Muttappathiri – Keralan Sweet Egg Bread
There are some dishes which take me straight back to my childhood and to my grandmother’s traditional Keralan kitchen. As a child I adored following her in her kitchen, admiring her ability to whip up dishes with ease and expertise. I always revered her great passion for cooking and feeding others, both family or friends. Meal times used to be always special and this Muttappathiri was one of her specialties for breaking fast during fasting season (Ramadan)
The word translates literally to egg-bread and that’s what they are. The outer crispy layers are created with simple wheat pastry and the soft and spongy filling is made of sweetened duck egg mixture flavored with lots of fragrant crushed cardamom seeds. Whenever I make this dish I admire our older generation’s ability to create marvelous dishes from simple everyday ingredients.
What makes this snack special is the combinations of textures and flavours – soufflé like sweet egg filling sandwiched between the crispy pastry layers and fried in coconut oil – which makes everything delightful.
- 2 cups plain flour
- !/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 4 duck eggs
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds
- Coconut oil for deep frying.
- Combine plain flour, salt and one tablespoon of oil in a large bowl and add enough cold water slowly and mix with your finger tips to make a soft dough.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes and cover and rest it for about 10 -15 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the filling by whisking eggs, sugar and crushed cardamoms together in a small bowl.
- Take the rested dough and make lime sized balls, roll them all into thin discs of (10 -12 cm) almost equal size.
- Place two discs together (on top of each other) and braid the sides tightly leaving a small (2 cm)opening for the egg mixture to be poured in.
- Lift the opening slightly with your one hand and slowly pour in about 50 ml of the filling in.
- Close the opening by pressing the two layers together and braid it tightly.
- Heat enough coconut oil in a wok or deep frying pan and slowly transfer the filled discs to the hot oil, Deep fry until golden brown on both sides, turning in between the process.