Yesterday while doing my Thursday morning service I had the opportunity to chat with my client’s mother who, with her husband, is visiting for a couple of weeks from Las Vegas. She spent the majority of the time while I was there by my side in the kitchen asking questions about the food I was making and, at the same time, offering up some priceless information for me to use. She’s Indian, has lived in the US for 46 years and is an avid cook herself. I was secretly thankful that I wasn’t doing any Indian dishes because I’m pretty sure she could have schooled me good on my techniques!
She shared with me some of her homemade roti (think tortilla, but with Indian flair and spice). She had two versions – one was plain whole wheat and one was a methi roti using fenugreek leaves and chilies. The methi roti was delicious. She also sent me home with a container of her split mung bean dal. It was a sweeter version (her words) with lots of whole clove. This spurred a conversation about homemade tortillas and I confessed that I never bothered to make my own corn or flour tortillas. I guess after cooking for others all day I find some shortcuts acceptable. She also gave me a sample of her homemade yogurt and sent me home with a half cup to use as a started. The directions were rattled off quickly and I had to resort to Google searching when I got home to fill in the blanks.
So with some free time on my hands today, I set about making my own yogurt and some corn tortillas since Friday is “taco night” once or twice a month at my house. I came home with a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina and a half gallon of whole milk – the only ingredients needed to make my own tortillas and yogurt.
First, the tortillas. The dough is wicked simple – masa harina, a little salt, and hot water. It came together as expected and I wrapped it up to rest for an hour or so. After much Googling, I decided a tortilla press wasn’t necessary and used saran wrap and a pie plate as my tools. I rolled the dough into 2″ balls and gave them a mighty press. Some browning in a dry cast iron skillet was the only cooking needed. All in all, while they were flavorful and I think they would make good tortilla chips if I continued on with frying them, I wasn’t overly impressed with the idea of using them as a taco shell. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get them thin enough to the point where I thought they would make a good taco.
The yogurt is still a work in progress. I read multiple articles on the in’s and out’s of making homemade yogurt and finally settled on this one – http://www.spiciefoodie.com/2012/08/01/how-to-make-homemade-greek-yogurt/. Right now it’s in the incubation stage and, if all goes well, should be ready for a delicious breakfast in the morning. I have my fingers crossed because all signs point to it being a revolution in yogurt consumption in my house. It’s something we have on a daily basis but I usually use plain Greek yogurt and add my own fruit – the amount of sugar in pre-made fruit yogurts is crazy.
I’ll report back tomorrow but I’m hoping the yogurt goes better than the corn tortillas. I think I’ll be sticking with the Ortega Super Stuffers for taco night. My client’s mother is going to show me how to make the methi roti when I’m back next Thursday!