Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Malabar Lasagna (With Whole Wheat, Red Millet and All-Purpose Flour ) "Chatti Pathiri"

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Did you guys see the movie Inception? Christopher Nolan is amazing! Well, he is a bloody genius! Levels and levels of dreamy deception for an inception.. The first 10 minutes I neither understood head nor tail of it but soon-after comprehension dawned on me. The last scene of a "seemingly endless spinning totem" made me wonder if I was in a dream where I was looking into someone else's vivid dream - a complex dream with layers,levels and deceptive depths.I haven't sent back my DVD to Netflix yet cause I am planning on watching again with my dad who is coming over for a visit this weekend. Here is a nice flowchart for the Inception dream levels for anyone who is confused and would like to get some clarification on the movie.

While we are still on the topic of "levels, layers and depths", I have to tell you that I made this layered Malabar Lasagna called "Chatti Pathiri"  after coming to know about it from one of my favorite blogger buddy Ria who blogs at  "Ria's Collection" which has an awesome collection of cakes, bakes and splendid pictures to back-up every post. In her version she has used meat filling and the layers are made with All-purpose flour.I have modified it to my liking but still very much stayed true to the original recipe.The result is a stunning dish with layers and layers of complex flavor from the boiled sweet potato, roasted veggies that are beautifully sandwiched by melt-in-your-mouth crepes. Ahh wonderful! Sending this as an entry to Kerala Kitchen's Challenge.
My Son's Portion-
For the Crepes(Makes 11-12 Crepes):
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Red Millet Flour "Ragi Flour"
  • 1/2 Cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Egg, whisked 
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2-1/2 Cups Water to make a smooth batter
For the Filling:
  • 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes, boiled and roughly smashed (Crumble with hands)
  • 1/2 Head of Medium Cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3 Medium Carrots, peeled and cut to 1/4" thickness at an angle
  • 2 Cups Spinach, packed 
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Large yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • Chili powder as needed
  • Salt as needed
For the Assembly:
  • 1/2 Cup Thick Canned Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup 2% Milk (You may use whole)
  • 3 Tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 8" Non-stick pan/Griddle/Dosa Tava
  • 8-9" Cake Pan
  • A Wide and Shallow Dish 
  • Roast the cauliflower florets and cut carrots in a 400F oven for 20 minutes by placing them in a single layer in a oven proof dish/sheet with 2 Tsp Olive Oil, a dash of salt and cracked pepper.
  • It should look something like this 20 minutes later. Let it cool before coarsely crumbling in a blender/food processor by hitting the "Pulse" button a few times.
  • In a pan heat 2 tsp of oil, add the minced garlic and the chopped onions along with turmeric powder.
  • Add the smashed sweet potatoes, pulsed "roasted carrots and cauliflowers" along with from chili powder(if using), cracked pepper and salt. Stir gently and check for taste.
  • Thoroughly clean the 2 Cups of Spinach, drain it completely of water and roughly chop it. Add the chopped spinach to the pan and stir gently to incorporate. Cool the filling.
  • Sift all the flour together using a fine-meshed sieve.
  • Make a batter with water and add the whisked egg. Stir with a whisk or ladle to make a smooth batter.
  • Using a ladle pour about 5-6 tbsp of batter onto a griddle/pan/tava and spread it to a thin crepe. DO NOT GREASE the pan as the batter won't spread evenly. Use a "dome-style lid" like I used in this post to cover and cook ONLY on one side. Do NOT flip.
  • Quickly repeat the same for the remaining batter and layer the crepes on a wide sheet to avoid sticking.
  • Mix the coconut milk, milk and chopped cilantro in a wide and shallow dish. The crepes will be dipped in this mixture before being layered in the cake pan.
  • Dip a crepe in the milk-cilantro mixture on both side real quick with no more than "1 second dipping time per side". Over-dipping will make it soggy and the crepes might start falling apart.
  • Grease the cake pan and place a dipped crepe "cooked-side" down.
  • Divide the filling into 11 equal portions if you have 12 crepes or 10 equal portions for 11 crepes. Smear a portion of the filling on the crepe gently. Layer it with another dipped crepe "cooked-side" up and repeat the same. As you keep layering gently press the layers down with an wide angled-spatula so they are even all around. The very last crepe should be placed "cooked-side" down.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Loosely cover the cake pan with aluminum foil,else the top layer "might" stick to the foil.Bake for 20 minutes in an 350F oven.
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes or so. Take off the foil and flip the "Malabar Lasagna" carefully on to a plate. Cut and serve. Leftover portions should be refrigerated promptly.
Serves 4-5 people.

  • The crepes can be slightly bigger than the cake-pan size. Overlapping is fine and can create a "single closed layer" effect on the outside of the lasagna. I used a cake pan slightly larger than the crepes so I didn't get that "mesh effect".
  • The crepes can be made with just one flour- whole wheat or all-purpose. But when attempting with Red Millet Flour should be mixed with either Whole-Wheat or All-Purpose or both( like how I did in my recipe).
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  1. delicious looks so familiar to something we make and we enjoy it this must be fabulous

  2. Wow thats quite innovative. I can even have that crepes for as is for breakfast.

  3. ta version me plait les crêpes aux légumes ça doit être délicieux bravo
    bonne soirée

  4. CL- Thanks so so much for trying my recipe! You have no idea how happy I am to see this being tried by so many!! It's come out perfect for you!

    So the secret ingredient was red millet! Cool :)

  5. Super delicious recipe...I have eaten the sweet version of this..Your description is so neat that it makes the whole process simple...

  6. Actually i want to try this Malabar lasagna since a long, ur version sounds and looks super healthy,loved especially ur stuffing..U r pulling me to try soon..

  7. Looks delicious and mouth-watering!!


  8. How beautiful CL! Incredibly neat crepes! Love the sound of those yummy veggies in the filling! Thanks so much for the step by step pics too!

  9. I love this :-) You got them perfect and beautiful CL :-)Yet to watch Inception ;-)

  10. This is such a great layered dish, it's stunning! I love that I have some blogs to check out.

  11. Seeing fusion food like this always makes me so incredibly excited! Delicious.

  12. This truly deserves 5 stars!!!
    Great recipe !!

    US Masala

  13. Yummy..Looks really cool...Nice idea....Love it...Thanks for sharing...

  14. So tempting and very inviting !! So yummy yummy !!

  15. Lasagna looks so droolworthy and delicious that I feel taking a slice from the monitor :) !

    Hamaree Rasoi

  16. Wow..Luks so pretty,CL...Luvly stepwise pics...

  17. Love your version of Chatti pathiri and the addition of Red Millet flour. I'll try it the next time I make it :) Mashed sweet potato sure does sound like an interesting filling.

  18. Ok so this is what it is ...and looks delish

  19. Such an interesting recipe and love the title,malabar lasagna.

  20. Looks fabulous dear,makes me drool..healthy version,will surely try this.

  21. delicious looking lasagna... perfectly made...

  22. What a wonderful and healthy lasagma... way too tempting.. that little portion is so special and cute.

  23. i've been meaning to try this for a while too!!

  24. CL- Fantastic steps, healthy ingre. The snaps r splendid! Looks truly appetizing! Ria spread this fire! :)

  25. the color looks so fasinating...when Ria made it only..i was soo urs being veggie is more intriging!...looks too good!
    Smitha's Spicy Flavors


Thanks a bunch for your valuable comments and continued support.They are very much appreciated. Yes,like "Rain on Dry Land" and like "Oasis in Desert Sand".
XoXo, Cool Lassi(e)