It is no secret that African cuisine is heavily biased towards meat and carbohydrates, Botswana is no exception. I already posted a recipe for dumplings which are one of my favorites and now I will introduce you to phaphatha. Phaphata is basically a flattened dumpling that is cooked without water. The composition of the dough is pretty much the same as well as the preparation method but the shape of the phaphata is flat and circular and it is cooked dry in a frying pan.
Phaphatha is usually consumed at breakfast or as a snack. Because it is so plain, it’s usually paired with a protein stew. Nothing quite like a hot cup of tea or coffee and fresh warm phaphatha stuffed with chicken liver or chicken stew at 10am in the morning. Although it is essentially a snack, it is quite filling and I can’t get more than 2 stuffed phaphata’s down in one sitting.
Making phaphatha is really easy, especially if you’ve made dumplings before. Recipe below!
- 500g flour (I used cake flour however I’m sure bread flour is fine too)
- Half a packet of yeast
- About a cup or so of lukewarm water
- Extra flour for kneading
- 2 tsps sugar
- Half a teaspoon salt
- Sift the flour and yeast into a bowl.
- Add the sugar and salt
- Gradually add water and combine with your hands to form a dough. Only add enough water to form the dough.
- Knead the dough for about 5 minutes till it’s soft and pliable.
- Put aside in a bowl covered with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about half an inch thickness. Using a round object like a plastic cup or cookie cutter, cut the dough into circles.
- Dust the phaphathas liberally on both sides and place in a flat pan on medium heat with enough space between them to allow for rising. The heat should not be too high or the phaphatha burns before it fully cooks on the inside.
- The phaphatha should rise while cooking. When bubbles appear on the surface of the dough, turn over to cook on the other side.
- Remove from heat when cooked through and enjoy with tea (or coffee) while warm. Alternatively, stuff with whatever you like to make a sandwich.