STUFFED PARATAS

Parathas are one of the most popular unleavenedflatbreads in the Indian Subcontinent, made by baking or cooking whole wheat dough on a tava, and finishing off with shallow frying.[7] Parathas are thicker and more substantial than chapatis/rotis and this is either because, in the case of a plain paratha, they have been layered by coating with ghee or oil and folding repeatedly (much like the method used for puff pastry or some types of Turkish börek) using a laminated dough technique; or else because food ingredients such as mixed vegetables have been mixed in with the dough, such as potato or cauliflower, green beans, and carrots. A Rajasthani mung bean paratha uses both the layering technique together with mung dal mixed into the dough. Some so-called stuffed parathas resemble a filled pie squashed flat and shallow fried, using two discs of dough sealed around the edges. Then by alternatively using a single disc of dough to encase a ball of filling and sealed with a series of pleats pinched into the dough around the top, gently flattened with the palm against the working surface before being rolled into a circle. Most stuffed parathas are not layered.

Parathas can be eaten as a breakfast dish or as a tea-time (tiffin) snack. The flour used is finely ground wholemeal (atta) and the dough is shallow fried.

Perhaps the most common stuffing for parathas is mashed, spiced potatoes (aloo ka parantha) followed perhaps by dal (lentils). Many other alternatives exist such as leaf vegetablesradishescauliflower or paneer. A paratha (especially a stuffed one) can be eaten simply with a pat of butter spread on top or with chutney, pickles, ketchup, dahi or a raita or with meat or vegetable curries. Some roll the paratha into a tube and eat it with tea, often dipping the paratha.

To achieve the layered dough for plain parathas, a number of different traditional techniques exist. These include covering the thinly rolled out pastry with oil, folding back and forth like a paper fan and coiling the resulting strip into a round shape before rolling flat, baking on the tava and shallow frying. Another method is to cut a circle of dough from the centre to its circumference along its radius, oiling the dough and starting at the cut edge rolling so as to form a cone which is then squashed into a disc shape and rolled out. The method of oiling and repeatedly folding the dough as in western puff pastry also exists, and this is combined with folding patterns that give traditional geometrical shapes to the finished parathas. Plain parathas can be round, heptagonal, square, or triangular.

My paratas have been stuffed with spring onion, green chillies & fresh coriander..

Filled & rolled out
Dry fried on a Tava

BHEL PURI

Food … glorious food !

Bhelpuri is a savoury snack originating from India, and is also a type of chaat. It is made of puffed rice, vegetables and a tangy tamarind sauce, and has a crunchy texture.

How to make bhel puri

1. I usually cut open a fresh pack of puffed rice when I make chaat recipes bhel puri, churumuri or jhaal muri. If the puffed rice is not crispy then dry roast them until crisp. Cool and then add them to a mixing bowl.

2. Add the boiled potatoes. I cube the potato and boil in 2 cups of water until just cooked. Drained the water and cooled completely. Potatoes must be dry and not moist. Then add half a Chopped onion, one chopped tomato, and a few green chilies chopped according to taste. Then add them to the puffed rice.

Toss them well. Then add tamarind chutney. I begin with a small quantity of chutneys as you cannot undo if it becomes too sour or sweet. I also feel too much chutneys or too thin chutneys will make the bhel too soggy very quickly. So add them as needed after tasting.

You can buy both chutneys at the Indian grocery store. Will blog separately on how to make them ..