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Friday, May 11, 2012

Paratha Love

Last week I finally got around to using an AmazonLocal coupon I had purchased back in January--it was for half off at a Sacramento Indian grocery store.  Indian is my absolute favorite food and we eat it a lot.  Don't forget that we named our pet chickens after some of our favorite dishes: Tikka Masala and Vindaloo.  I can make killer chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, and saag paneer.  But I'm always looking to expand my palate and repertoire, so I was excited to visit this store and see what the employees would recommend to me. And I restocked my garam masala and paneer supplies, too.

Here's what I ended up with:
My favorites so far: bittergourd chips and the two seasoning mixes.
Tonight I had a chance to try out the paratha seasonings. I can't believe I haven't ever eaten (much less made) this stuffed flatbread before.  It is amazing.  I love dishes that are so adaptable to different ingredients.  I was able to use quite a few things from our CSA basket this week: cucumber, garlic scapes, spring onion, turnip, cilantro, and lemon. 

I followed the recipe from the box and the procedure from here since the box directions were less than clear.  
I used two, boiled and grated medium turnips, plus half a block of grated paneer. These were seasoned with three tablespoons of the paratha masala spices, a garlic scape, and some chopped cilantro.
I made the dough with 2 cups white flour, 0.5 cups water, a touch of salt, and 4 tablespoons vegetable oil.  Eddie mixed in a little more of the paratha masala seasoning for good measure. I divided it into 8 even pieces.
The mixture was divided into 8 even volumes.
Each component was formed into balls.  Isn't my bovine butter dish lovely?  My mama gave it to me.
Roll each dough ball into a disk. It's great to have a toddler help with this part.
Place a ball of filling onto each disk. 
Pinch dough up around the filling.  Roll the ball out gently, making sure to flour it so it won't stick to the counter or pin.  It's okay if some of the filling pokes through.  Mine were rolled out to about the thickness of 3 tortillas.

Place paratha on a preheated nonstick pan (medium to medium high heat).  Cook until it starts to form bubbles under the surface, about 1 minute.  Then flip over.  It should have brown spots formed on that first side.  Spray a little oil over the cooked side (or brush with melted butter).  Cook the second side for about 30 seconds, then flip again if you want. It should be cooked through, and not look raw.

I don't know how you're "supposed" to eat these.  So I pretended it was like the Afghan bolani I get from the farmers market and filled it with raita (plain yogurt chalk full of tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, onion, garlic scapes, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a touch of cumin).  
It was love at first bite.  These were so, so good.  Even Eddie ate two!  

And you know what's awesome?  That the method can be altered to suit your spice preferences.  Don't like Indian flavors of cumin and cardamom?  Try making a Mexican version with chili powder and refried beans for the filling.  Or use lemon grass and cilantro with potatoes and carrots for a Thai variety.  Cannellini beans, garlic, sage, and sundried tomatoes would be a great Italian combination.  The possibilities are endless.  

And of course, I'm already thinking of all the other fillings I want to try with my that boxed Indian spice mix--perhaps these would make a good resting place for the last butternut squash I have on my counter?  Or look (and taste) awesome with those beets I got in my CSA basket?  I am sure they'd freeze very well, perfect for an easy lunch when reheated in the toaster oven.  

There's even a gluten free chapatti dough recipe that I can use to make these paratha for Jennifer!


3 comments:

Leah Roy said...

Um. YUM.

Mariah said...

Yum!

steph.kelley said...

I only just discovered bolani and adore them. Good for you to make your own (tastier) version! xoxo