Pide with a savoury filling of tomatoes, brinjals, and capsicums

March 31, 2007 at 5:35 PM (aubergines/brinjals/eggplant, chiles and other capsicums, dishes by cuisine, fusion, Jihva entries, tomatoes, various ground seeds)

The story goes like this: Three elegantly-dressed ladies: A Marathi, a Malayali, and a Konkani from Karnataka, sashay into a Turkish restaurant together and politely request of the chef to prepare something that all of them would like. After summoning his only waiter to their side, he takes a moment to ponder the task set before him, and then begins to work in his kitchen. Little do they know he isn’t really a Turk…but he has dabbled enough in the cuisine to be open for lunch now and then; today is their lucky day it seems…. a short time later, after they’ve serenely polished off a few cool drinks while waiting, the chef returns, grinning from ear to ear.  With just a hint of smugness, he sets down a platter of steaming and fragrant…………


Well, you probably know the rest of the tale. This story is as old as the hills!

One of these and a few small sides can make for a wonderful lunch, or serve with cocktails or at tea-time, cut across into 1″ slices for beautiful dainty finger food. As they are bread-and-side-dish in one, these are excellent to take on picnics or outings of any kind for a convenient meal.

It is almost necessary to have a baking tile or tiles or “pizza stone” set on the middle position rack of your oven for these to be successful. (see note) The filling for this can be made a day or two in advance. In fact it is somewhat better to do so, allowing the complex flavours to blend quite harmoniously.

Pide with a savoury filling of tomatoes, brinjals, and capsicums

For the filling: 

6-8 small brinjals(about 3 cups), tops removed, halved, and sliced to 1/4″

1 1/2 t salt

1 1/2 T oil

1/2 C besan

2-3 t oil

a pinch of asafoetida

3/4 t black mustard seeds

1/2 t cumin seeds

1 t fenugreek seeds

6 curry leaves, chopped

2 t ground red chiles

1/2 t turmeric

1/4 t ground black pepper

2 C mild or sweet capsicums(such as bell, poblanos, new mexico, california), chopped to 1/2″

2 C tomatoes, skinned and chopped fresh or canned

2 fresh green chiles, seeded and sliced thinly

8 cloves of garlic, minced or pasted

1/2 C water

3/4 t salt (or to taste)

2/3 C finely-chopped coriander leaves

1)Sprinkle the brinjal slices with salt in a bowl, mix well, and let stand for an hour. Drain off the liquid that accumulates and rinse three times. Squeeze out as much water as possible with your hands or by using a piece of cheesecloth. Heat 1 1/2 T oil in a pan and fry the slices until nicely browned and somewhat dry. Remove these to a dish lined with cloth or paper to cool and drain the excess oil. Chop roughly and set aside.

2)In a pan set over medium-low heat, roast the besan until fragrant and a shade darker. Set aside.

3)Heat 1 1/2 t oil in a wok or karahi. Add the hing, a second later add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds. When the mustard seeds pop, add the curry leaves and ground spices. Stir once or twice and then add the capsicum, tomatoes and chiles. (mind the spluttering)

4)Cook this mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently as the mixture reduces, until the oil appears at the edges and it has formed a paste. Turn heat to low.

5)Add the brinjals and garlic and continue to fry, stirring constantly, for 4 more minutes.

6)Add the water and salt to taste and mix well. Add the roasted besan and mix until well-combined. You should have a thick paste now. Add the coriander leaves and remove from heat.

Making the pide:

1 T active dry yeast

1/2 t sugar

1/2 C warm( not hot) water

1/2 C all-purpose flour

3 1/2 C bread flour

1 t salt

3 T oil

1 C plus 1 T lukewarm water

filling from above 

1 egg, lightly beaten

kalonji seeds

1)Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water let stand in a warm place for 10 minutes. It should have bubbles. Stir in the A-P flour, cover with plastic and let rise 30 minutes.

2)Place the bread flour in a large bowl; make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture, salt, oil, and lukewarm water. Gradually work the flour into the contents of the well to form a dough. Take this dough and knead it on a floured surface for 15 minutes until it is smooth and elastic, and no longer sticks to your hands. Add more flour if necessary and continue kneading until the dough no longer is sticky.

3)Oil the large bowl and place the dough back into it; cover with plastic and let rise 1 hour.

4)Take the dough out and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, place on a floured sheet or tray and cover with a damp towel. Set aside for 30 minutes.

5)Preheat oven with tiles at 500-550 F for 30 minutes before you bake.

6)Take each ball and roll out roughly to a 6″ X 12″ oval on an oiled board. Divide the filling into 8 parts and place a portion on each oval. Spread the filling, keeping 1/2″ away from the edges. Fold the two long sides of the dough over the filling, the edges overlapping along the center. Press down on the folded edges a bit. At the ends, pinch together 1″ from each side to seal. Brush the tops with beaten egg, sprinkle with kalonji seeds.

