Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Daal bhara paratha/ Lentil-stuffed flatbread

I have a terrible confession to make. I am dough-challenged. I always manage to screw up any recipe that involves the making of a dough. I am especially bad at making parathas. *Horror of horrors.* This is worsened by the fact that my mother is a paratha-making champion. Well, *shrug*, she is my mother after all. She has had a whole lifetime more than me to practice. This year one of my new year's resolutions was to conquer my fear of making parathas. You see, I have made parathas before. My paratha making has been sporadic at best because I have always been disappointed with the results. Anyone want a paratha frisbee?

Over the Christmas break I asked my mother to teach me the essentials of making atta (step 1). really is not that bad and supposedly all the extra steps I take of adding milk or yogurt to the dough are not needed if I let the dough rest for a while.

I really wanted to try making a daal paratha recipe I got from a Pakistani cooking show. Today. So I could enjoy it with a hot cup of chai. Thus I took the plunge and ya know what? It really wasn't that hard ;) What do you think?

Here's the recipe:

2 cups chana dal, soaked and cooked in about 1/2 cup water until the water has dried completely and the dal is tender.
1/2 cup finely chopped mint leaves - I left this out as I didn't have any.
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ajwain
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
4-5 chopped green chilies (if using small ones) or 1 large chopped jalapeno
1 medium onion, finely minced
salt to taste
whole wheat dough (mix whole wheat flour with water to form a smooth dough and keep aside for at least 1 hr).

Once the dal has cooked, run it through the food processor until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs and is finely ground. Transfer to a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and salt to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. The filling should be spicier than normal so it stands out from the paratha.

Pinch two balls from the dough, about the size of golf balls. Dip both in flour and roll each of them into a small circle of roughly the same size. Take about 3 tbsp of filling (or as much as you can handle) and place in the center of one circle. Cover with the other circle and use your fingers to pinch the ends. Using the palms of your hand, flatten the circle slightly so the filling is incorporated evenly.

Now take your rolling pin and roll the paratha until it reaches the desired size. See pic above for guidance. Cook on hot tawa, brushing lightly with oil and enjoy with a hot cup of chai!

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