Make your own flavoursome Indian Spiced Khara Bread with this simple recipe
Masala (spice blend):
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 to 2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
2/3 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped (coriander)
1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon milk for brushing the top of the bread
1 teaspoon nigella (kalonji or black onion) seeds for sprinkling on top of the bread (optional)
To make the masala blend, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and stir until they darken a few shades. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chilies and sauté for another minute. Stir in the fresh herbs and salt and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
For the dough, heat the milk and water together in a small saucepan over low heat until lukewarm. Pour into a large bowl and mix in the yeast and sugar until dissolved. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes until frothy. Then stir in the oil and salt. Gradually stir in the flour and herbs until a dough is formed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 15 to 17 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth and not sticky. Add more flour during the kneading process as needed.
Shape the dough into a round and transfer to a greased bowl, turning the dough to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let sit in a warm space until doubled in volume. This should take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how warm it is in the kitchen.
Punch the dough down to deflate. Transfer the dough again to a lightly floured bowl and gently knead for another 7 minutes to help work out any air bubbles that have formed.
Shape the dough into a loaf and transfer to a greased 22 x 12 cm loaf pan. Cover the pan with the kitchen towel and let sit to rise in a warm place for another hour.
Preheat an oven to 190C. Brush the top of the loaf with milk and sprinkle with some nigella seeds if desired. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the bread is golden on top and it sounds hollow when tapped. Let the loaf sit in the pan for 5 minutes. Gently run a knife along the edges of the bread and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.