7)Place one or two pide on the hot tiles at a time and bake 6 minutes, until golden. Keep the finished pide wrapped in a dry towel to stay warm while you finish baking. While you bake, you can assemble the next in line.


This my entry for Jihva for Tomatoes, hosted by RP of My Workshop. As this is my first time participating in a Jihva For Ingredients, begun by Indira of Mahanandi, I hope I did it correctly!


The structure for these filled pide was taken from Ayla Algar’s beautiful cookbook, Classical Turkish Cooking. The filling, created by me, was not only heavily inspired by one from this book, but by several other recipes, most notably bharleli mirchi from Anita and her mother-in-law, Manisha’s lovely transcription of a recipe for thakkali chutney by Ammini Ramachandran, and Shilpa’s very nourishing tomato saru. My thanks to them and to all of my readers for your support and encouragement in my new blog. I hope to continue posting recipes of interest in the future. Stay tuned!

NOTE: Unglazed quarry tiles, available at home improvement centers or ceramic tile suppliers, can be, and are often used for baking. Before using, rinse them well and allow to dry several days. Season with oil and heat in a hot oven for a few minutes. Thereafter, keep the tiles oiled often until shiny and black. Scrape to clean and, if necessary use water only (no soap of any kind!) and allow to dry thoroughly before using.(they will crack if still damp).




  1. Anita said,

    Ahh, a joke about three Indian ladies…I see…

    Now that is really novel (for me) – the stuffing as well as the shell. And what endless possibilities for both! Creamy eggplant – is that not one of the best tastes in the world! I feel sad for those who don’t like it. TH is coming around…

    My sister used to make something called burocks (German bread, I believe) which had a similar shell. It was just gathered into a parcel and not folded over like this. She would fill it with a simple Indian stir-fry of cabbage and peas. It was the perfect parcel to take for college lunch.

    There are indeed many possibilities for both….I can just imagine you are adding whole-wheat flour to the bread dough as we speak! 🙂 The filling recipes in the book are marvelous in their own right….one is of lamb with chiles, another of feta cheese with dill….

    Your sister’s recipe sounds quite good….and the idea of portability is a good one…mind if I add that into the post?

  2. Manisha said,

    What? No Kashmiri?

    It isn’t that I didn’t want to…but the “three Indian ladies” are symbols of the three recipes and their place of origin. Although Anita did indeed post the bharleli mirchi recipe, it is a Marathi dish….from her MIL…and I am deeply indebted to her for sharing it as it has become a regular sight in my refrigerator….and who does she think she’s kidding by saying, “…remember, you’ll only eat one at any time/meal…” yeah, right…. I try to do that, but they call to me from the refrigerator….they’re very good cold as well BTW!! 😉 In fact, now that I’m thinking of it…

  3. musical said,

    Fantastic recipe, pelicano. I love baking savory stuff, so i am definitely going to try this. i look forward to the delish flavors packed here :).

    Thanks Musical, you have good taste! 😉

  4. bee said,

    i can smell them here. outrageously good.

    I got lucky…

  5. Richa said,

    looks scrumptious.
    hmm kalonji, this spice adds a unique flavor to any dish,
    i’ve used it only in ‘tadka’ .

    Be careful, it’s addictive!

  6. Trupti said,

    I don’t know the joke…sorry……ah well….this looks good! I’d love to dunk these in some tangy chutneys….I think they would be good that way…thanks for the tips on the Tiles….I’ll get funny looks from hubby, I know, if I put that in the oven…he’ll think this food blogging thing has gone too far… 😉

    hope you’re enjoying your Sunday.

    If it were only a bit warmer…. is it cool up there as well this week? yeah, I know about funny looks all right…my neighbors are wondering if I’ve gone insane, taking food outside, arranging it, and photgraphing it….:-)

  7. Anita said,

    Absolutely, you may. 🙂

    You’re right about me substituting whole wheat flour when I do this. I couldn’t use bread flour even if I wanted to! So, bread flour is more glutenous? Our atta is that…but it has a lot of fibre too, it is whole grain wheat flour.

    It is very nice flour- I have a canister of it(atta)as well. I don’t know why, but it has a better texture than the wheat flour from more local sources. Bread flour is very high in gluten…makes a very chewy bread (which I like), but it can’t be used for pastries or cakes of course. It is great for making seitan/pure wheat gluten, which perhaps you may already know of?

    Thanks for the tip! I will add.

  8. shilpa said,

    Well, I have no idea about this joke :(. Wish you had posted it full…
    I never used kalonji in my cooking. Few days back when many of the bloggers were posting about it, I thought of buying it and then it just slipped out of my mind. I will look for it next time now.
    The filling looks very tempting. My hubby would love this, he is a brinjal and capsicum fan :).

