The curfew cuisine diary from Sri Lanka: Flour power
Aaaaaaand we're back. Two days of continuous curfew. Step outside your house and risk getting arrested. So let's do the lockdown thing, and cook!
I tried to list out how many recipes use flour and water. I gave up. The list was too long. No matter where you travel, there's always a flour-water recipe based... 'base' for your meal. Pitta bread, Naan, Chapati, Roti, Gothamba, even my favourite - Stringhoppers. And then there are all the pasta and all the noodles: hundreds of types of these. Scones? Waffles? Pancakes? Okay... maybe some of them use a water substitute, but I'm sure you get the idea.
A Jordanian variation of Flour and Water - a very crispy (what we would call) Roti
Aother variation - In Sri Lanka we would call this a Gothamba - only ours are cooked on a flat skillet, not an upturned cauldron.
In Sri Lanka, our Pol Roti is an anytime base for our meals. Again, it's flour and water - with scraped (grated) coconut. This doughy mixture is shaped into slightly smaller than a saucer sized disc and cooked on a pan.
And then there's puttu – essential the same ingredients, flour water and coconut, but instead of cooking it on a pan, puttu is steamed in a special utensil. Of course, in puttu, the amount of water used is much less.
Thankfully, during our lockdown period, we've had our groceries sold door to door. As was our fruit, veg, and other little luxuries like hand wash and dairy and soft drinks! In all honesty, the lockdown was like living in the 70s. No supermarkets. The local shops catered to all your needs and sometimes, you grew your own fruit and veg! But we are the lucky ones. Thousands of daily wage earners didn't have life so good, let alone easy.
This being Sri Lanka though, the people didn't wait on the government to get into gear. Private individuals and NGO and religious institutions stepped in to take up the slack. Very few people – if at all – fell though this net.
In our house, flour power ruled. From rotis to gothambas to puttu, to bread, to scones, to pancakes and waffles, at sometime during the last 76 days (out of which we went "out" to the supermarket and visiting), all of these were made. Watch this space for more Curfew Cuisine.
The Pol Roti in all its glory!