Walking along Singapore's Little India looking for interesting food, I stumbled upon these men making chapatis by hand. Anything hand made nowadays stop me instantly in my tracks.
Chapatis are unleavened flat bread which is eaten with side dishes, mostly curries. Along with prata and thosai, chapati is a staple Indian bread.
There were two decks of trays of side dishes here. It's a little bewildering at first glance even for someone quite familiar with Indian food.
I stood in line wondering what is the ordering protocol when one of the elderly staff approached me and asked me what I wanted. I wanted two pieces of chapatis. "Chicken or lamb?" I opted for lamb and lady's finger in curry.
My order came within 5 minutes. All these food for SGD7.10.
I was a little disappointed that the food was served on Styrofoam plates. Aside from the health and environmental issues, I thought it detracts from the authenticity of the experience at such a heritage eatery. Otherwise, this corner coffee shop in Serangoon Road still gives me the feeling of 1960s Singapore.
The flat and limp bread was a light, off white brown colour with darker spots of char here and there. The bread made only with water and wheat flour (no yeast) is fried on a flat iron griddle.
The soft bread was somewhat dry and slightly sweet. I like the grainy texture and toasty taste, and am quite sure that I could eat many pieces of these just with curry.
The tender cubes of lamb in the masala curry were juicy and have that lovely gamely flavour. The curry was mild with hardly any spicy kick. But, it went well with the slightly bland chapati.
The lightly spiced lady fingers were cooked till all the natural crunch was reduced to a spongy softness. No spicy kick but still palatable with the chapati.
However, the food was served cold which is not very endearing.
I used fork and spoon today as I had to keep my hands dry to operate my (two) cameras but I know that chapatis and curries taste best when eaten with hands.
Azmi Chapati is
The area around Serangoon Road in Singapore is full of hidden gems of all kinds. It's one of my favourite food hunting grounds :-D
->> Chapati shops and stalls used to be quite common in Singapore but it is far less ubiquitous now, let alone a 70 year old institution. I shall be back and next time I shall eat my two chapatis with minced mutton and green pea keema (which I observed is the favourite combination of customers around me).
Restaurant name: Azmi Restaurant (a stall inside Thye Chong coffee shop)
Address: Junction of Serangoon Road and Norris Road, Singapore
GPS: 1.308200, 103.853024
Hours: 8:00am to 8:00pm
Date visited: 25 May 2016
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