‘Comfort food’ for me is always associated with happy memories. I am a third culture kid, Indian but born and raised in Kuwait, and after my stint in the UK, I settled down in Bangalore, India. So, yes for me comfort food is not just food from India it is food from where I have spent a lot of time. One such food that brings back a flood of memories is ‘Mushakal’ pronounced ‘Moo-shak-kal’ which means mixture or mix in Arabic. It is vegetarian equivalent of the famous Shawarma sandwich. It is basically a pita bread or khubooz stuffed with falafel, grilled or fried vegetables like brinjal/eggplant/aubergine , potato and cauliflower, drizzled with tahini (sesame seed paste) . While I find falafel, hummus and shawarma popular world over , I really don’t find any talk about Mushakal. I have asked around so I feel it is something only offered in Kuwait and not in other GCC countries. I could be wrong and if I am let me know.
If you are on a gluten free diet , the pita bread is what is going to be difficult to source. The other ingredients are easy to make and also available to buy. However , I made everything from scratch except for the tahini. The tahini is something I picked up from a store in Kuwait.
The pita bread that I have created allows you to slice through so that you can stuff it with any filling of your choice. It is soft in the middle and a little crusty on the outside. If you have ever missed eating pita bread, try this and your taste buds might just tell you it is close to the traditional pita bread. The best part of this recipe is that it is vegan, nut free, soy free and gum free too.
Gluten free and Vegan Pita Bread
- Brown rice flour – 1/2 cup + extra for dusting
- Jowar/sorghum flour – 1 cup
- Rice flour – 3/4 cup *
- Tapioca flour – 1/4 cup *
- Instant Yeast – 1 tsp
- Powdered Flax seed – 1.5 tsp *
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Brown Sugar – 1 tsp
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp + extra for greasing
- Luke warm water – 350 ml *
- In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients. In a jar, pour in the lukewarm water, add the olive oil and then mix into the dry mixture.
- Use a spatula or a round bladed knife to mix a slightly sticky, soft dough.
- Place the dough into a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. There is no gluten to develop here so please do not overknead, a couple of minutes for it to come together is more than enough.
- Divide the dough into 6 balls. Place the balls on a large oiled baking sheet or greased tray, loosely cover with a kitchen towl or cling film wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Once the dough is rested , place them onto a floured surface or rolling board and roll them out into a flat oval shape, repeat the process with every ball of dough. Place the rolled out dough onto greased and dusted baking trays or parchment paper. Place a kitchen towel over the trays, let it sit in a warm place for 30 minutes or until it is puffy.
- Towards the end of this time , pre heat the oven to 220 ° celsius and then bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up.
- Once done, wrap them in a damp tea towel and let them cool down. Once the cool down, you can heat them on a grill or skillet like a chappati/roti. Split them open and serve with filling of your choice.
You may use a gluten free commercial mix in place of the white rice flour and tapioca flour. i.e. 1 cup of gluten free flour mix provided it is one with a rice and starch blend.
You may use xanthan gum in place of flax seed.
Keep an eye on the water, if you feel your dough is not coming together add a litte more. If you feel it is too sticky and will not hold, add a little bit of jowar or brown rice flour.
For a falafel recipe and an egg based pita bread recipe , check this link Falafel and pita bread
If you do try this recipe, do tag me on Instagram or Twitter @jagglutenfree or on Facebook @GFIndia
If you are looking for gluten free baking classes , drop me a line.
If you are newly diagnosed Celiac, new to the gluten free lifestyle or just want to read my story, check my book out.