Today I present before you one of the most delicious dishes of the Malabar region, Chatti Pathiri, with little variations of my own. Chatti pathiri or Chatti pathal is also popularly known as Atti Pathal or Adukku pathiri. They are basically layers of pancakes coated with eggs which are interleaved with meat filling. You may consider it is as an Indian version of Italian lasagna?? I have tried making chattipathiri many times. But this was the first time I got it very soft and juicy. I guess, the number of eggs used did the trick. My aunt, Aama, is a real pro in making Chattipathiri. She makes amazingly delicious and flavorful Chattipathiri. So before I started the preparations this time, I consulted her and made myself very clear.
Though the original recipe uses alternate layers of meat masala filling and egg filling, I have used only chicken filling. This makes it more flavorful and juicy. And all the eggs goes into the pancake batter and the outside, making this Chatti Pathiri soft and fluffy. The egg mixture used for coating the pancake is also seasoned in my recipe to enhance the flavor. Take a look at the detailed recipe below.
First cook chicken in 2 cups water with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste until done, for about 20-25 minutes. Then shred the chicken to small pieces and keep it aside. Next heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions and saute until they turn soft and light pink in color. Next, add the ginger garlic paste and chopped green chilies and saute till the raw smell goes off. Simmer the flame. Then add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and mix. Now add the cooked and shredded chicken pieces and saute. Add garam masala powder and chopped coriander leaves, and mix. Cook for a minute with lid closed. Then switch the flame off.
There are two ways of making the pancakes. You may either prepare a loose batter, like we usually do for pancakes. Then spread the batter on a pan and swirl with a ladle. Cook both the sides. The second method is to prepare a dough just as we do for roti/chapati (Indian flat bread made of wholewheat) and make chapatis. But make sure that you do not cook them fully. Cook only until they are 80-90% cooked. Here I have followed the first method. So, to prepare the pancake batter, take the all purpose flour and salt in a mixing bowl. To this, add 3 eggs. Start mixing slowly. Add water little by little and mix, until you get a smooth batter. The batter should neither be too thick nor too loose. Keep this batter aside.
Now you have to prepare an egg mixture for coating each of the pancakes. For this, break 5 eggs into a bowl. Then add the chopped green chilies, coriander leaves, milk and salt to taste. Whisk everything well until well combined. Keep this aside.
Heat a non-stick pan/ tawa. Pour about 1 ladle of the batter prepared, and swirl with the back of the ladle to spread the batter. (Make sure that the size of each of the pancakes are nearly the same, and is equal to the base of the pan that we would use for final cooking). Let it cook for about a minute. Then flip the side and cook the other side too. Once done, remove from pan.
Similarly, make pancakes until all the batter is used up (about 5-6 pancakes). Now grease the sides and bottom of a deep bottomed pan with vertical sides. (I didn’t have a pan with vertical sides, so used a cake tin instead. Kept the cake tin inside another pan). Now take a pancake and dip it in the prepared egg mixture. Make sure to coat well. Now place the pan cake on the greased tin. Then add 2-3 tbsp of the prepared chicken filling on top of it. Spread it evenly. Again coat the second pancake with egg mixture. Place this on top of the chicken filling. Next add 2-3 tbsp of the filling. Repeat the process and layer the pan with egg coated pancakes and chicken filling. Finally finish it up by placing an egg coated pancake as the last layer.
Pour the excess egg mixture on top of the layered pancakes. It will cover the sides too. Place the sliced cashew nuts and tomato slices on the top. Then sprinkle the poppy seeds on top. Now switch the flame on, and cook this with lid closed, on lowest flame for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the layered chatti pathiri on to another plate. And then slide back to the pan, so that the other side faces up. Now cook for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool a bit. Flip the chatti pathiri carefully on to a serving platter. Slice and enjoy the juicy and flavorful chicken chatti pathiri.
Check out step-by-step images below.