp texture on the outside.
  • Cook till both sides are done with spots all over and nicely browned.
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