These Kalonji Flatbreads are an impeccable pairing of light, airy bread and the fragrant, bitter seeds of the Nigella Sativa, a flowering plant native to south and south west Asia. Simple, quick and delicious, these flatbreads are perfect served alongside a variety of dishes, not least a fragrant curry.
The kalonji seed is one of my very favourite spices. They possess a strong, heady flavour – relative even to Indian cuisine – that pervades any dish to which it is added. As such, it is best used in small quantities, or as the dominant spice in a dish. For examples of this see my recipes for Saag Aloo and Mango Chutney, respectively.
These flatbreads are very much intended as a naan-esque creation; more of a tear and share bread. However, the recipe below would also work well as a larger flatbread or wrap. If you’d prefer the latter simply roll or stretch your bread a little thinner and cook for less time over a higher temperature.
Whichever way you choose to serve this delicious bread your kitchen and nostrils will certainly benefit greatly from the fragrance of your new favourite spice; kalonji.
• 250g white bread flour
• 175ml tepid water
• 7g sachet of fast-action yeast
• 1 tsp honey
• A generous pinch of salt
• 2 ½ tsp kalonji seeds
• 2 tsp olive oil
1. In a jug mix together the water, honey and yeast. Set this aside until frothy. Tip the flour, kalonji seeds and salt into a large bowl and mix. Once its frothy incorporate the yeast mixture, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead thoroughly. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover and put in a warm place to rise for 40 minutes.
2. Divide the dough into four balls and gently roll them out into circles – leave to prove for 20 minutes.
3. Brush a little oil onto a cast iron or thick stainless steel pan and cook each flatbread, one-by-one, over a medium heat. Serve immediately or leave to cool and freeze.
Cost: It is likely that one of the reasons flatbread has been such a success the world over is that very little is required to make it. Indeed, these four large flatbreads should cost little more than £1 to produce.