After we started our baking experiments with P Nik, a few loaves of bread made their way to my office and the staff ate them up (literally). One of the staff members asked me if I would teach her how to bake bread, but unfortunately the office doesn’t have an oven. I told her that when we were in India we didn’t have an oven either, so we often made rotis, also known as chapattis. She and a few other staff members became extremely excited when I mentioned the word chapattis, as they remembered eating them back in Burma. I promised that I would teach the office staff how to make them at some point.
We’ve recently begun a Monday-night ritual where I stay late at the office after work, Kenny comes over on his bike, and we have a big office dinner together. It’s been fun for me to introduce Kenny to my co-workers and to the delicious food I have been enjoying every day for lunch. This Monday was particularly special because all of the interns had just finished a grueling day of tests and interviews for an advanced school. We decided that a celebration was in order. Fortunately, Kenny had just returned from a Kay Htoe Bo celebration, and had a bottle of rice wine in hand. He offered to make a quick run to the grocery store to grab some flour for chapattis, and the staff started working on a huge pot of veggie curry.
Of course, there’s no atta in this part of the world, so we had to make do with all-purpose flour and its suboptimal gluten content. No matter, I taught one staff member how to make chapatti dough, Kenny taught another how to grill the flattened pancakes, and within an hour the office had been transformed into an efficient chapatti-making operation. Someone went over to a friend’s house to borrow a huge round griddle pan that could accommodate five chapattis at a time, and we became a chapatti factory, churning out a new batch of hot, delicious flat breads every couple of minutes.
The Burmese curry that was served with the chapattis was delicious, and featured many flavors reminiscent of India. It was a delicious, festive meal, and Kenny and I went home stuffed.