    Sorry for a stupid question, since I have miserably failed to make bread every time, I thought of asking this…what is bread flour? Is this some special kind of flour? last time when I made bread, I used active dry yeast, all purpose flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. The bread came out like stone :(.

    Shilpa- it sounds as if the yeast you used was not good, dead…this has happened to me also when I began baking yeast-breads. When making dosas or idlis, these are risen and made light from wild yeast in the air; there are western breads made this way also: sour-dough bread for instance. Yeast can also be cultured in a dough by using cabbage leaves, grape skins, or blueberries, but it is much easier to buy dry active yeast in packets or jars, (or yeast formed into little “cakes” to divide for baking), such as what you used. Sometimes, this yeast dies. So, in the beginning of the bread recipe when the yeast is mixed with water, sugar, and a little flour…this is called a “proof sponge”- it is a test (proof) that the yeast is good to use. If it rises and foams just like dosa batter, it is okay to continue…if not, you must find new yeast to use. 🙂 This saves you from all the kneading for nothing…. 🙂

    All-purpose flour makes very good bread too, but it is not as “chewy”…a bit drier in texture, but still fine. “Bread flour” is made from a special wheat that is very high in the protein called “gluten” and makes a good-flavoured, chewy bread that is a joy to eat. Most supermarkets carry it nowadays- even Walmart I think! 😀

    This bread recipe is from the same “family” of breads as Indian naan, Persian naan lavash, and Greek pita, and it works out every time!….it can be made plain too if you like, and served with gravy dishes.

    The filling for this is very good on its own- you are right! Either leave out the besan and water at the end, or add more water to thin it to a gravy…. 🙂

    It was very strange that so many were suddenly using kalonji seeds- I noticed this too. That I think is evidence of “global conciousness”! 🙂

    The rest of the tale is this: They ate it, and lived happily ever after…. 😀

  9. Asha said,

    No idea!! Now I know.Bread basket looks great.Enjoy:))

    Pel: [winks] ….and thank you!

  10. outofthegarden said,

    Looks great Pelicano, and I thank you as well for the tiles tip. One of these days I am going to have a gas stove, no more of this electric nonsense… then I may try my hand at a little more baking. That filling sounds like it would make an excellent dish even without the wrapper 🙂


    Linda- I know your woes….while I lived in Kewaunee I was forced to adapt to an electric range/oven. I got used to it, but I missed the quick heat control of gas, and I firmly believe every cook should aim for one, and I refuse to budge on the topic! And, I am very happy that my current residence is gas-equipped. 🙂 But, honestly, I was able to do decent baking in the electric oven. Try it anyway!

    The filling is very good on its own; I almost kept it and made another batch for the filling. It was mathematically configured of conjuctions from existing crowd-pleasers, so it won’t fail to delight the palate! Either leave out the besan and water at the end, or keep the besan and thin it with water to a gravy.

  11. Manisha said,

    Linda, I did some research before I bought my stove a little over a year ago and I opted for a dual fuel stove. The cooktop is gas whereas the oven is electric. Electric ovens are able to provide more consistent temperature control than gas ovens. And if you opt for a self-cleaning electric convection oven, all the better! Dual fuel ovens were a little more expensive than all gas or all electric when I was shopping for one. If you have an electric oven now, what are you waiting for? 😉

    Yeah, Linda…what are you waiting for? 🙂 Seriously now, there are many people in the world who don’t have an oven at all….and owning either kind would be a blessing, why….Manisha here, before she bought the dual-fuel ditty, used to cook all her meals over Bed, Bath and Beyond scented candles….and look what she was able to churn out last year!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  12. Manisha said,

    Eh? I thought I told you about how I had to go mine for coal, then light a fire – which was the best part…(c’mon baby light my fire!) and that’s as far as we got. Then we ordered terrible Thai take-out.

    I’ve never had Thai take-out right after sunrise…what dish would be your strongest suggestion? 😀

  13. musical said,

    Lavash…..ah! thats totally drool-worthy Pel. I prefer flatbreads :). But i have a problem: i always end up adding whole wheat flour to anything i bake!! Just can’t get myself to do otherwise 😀

    Have you tried baking Rye breads-any tips?

    The whole-grain police have caught me!!!!! 🙂

    I’ve eaten pure rye breads… quite unlike wheat breads. I know in the Slavic countries and parts of Germany they have a fondness for them; around here, a mix of wheat and rye is preferred, especially to accompany fried fish. I’ve made these types already….rye/wheat bagels too…but no, I haven’t made a pure rye loaf yet. It’d be interesting though- it makes a sticky dough that doesn’t rise much, so it’s dense and chewy with a faint sourness. Have you?

