OMG the Food: The Basics – Parathas Part I, Simple Paratha, Aloo Paratha, Onion Paratha

Good morning everyone,Here’s a post I’ve been dreading.  Parathas.  I love them but they aren’t the healthiest thing on the planet.  Also, while I was in my other home in Punjab, they were served every single morning… every morning.  I thought I was going to lose my mind.  I much preferred having some chappati and whatever veg dish or dal was left over from the night before.Don’t get me wrong.  These are delicious!  I haven’t tasted a variety that I didn’t love but that’s the problem.  I could just keep eating them and the family would just keep serving them until I exploded in weight gain and sucked back a lot of this fried flatbread wonder.  Eating too much, with the lupus, makes me very, very sick and so my love of parathas must be strictly controlled.

Healthy or not, I’m here to tell you how to make them.

First you will need our chappati dough from the earlier post.

Simple Paratha

Though these are called simple paratha, they are called that because they have no other filling.  They are no more or less simple to make than other types of paratha.  The process is just slightly different.

Ingredients

Chappati dough
Canola oil, flax seed oil, bran oil or other light oil with a high smoke point or ghee

Method

Break off pieces of the chappati dough roughly the size of your palm.  In the meantime, set your chappati pan or a large, flat bottomed pan on the stove over medium high heat.  Roll each section of chappati dough between your hands to form a ball.  Then roll each, one at a time, out with a rolling pin until it’s about 1/4″ thick.  Brush the dough lightly with the oil.  Fold it over onto itself and brush more oil on the top.  Fold it over again onto itself and roll it out until it is about 1/4″ thick, adding a little flour if necessary. Add a small amount of oil to the pan.  When the oil is hot, place the simple paratha into the pan and cook it until it begins to brown, flip it over and cook it on the other side until it begins to brown on that side.  Meanwhile rub some more oil onto the top.  Flip it over twice more until it is cooked through.  Set aside onto a plate and cook the remaining parathas in the same way.  Serve with a small bowl of curd (yogourt) and some pickle on the side.

Aloo Paratha

Aloo means potato.  These are simply addictive.

2 medium potatoes
2 green chili, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ajwain (available in Indian markets)
1/4 tsp garam masala (use Panjabi garam masala, see tips below)
1/4 tsp chili powder
Pinch of salt
Chappati dough
Ghee, as needed or bran, flax or canola oil

Boil the potatoes until soft enough to mash with a fork.  Allow to cool slightly and peel the potatoes and mash.  Add the garam masala, chili powder, green chilies and salt to the mashed potatoes and mix thoroughly.  Taste and add more salt or spices to your taste.

Break off a piece of chappati dough roughly the size of your palm and roll this between your hands into a ball.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the balls into small circles about 1/2″ thick.  Place about 1 1/2 tbsp of the filling into the centre of the dough and then wrap the edges around the filling to again form a ball slightly larger than the palm of your hand.  Lightly sprinkle flour on top of the ball and gently roll the paratha until it is about 1/4″ thick.

In the meantime, heat up your chappati pan or a large flat bottomed pan, adding a small amount of oil or ghee.  For each paratha, one at a time, place the paratha in the pan.  When one side has browned slightly, flip it over and brush or spread some oil or ghee on the browned side.  Flip two or three times more until the paratha is well cooked.  If you want, you can add some more oil or ghee at this time.  We prefer our parathas drier so we skip this.

Serve parathas hot with curd, lime pickle or lemon pickle.  You can also top the parathas with butter when serving.

Tips:  Garam masala is simply a spice mixture whose contents depend on the region it was made or on the homemaker who blended the spice.  Panjabi garam masala is available in most Indian markets and contains cinnamon, a little turmeric, cloves and other spices which combine to make a unique and wonderful flavour in your food.

Ajwain seeds are also called carom seeds and are available in Indian markets and even in some of the larger supermarkets in Canada.

As always, feel free to experiment with the spices in this recipe.  You’re the expert eater so you’ll know what you like.  I sometimes add some finely chopped red onion to mine.  You know … when I eat them.  Because they’re so addictive, that’s not a lot … oh there has to be a support group out there for paratha addicts.

Onion Paratha

This is the little sister unit’s favourite thing to eat.  She absolutely loves these.

Ingredients

1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies, minced
1/4 tsp Panjabi garam masala (see note in tips above)
1/4 tsp red chili powder, if you want a little more heat
1/4 tsp salt
Chappati dough
bran, flax or canola oil or ghee for frying

Method

Combine the chopped onion and chilies with the garam masala, chili powder and salt.  Set aside.  Break off pieces of chappati dough roughly the size of your palm.  Roll each of these between your hands into a ball.  Then on a lightly floured surface roll the dough into circles roughly 1/2″ thick.  Place about 1 1/2 tbls of filling onto the centre of the dough and pull up the edges to enclose the filling completely.  On the floured work surface, roll each of these balls out to roughly 1/4″ thick.

In the meantime, heat up your chappati pan or a large flat bottomed pan, adding a small amount of oil or ghee.  For each paratha, one at a time, place the paratha in the pan.  When one side has browned slightly, flip it over and brush or spread some oil or ghee on the browned side.  Flip two or three times more until the paratha is well cooked.  If you want, you can add some more oil or ghee at this time.  We prefer our parathas drier so we skip this.

Serve parathas hot with curd, lime pickle or lemon pickle.  You can also top the parathas with butter when serving.

Tips:  Make sure you chop the onions and chilies finely otherwise your parathas will tear when you are rolling them.

In a future post we’ll bring you gobi (cauliflower) paratha, paneer (cheese) paratha, mooli (radish) paratha, palak (spinach) paratha, dal (lentil) paratha and channa (chickpea) paratha.  Stay tuned!

Until next time,
Peace & love,
Himmatpreet

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