Parathas: Stuffed Rotis - Sizin Portal

Parathas: Stuffed Rotis

Friday, July 4, 2008

Rotis/ Naans/ Chappatis/ Parathas are all north Indian in origin. Rice is the staple food of south India. That is, until a few decades ago, when people started to travel and foods/recipes and cuisines got interchanged.

Even now, south Indians can't make breads as well as north Indians (at least the majority). I know someone who lived in a family of about 12 people - and she was assigned the task of making rotis everyday and she would make almost 40 a meal!

So, anyways, all that stuff was to lead into the fact that until recently I couldn't make a roti at all. They would be hard and chewy and very disappointing. I then learnt from a friend, and now they're half-way decent. But I love my parathas!

Basic Roti Recipe

3 cups Whole wheat Flour
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Salt
Water, as needed

Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the oil, salt and a 1/4 cup of water. Mix together. Continue adding water (about 2 tbsp at a time), until the dough is formed and is elastic.
Cover and set aside for at least a 1/2 hour.

Take small portions and make balls (the size of a lime), then use a rolling pin to roll the ball out into circles as thin as possible. Keep aside.

Filling Option #1: Radish

1/2 kilo radish, washed, peeled and grated
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt, to taste

Squeeze the radish to remove any excess water.
Heat some oil in a saute pan. Add the garlic and toss for a minute.
Add the onion and cilantro and saute. Now add the radish and saute well until cooked. (The smell of cooking radish is truly awful - but the final result is well worth it!).
Add the turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala and salt and toss to combine.
Remove from heat and shape into small balls (the size of table tennis balls).

Filling Option #2: Potato

5 Potatoes, cooked, peeled and mashed
1 clove Garlic, crushed
1 bunch Cilantro, chopped fine
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1/4 tsp Chilli powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp Turmeric
Salt, to taste

Heat some oil in a saute pan. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two. Next add the fennel, cilantro and potatoes. Continue to saute for about 5-6 minutes.
Add the chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric, salt. Cook for another 5-6 minutes.
Remove from heat and shape into small balls (the size of table tennis balls).

To make Parathas:

Place a ball of filling in the middle of the prepared rotis. Fold the dough over the filling to cover completely.

Roll it out again. Heat a tsp of oil on a hot griddle and put the paratha on. Turn over when you see dark spots appear.

Cook both sides for 3-4 minutes each and remove. Repeat with the remaining rotis and filling.

This is for Valli's Roti Mela. I know this is such a basic recipe, but this is as far as I've gotten in my roti-making ventures! I'm glad to contribute to the Mela, Valli, and looking forward to the round-up.

Recipe Marathon Update, Day 13:
Not sure if any of you are aware of Siri's seriously good sketching talents, but that's the first thing you need to check out before sitting down for this feast. You could go Indian with lots of curries - Lakshmi's Kootu, Swati's Aloo, Valli's Chicken and Divya's Black-eyed peas, with fabulously innovative brown rice patties from DK. Or you could do Italian with Raaga's Spaghetti. Whichever way you go, you have to have dessert - and we have two choices on the menu tonight - Ranji's Chocolate Chip Banana Bread or Bhags' Oats. Or maybe both?