The excitement that comes with exploration must be the reason why people enjoy travelling overseas. Everything seems to intrigue a tourist. And to be honest I laugh to myself when i see a tourist posing with a street sign in Singapore, only to realise that i did the exact same thing in Japan. Why don’t we take the same interest and curiosity when it comes to exploring our own country? Have you ever explored the alleys of Chinatown or just let yourself wander aimlessly through districts of Tiong Baruh? Why explore space so extensively when we’ve only skimmed the surface of our oceans?
Vegetable store in Little India (such a colourful sight!)
I was on my way to Old Airport Road recently but decided to make a detour when the bus i was on drove through Little India. There were so many shop houses, and i just had to get off to see what everyone in Little India was up to. You can get nearly anything you want from this place! From groceries to jewellery, cheap jeans to good food, there’s something for everyone here. There was so much to see and experience! I felt like a tourist in my own country!
I usually set out every weekend with an aim in mind, with a rough idea of what i’m out to find. With the initial plan of exploring Old Airport Road out of the itenary for that day, i was a headless chicken making random turns into alleys, letting the whole layout of the shop houses decide where i would go next. My biggest find for that day- an old coffee shop with old bearded men making fresh chapati ^^
Chapati is unleavened flat bread made from whole wheat flour, often the staple in Indian cuisine. Without the yeast, the undeniable aroma and taste of leavened bread, and the soft fluff that results from the gas pockets in it, is totally absent from chapati. But this humble piece of flat bread is definitely alive with flavours even without the living yeast.
The first step to bring the chapati dough to life is to bring in the heat. With a strong fire, the flattened piece of dough will inflate like a balloon as the air in the dough expands, before deflating after a good pat with the spatula. The chapati easily burns if left for too long on the grill, but the owners of the shop are veterans in their craft and gave it just the right number of flips to give the surfaces of the chapati that additional charred flavour. I enjoyed in particular the rawness of the whole wheat flavour. In fact, when i looked closely, the surface of the chapati was still powdered with whole wheat flour. Under the sunlight, the grains of flour sparkled like sand on the beach.
I accompanied the chapati with keema, a minced mutton stew with potato and peas. The keema was a little expensive in my opinion. But it went well with the chapati nonetheless. With the stronger flavours from the keema, it definitely gave a third dimension to the otherwise flat piece of bread.
Masters at what they do, the chapati from Azmi’s tastes of freshness and simplicity. Set aside roti prata for a day and give chapati a try instead!
Address: 170 Norris/Upper Serangoon Road
Opening Hours: 7am to 10:20pm
- Chapati – $0.80
- Keema – $3.00