In Northern India, a dough made by using atta is used as a main ingredient in making some of the breads which I love. The dough is prepared by mixing atta with water until you get a bread dough texture and then flattened out by using a wooden rolling pin. Most Indian breads such as roti and chapati are baked on an Indian hot plate called a tava, which is made from cast iron, steel or aluminium. Other breads such as puri and bhatura are deep fried. The dough for puri and bhatura have less water in the dough in order for it to not soak up a lot of oil while they cook.
India breads of Central Asian origin, such as the naan and tandoori roti, are traditionally baked in a clay oven called a tandoor. Naan breads are usually made with yeast in the dough so the texture is fluffier and this helps the dough to rise better.
My childhood favourites that I absolutely love are parathas, rbotis and bhaturas. I remember my mum in the kitchen cooking the chicken curry and my dad would be on the other side of her making the stuffed parathas. I was especially fond of the times when my dad makes them with spiced mashed potato and my most favourite one was mooli stuffed parathas. Mooli is an Asian vegetable similar to a radish but is white and is a little bigger than the average radish.
Here's a recipe that is easy to follow if you want to try and make mooli paratha.
For the stuffing:
- Mooli – 4 cups (about 2 large mooli) grated
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Carom seeds – ¼ tsp
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Ginger paste – 1tsp
- Green chillies – 1 finely chopped
- Garam massala – ½ tsp
For the outer layer:
- Chapatti atta (whole wheat flour) – 1 ½ cups and more for dusting while rolling out the dough
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Water – little more than ½ cup
The method behind the madness of making mooli paratha:
- Take the grated mooli and place into a bowl, sprinkle salt on and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes squeeze all the water out of the mooli and dispose of the excess liquid.
- Heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat, once hot add the carom seeds and the cumin seeds so they can cook for a little bit.
- Then add the chopped green chillies, ginger and mooli, and mix well.
- Add the dry spices and continue to mix.
- Cook until the mixture becomes dry, remove it off the heat and let the mixture cool down.
- While the stuffing is cooling down, take the flour and oil in a bowl and mix well using your fingers so the oil is incorporated into the dough.
- Start kneading the dough by adding a little of the water at a time.
- Knead into a smooth dough, cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- As the mixture is cooling down and the dough has been left for 15 minutes you can now divide the dough into six equal portions and then flatten with the base of your palm.
- Before rolling the dough to make the parathas, put the tava or you can use a frying pan on a medium heat for frying the parathas so the pan is hot.
- Take each ball of dough and roll into little circles but making sure they're not too thin.
- Place a spoonful into the centre and gather the edges and then pinch it into the centre.
- Seal it tight and flatten it by pressing very gently.
- Then carefully, with a lightly flour dusted rolling pin, roll the dough with the mixture carefully until it becomes a bigger circle without the stuffing coming out.
- Then place the dough on the tava or in the pan and cook.
- After a few seconds there will be a couple of bubbles on top that's when it will be time to flip it over.
- Apply a little oil on each side as you turn over to cook, when you've noticed a golden colour on the dough as its cooking. Don't panic if you see it lightly puffing up it just means the dough is cooking and allowing the dough to rise.
- Then repeat these steps with each of the dough balls until all the dough balls and mixture has been used.
A great things to have with these stuffed parathas is a bowl of natural yoghurt and a fresh salad.
I hope everyone enjoyed my Indian cooking series of blogs and hope they create an insight of my world.