Chatamari

Chatamari, also known as Newari pizza, is a traditional food among the Newari people in Nepal. It is a round bread made of rice flour with various toppings such as minced meat, onions, coriander leaves, and eggs. This dish has gained popularity not only among the Newari community but also among Nepalese communities as a whole.

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What is Chatamari made of? Ingredients for Chatamari

Chatamari, a popular Nepali dish, is a type of flatbread made with rice flour. It is a versatile dish that can be topped with both sweet and savory ingredients. Here are the main ingredients you will need to make Chatamari:

  1. Rice Flour: You will need 1 cup of rice flour to make the dough for Chatamari. Rice flour gives the flatbread its light and crispy texture.
  2. Water: To make the dough, you will need 1/2 cup of water. The amount of water may vary depending on the consistency of the dough, so you can adjust it accordingly.
  3. Salt: Add 1/4 tsp of salt to enhance the flavor of the dough. You can adjust the salt according to your taste preferences.

Optional Toppings:

  1. Minced Meat: For a non-vegetarian version of Chatamari, you can use minced meat like buffalo, chicken, turkey, lamb, or any other meat of your choice. The amount of meat can vary according to your preference.
  2. Eggs: Eggs are a common topping for Chatamari. You can crack eggs directly onto the flatbread and cook them along with the other toppings.
  3. Onions: Finely chopped onions add a sweet and savory flavor to Chatamari. You can sprinkle them on top of the flatbread before cooking.
  4. Coriander Leaves: Fresh coriander leaves add a refreshing taste and aroma to Chatamari. You can chop them and sprinkle them on top as a garnish.

These are just a few examples of the toppings you can use for Chatamari. You can get creative and add other ingredients like vegetables, cheese, or spices to suit your taste.

Making the Rice Batter

The first step in preparing chatamari, a delicious traditional Nepali dish, is to create the rice batter. The rice batter serves as the base for the crepe-like texture of the dish and is incredibly simple to make.

There are two options for creating the rice batter. The traditional method involves soaking rice overnight and then grinding it into a fine meal. However, for a quicker and easier approach, rice flour can be used instead.

To start, take a mixing bowl and add rice flour. Slowly add water to the flour while stirring, until you achieve a thin batter consistency. The amount of water needed may vary, so it’s best to add it gradually and adjust as necessary.

Next, you’ll need to incorporate lentils into the batter. Begin by soaking the lentils and then grinding them into a paste. The lentil paste adds flavor and richness to the chatamari batter. Mix the lentil paste into the rice batter, along with a touch of salt. Some variations of the recipe may suggest adding cumin, either in seed or powder form, for an additional layer of flavor.

Once all the ingredients are combined, your chatamari batter is ready to use. The consistency should be thin enough to easily spread on a frying pan, similar to making pancakes. The batter should be poured into the pan in the shape of a circle, creating a base for the toppings.

Preparing the Toppings

One of the great things about chatamari is that you can customize the toppings to your liking. Whether you prefer a meat-based stir fry, a vegetarian-friendly option, or even a poached egg, the choice is yours. It’s important to have your toppings prepared ahead of time so that you can easily add them to the chatamari once it’s cooking.

To start, gather all the ingredients for your chosen toppings. For a meat-based stir fry, you can use minced meat of your choice and sauté it with onions, garlic, and spices until cooked through. If you prefer a vegetarian option, you can prepare a mix of chopped vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach, seasoned with your favorite herbs and spices.

Cooking the Chatamari

Once you have your toppings ready, it’s time to start cooking the chatamari. Heat a pan on the stove and add a very thin layer of batter to cover the bottom of the pan. It’s important to spread the batter as thinly, evenly, and widely as possible, similar to cooking a crepe.

After spreading the batter, it’s time to add your toppings. Sprinkle a bit of each of your prepared toppings onto the chatamari, making sure to distribute them evenly. The toppings will cook along with the chatamari, infusing it with delicious flavors.

Cover the pan with a lid and let the chatamari steam for at least 4-5 minutes. This allows the batter to cook through and the toppings to become tender. Be careful when uncovering the pan, as you don’t want any accumulated water to drip back onto the chatamari.

Use a spatula or other flat instrument to ensure the chatamari is unstuck from the pan. Once it’s unstuck, it should slide off easily onto a plate. Repeat this process until all the batter and toppings have been used up, serving each chatamari as you go along.

Sweet Chatamari Variations

While chatamari is traditionally known for its savory toppings, it can also be transformed into a delightful sweet treat. With a few modifications and creative toppings, you can enjoy a delicious and unique sweet chatamari. Here are some sweet chatamari variations to satisfy your sweet tooth:

  1. Banana and Nutella Chatamari: Spread a generous amount of Nutella on top of the cooked chatamari and sprinkle sliced bananas over it. The combination of creamy Nutella and sweet bananas creates a decadent and indulgent dessert.
  2. Cinnamon Sugar Chatamari: Sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on top of the chatamari while it’s still warm. The warm and crispy crepe combined with the sweet and fragrant cinnamon sugar creates a comforting and nostalgic treat.
  3. Honey and Almond Chatamari: Drizzle honey over the cooked chatamari and sprinkle toasted almonds on top. The sweetness of the honey and the crunchiness of the almonds add a delightful texture and flavor to the chatamari.
  4. Fruit and Yogurt Chatamari: Spread a layer of Greek yogurt on top of the chatamari and arrange a variety of fresh fruits such as berries, sliced mangoes, or kiwis on top. The creamy yogurt and the juicy fruits create a refreshing and healthy sweet chatamari option.
  5. Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chatamari: Spread a layer of creamy peanut butter on top of the chatamari and drizzle melted chocolate over it. The combination of rich chocolate and creamy peanut butter adds a delightful twist to the traditional chatamari.

These sweet chatamari variations can be enjoyed as a dessert, a snack, or even a unique breakfast option. Get creative with your toppings and explore different flavors to satisfy your sweet cravings. The versatility of chatamari allows you to experiment and create your own unique sweet combinations. So go ahead and indulge in a sweet twist on this traditional Nepali dish!