Mkatra Foutra ~ Yeasted Bread from Comoros Islands

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While reading the title, if you went “which islands?”, you are not alone. I gawked the same way when this month’s assignment from MENA Cooking Club came along. After Algeria and Bahrain, the third country is Comoros Islands – a tiny country of three islands situated in the Indian Ocean. If you go through Google searches, it is said that the country was under France rule during the age of colonialism, before it finally got freedom in 1975. Since then, it has been affected by unstable governance and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Since we are talking about food, let’s move into that then…

 

Due to the long years of colonialism, the cuisine of Comoros Islands has influences of European, Arab and Indian food. Their main staple is rice and meat. The island is quite known for its exports of vanilla, in fact the second largest exporter in the world, and this explains why lobster in vanilla sauce (Lobster a la Vanille) happens to be their “national dish”. Most of their cooking is very close to African cooking, with the high use of coconut, plantains, meat, etc. This time we were given the liberty of choosing a recipe of our choice for the country and there were plenty of options available online – green peas soup, pilao, a hot sauce called “poutou”, pigeon peas curry, “M’tsolola” – green plaintains with fish in coconut milk, a dessert called “laadu” made of ground rice, etc. But the catch was that we had to add “espresso” or “coffee” as our secret ingredient into the recipe that we choose and therefore I decided to settle down for the easiest one I could find – Mkatra Foutra…

 

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Mkatra Foutra is a yeasted leavened bread, sprinkled with sesame seeds. I tried going through the links I could find but most of the recipes were confusing. There was nothing confusing about this point though – that the base is coconut milk! The batter also includes eggs, but I decided to make it without any eggs. The eggs would definitely make a fluffier dough, but since I can’t have them, I skipped them. The dough is mixed up with the yeast and coconut milk and allowed to double for an hour. Then it is cooked on a griddle, with or without oil on both sides. It looks like it is served along with any spicy non-vegetarian curry, however, we had it with honey along with our cup of tea for breakfast, and it was delicious!

 

The consistency of the dough was a cause of confusion. Some recipes said to pour but with the quantities mentioned in the ingredients, it looks no closer to a pourable batter! The batter I got was of scoop-able consistency, so using a ladle, I scooped up a portion, dropped it on the griddle and shaped with the back of a spoon. It kept sticking on the spoon, and you can see I couldn’t get any shape as such. Since the taste matters, the shape Β didn’t matter and thankfully most of the pictures online had uneven shapes, much to my relief! πŸ˜‰ Off to the way I made it…

 

PST: That plate belongs to the loot that my sister lunged along in her luggage all the way from the US of A, when she came in July. This is just one of them, but definitely the one I loved the most! JazakAllah Khair for selecting some awesome ones for me… πŸ™‚

 

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Pin
5 from 1 vote

Mkatra Foutra ~ Yeasted Bread from Comoros Islands

Course Breakfast
Cuisine African
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 3
Author Rafeeda

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1 can 400 ml coconut milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules optional
  • Butter/ oil to pan cook
  • Sesame seeds as needed

Instructions

  • Combine the yeast, water and sugar and mix well. Allow to froth for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and fold well till all the flour is moist. The batter will thick - neither like cake nor like dough.
  • Set aside covered for an hour till the batter doubles.
  • Heat your pan and spread some oil/ butter. Scoop out the thick dough and plop onto the surface.
  • Flatten to shape with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on the top and press.
  • Cook for two minutes and then flip. Cook the other side on low flame for around 5 minutes till done.
  • Keep warm till the time of serving. Makes 6 breads.

Notes

The original recipe uses eggs. You may whisk in two eggs at the mixing stage and up the flour to around a cup.

 


Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    It’s always interested me that Comoros’ main products are cloves & vanilla but their cuisine contains little of either. Supposedly Comoros smells divine as the finest ylang ylang for perfumery grows there too.
    Coconut milk bread sounds yummy! Gorgeous plate too!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      That is a lot of information, Bibi… you seem to be like a walking encyclopedia! I admire your knowledge, seriously… πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot dear…

  2. They look like yeast pancakes I had many years ago…really soft, fluffy and yum!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Angie…

  3. wow I have to say I love that plate! Very interesting recipe … should check the cuisine of comoros islands now LOL, hope you have a good weekend

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Nammi…

  4. Beautiful food and beautiful plate. I had a hard time with this challenge.. Comoros Islands AND coffee? I should have gone the dessert route now that I see all of your beautiful creations.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Yours was amazing, Maryam… I loved the ribs with the coffee rub, that would have tasted amazing, for sure… thanks a lot dear…

  5. Gorgeous recipe as usual dear! This month was a challenge for me, I hate to say I never even heard of this country beforehand. I almost made this bread too, but with espresso it scared me, you did it perfect.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Noor… I guess many of us had a tough though good time trying to finalise what to make for this challenge…

  6. I love that plate! πŸ™‚ I too saw Mkatra foutra! Thank god I didn’t make it, bring variety to the club ;-P I really enjoyed this month and have couple of recipes pinned for later.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Yeah, good you didn’t try that too… will see what you make up in your later version… πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot Fami…

  7. Coconut milk in bread makes it more interesting….!!! Love this yummy bread πŸ™‚

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Remya…

  8. This is so new to me.. Would love to try .. Love homemade bakes in any form!!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Sharmila…

  9. SO cool to see some else make these and an egg-less version worked out so well. I loved reading your description of making it cause I am so with you on every point. I did find a french version which was way clearer…at least for me. And yeah gorgeous plate!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      It is nice to know that this is a part of French cuisine as well… Thank you so much Evelyne…

  10. It is really interesting to learn the recipes across the globe and find how similar they are to our own cooking. Proves that wherever you are from at the end of the day your roots somewhere are the same.

    Lovely plate and lovely cook too:)

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Oh… thank you so much for your lovely comments, Ria… πŸ™‚

  11. Interesting recipe,looks so yummy

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Suja…

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