Well, we had Yee-rows, or gyros as they are (mis)spelled, for lunch this month. Since it was the first time I was making it, I had made our usual lunch as a ‘disaster back up’. I needn’t have – the pitas came out beautifully, the tzatziki was cool and perfect for summer, and the rajmah filling was wonderful. It was a nice blend of all things yummy.
I had joined the google groups ‘The 4 velveteers’ last month and the challenge for this month was Gyros, set by Asha from Fork Spoon and Knife.
I haven’t heard about Gyros before. So in case you are just like me, wondering what this ‘Yee-row, Jai-ro, Gyro thing’ is, it is a sandwich wrapped in a pita bread. It usually has a layer of meat or meat substitutes, followed by salads – mainly onion and tomatoes, and topped with tzatziki (cucumber with yogurt) sauce.
So I divided the task into three – bread baking, red kidney bean filling and the cucumber sauce.
First thing in the morning (which was almost afternoon :D), I made the dough for pita bread. While it was resting, I made the cucumber sauce and kept it in the fridge. The next step was to make the red kidney beans filling and cut the salad vegetables. After that, it was back to pita rolling and baking. Once the pitas were done, I assembled the gyros. Then came the important part – trogo – well, if that sounds greek to you, it actually is. Trogo is the greek word for eating.
I followed the fresh loaf’s recipe for pita bread. The site has clean and clear instructions. I used 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. I had also added four teaspoons of vital wheat gluten to it. I noted that the pitas with uniform thickness puffed up fine for me, the others didn’t puff up fully.
I followed thetofuguru’s video for the sauce and filling, with variations to suit our taste.
Cucumber : 2, small
Yogurt : 2 small tubs of 200g each
Sour cream : 1 tub (I didn’t use this)
Juice of half a lemon
Garlic : 1 clove
Mint : 4-5 leaves
- Grate the cucumber first and let it drain in a strainer.
- I drained the yogurt too for some 15-20 minutes in a big juice strainer.
- Mix the yogurt, sour cream (if using), lemon juice and mint leaves.
- Squeeze water out of the grated cucumbers and add to the yogurt mix.
- Mix nicely and let it rest in the fridge for at least two hours for the flavors to blend.
Red Kidney Bean Filling:
Onion : 1 big, chopped
Red Kidney beans : 1 can, drained (about 400 gms)
Olive oil : 1 tbsp
Chilli powder : 1-2 tsp, per taste
Salt & Pepper : to taste
- Heat oil in a pan, cook the onions till transparent.
- Add the red kidney beans, chilli powder, pepper and salt.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes, till everything is nicely mixed.
- Turn off the heat and keep aside.
- Keep the pita bread in a plate / napkin.
- Add the red kidney beans filling.
- Add chopped onions and tomatoes.
- Top it with tzatziki sauce.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Fold the pita and wrap with the napkin.
- Serve with french fries, if desired.
Absolutely loved these wraps! Next time (yes, I will make it again), I will be increasing the spice components for the sauce and the filling. I will be making the pitas bigger too.
I would never ever have made Pita bread or gyros, if not for this challenge. So, thank you Asha for introducing this dish to our table :)!
The 4 Velveteers was started by Pamela, Aparna, Asha, and Alessio, who are passionate about different cuisines and food in general. Each month, we will attempt a new dish and share our experiences and the recipes we used. If you’re interested in joining the Velveteers, please feel free to drop by our Google group http://groups.google.com/group/the-4-velveteers.
Please check out what the other Velveteers have created:
Sarah : Lamb Kebabs and Pita Bread