    To be honest, I prefer whole grain breads myself- (when I eat bread that is. I’m more of a rice guy overall). I don’t make these filled pide very often- it’s like a treat- but I’m sure that they’d be great with whole wheat flour substituted for part of the bread flour, so… I’d go with the urge! You are pretty health-conscious I take it?

  14. mandira said,

    that looks delicious, would love to try some… i’m guilty of adding whole wheat flour to my baked goodies too. you have a great blog here.

    You may be guilty, but within it you have fine company! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by, you are always welcome.

  15. musical said,

    Hey Pel, i HAVE to try to bake a real Rye loaf myself :). I love rye breads…..having many Russian and German friends only indulges me more :). Rye bread topped with hummus is divine…..

    “Health conscious”:

    Yeah sure, with all the paranthas 😀

    Well…as long as the paranthas are “just for breakfast” 🙂 with chole of course…. (I was actually having that combo for breakfast a few months ago…)

    Well, la musica, with your inspiration I went on an internet search, as oddly enough, though I am half-German, the recipe for this has not been handed down to me….”pumpernickel” that is…..the American versions always contain wheat, but real old-world pumpernickel is made entirely from rye- and a mix of rye flour and rye meal(coarse, broken grains) or whole rye berries at that!… are some links that I found after going through the first 100 entries under “pumpernickel bread”, 2 or 3 are honest authentic recipes, without a hint of Umrika-ness thrown in, but don’t get jolly yet, these are recipes that would daunt the most stout-hearted cook…and would explain why most Germans buy this bread from bakeries….thus the other links are to purchase ready-made pumpernickel online…I might attempt this sometime, but until then I’m happy that a grocer nearby keeps it in stock!

    Oh, and yes…..I love it spread with hummus as well…..there’s a theme of channa going on here…:-),german_bavarian_pumpernickel_bread.phtml

    I’ll let you know when I hit the slavic sites…..

  16. shilpa said,

    Pel, thanks for your response. Now I have some more confusion. Last time when I baked the bread, the dough had risen(is that correct word??) well. I had kept it overnight bcos I wanted to bake it in the morning. I donno what went wrong while I baked them. I wonder if the yeast died because I kept overnight?

    Is it possible for you to post a method of making bread sometime here? I have a huge pack of active dry yeast and I donno what to do with it. I saw it in Costco and could not stop from buying it :(.

    Shilpa, I could definitely do a post sometime about baking a loaf of bread; it really is not hard at all after you “get the hang of it”…mostly I love making bagels, but I’ll do something made into a loaf soon.

    I’m really not sure what happened to your bread…it is possible that the yeast digested all of the starch and then died; dough can be kept for several hours in the refrigerator. This slows down the yeast activity, in fact many bread-makers are now doing this “slow rise” by keeping the dough cool for a long period. And Shilpa, “had risen” is exactly correct! You get an A! 😉

  17. outofthegarden said,

    Hi Manisha and Pelicano — wait, where am I — is this IFR??? 😉
    I would love a dual fuel stove/oven/professional kitchen kinda thingy, but no such luck in my neighborhood at the moment. Someday I am moving to Michigan and *then* it’ll be propane, outdoor grilling, or best of all, the woodstove! 🙂

  18. Manisha said,

    No dear, you’re at EEC. I think it rhymes with Greek. 😈

    Woodstove! Like for pizzas or for heat and warmth? Mine is no professional kitchen, Linda, but I love my stove. It has one burner with 17,000BTU, which really helps get things cooking faster up here.

    Manisha- probably something more like this:

    It really wasn’t very long ago that everyone was cooking on these…I’d like to have one too. According to a friend of mine, after a few basics are learned for controlling the heat, it’s rather nice to cook on….however, one would have to plan ahead…..:-)

  19. Manisha said,

    Ooh! I love those! They’re in all those old farmhouses. And in the Molly Brown house too,

    Is her old house near you? It doesn’t float, does it?

  20. musical said,

    Thanks for the links, Pel. Pumpernickel, ah, that dark, rich delight…..i love it! Try this with the bottle gourd peel-peanut chutney!!

    That sounds like a really good combo too, o’ painter of silence…:-) It sounds like you’re thinking of the American pumpernickel, which is very dark, comes often in round loaves, and is made of rye mixed with wheat…plus coffee and/or cocoa for the colour.

    Hey, check this out:

  21. Reena said,

    :)))) the story about 3 ladies is hilarious. kalonji in baking. yum!!

    It does have a nice fragrance…

  22. Roopa said,

    Wow the breads look delicious with those tasty fillings. I would love to try those too!

  23. Sukanya said,

    Ur entry is realy different and looking great………

    Thank you Sukanya!

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