I receive numerous letters from readers who own my cookbooks and who live in India. Many of them ask about ingredients that are hard to find on the Subcontinent. Rye is one of them. Here’s a recent missive:
Arun Ramakrishnan writes:
Hare Krishna Kurma! I was looking at your breadmaking recipe with great interest and wanted to know as to what is Rye? Can you let us know the equivalent product according to Indian cuisine.
Also, is there a way to make the same at home without going in for the dried or fresh yeast. We have tried some breakmaking recipes and would like to incorporate your ideas regarding the same. Haribol!
Hare Krishna Arun! Though you did not say, I presume you live in India.
The grain rye is almost unheard of in India. Multiple authoritative English-Hindi dictionaries indicate that there is no direct Hindi translation of rye. Rye is defined only as a “type of wheat.” Even educated translators and editors, all natives of India, are usually unfamiliar with rye as a grain.
You will also find that Indian chefs, grocers, and food distributors will have also not heard of it. There is no tradition of using this grain in Indian cuisine.
I suggest you just stick to wheat bread recipes, or ones using grains that are available in India.
Regarding your reluctance to use yeast: You should try sourdough breadmaking. I hardly ever touch yeast these days. I have explained my recent successes with sourdough here. Happy baking!
Posted by Kurma on 5/7/07; 7:42:17 AM