The chipati sandwich is an iconic Ann Arbor, Michigan, creation, developed in the late 1980s at the Pizza House. The sandwich is deceptively simple, with chopped vegetable salad in a warmed pita pocket, but it’s the house’s special tangy red sauce that makes it a standout. Metropolitan Detroit and Ann Arbor are home to a large Middle Eastern immigrant population, and the sandwich’s Middle Eastern influence is evident. Chipati is an Indian or Middle Eastern flatbread made with flax and wheat flours, not dissimilar to a pizza crust. The sauce’s tanginess, too, suggests Middle Eastern influence. There is some debate among University of Michigan students about whether the sandwich is most properly eaten by hand or with a fork. Chicken, turkey, and tuna can be used as ingredients as well.
Recipe Servings: 10
+ 1 hour resting
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 Tbsp onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp dill, chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- ⅓–½ cup hot sauce
- Sift together the flour and salt over a large mixing bowl. Form a well in the center and pour in the olive oil and water. Knead by hand for 10 minutes, until the dough becomes pliable. Form into a ball and let rest for 1 hour, or overnight.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each to a 6-inch round and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Heat a griddle or cast-iron fry pan to a very hot temperature.
- Working one at a time, fry each chipatis for 1 minute, then flip and fry for an additional 1 minute. Set the finished chipatis aside.
- Combine all the ingredients except the hot sauce in a blender. Blend until creamy.
- Add ⅓ cup hot sauce and blend, then taste. Add more hot sauce, if desired.
- Place the chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over them and toss.
- Tuck a serving of the dressed salad inside the folded pocket of each chipati.
- Top with grated cheese before serving.
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