Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 | Last Update : 09:04 AM IST

Stack up the parathas

THE ASIAN AGE. | KARISHMA KRIPLANI
Published : Sep 17, 2018, 12:22 am IST
Updated : Sep 17, 2018, 12:22 am IST

Delicious and flaky, parathas have a special place in the hearts of desis.

Aloo paneer paratha
 Aloo paneer paratha

There’s nothing like a well-made paratha. Flaky, crispy and sometimes stuffed with a delicious filling, this Indian flatbread has won hearts all over the world. From the universal favourite aloo paratha to the contemporary raw papaya paratha, it’s a versatile bread that can appeal to every palate.

The paratha, a combination of whole-wheat flour, water, and desi ghee, is said to originate from the Punjab/ Peshawar area. While it was a flatbread eaten predominantly by north Indians, over time it has been adapted by Indians all over the world. For instance, its south Indian cousin, the parotta, is made with refined flour and relished with egg or meat curries.

The traditional paratha can be plain or stuffed with potatoes, cottage cheese, peas, cauliflower and so on. It’s enjoyed with a blob of butter or ghee and accompanied by an assortment of pickles, chillies, curd, and pindi chole. The meal is deemed complete only when the paratha is topped off by a glass of creamy lassi.

So popular are parathas that a whole lane — ‘Parathe Wali Gali’ — in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk is dedicated to it. It’s a popular tourist destination. Here, visitors can sample parathas with an incredible variety of stuffings, right from cheese, dry fruits, banana, okra, chilli and even sweet versions like rabri paratha.

The parathas made here are deep-fried and dripping with oil. So a trip to Parathe Wali Gali isn’t for those with a weak stomach.

While parathas look easy to make, don’t be fooled by the appearance. It takes years of practice to get them right.

HOW TO GET YOUR PARATHAS PERFECT

For those who want to give it a try, here are some tips given by the vendors at Parathe Wali Gali:

  • Always make sure the stuffing is not hot when put inside the dough. It needs to be at room temperature. Otherwise, it gathers excess moisture and comes out from the sides, cracking up the paratha.
  • After kneading the dough, keep it covered in a wet cloth for around 20 minutes. This will help the dough remain soft.

The recipes are by Navtej, who runs an authentic Punjabi restaurant in Chennai.

Paneer Aloo Paratha

Ingredients for the filling

  • 1 boiled potato
  • A pinch of red chilli
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of coriander powder
  • ½ green chilli
  • A pinch of garam masala
  • Chopped ginger
  • 15 g paneer
  • Handful of dry fruits

for the dough

  • 50 gm atta
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp ghee for cooking and 1 tsp for serving

Method
Use a fork to mash the boiled potato. Add in the salt, ginger, chilli powder, green chilli, coriander powder and garam masala.
Mix it well. Crumble the paneer and add it in.
Take the atta and the water and mix well with fingers till it becomes a dough that holds well. Add in 1 tsp of oil once the dough is made. This will keep the dough soft.
Roll a piece of the dough evenly, and then add the stuffing in the centre and make into a ball.
Now begin to roll again. Add dry flour on the ball (this helps it to roll easily and not stick) and then roll into an even medium-sized flat circle.
Now take a non-stick pan. Add ghee on it and make paratha on it on a medium to high flame for five to eight minutes till well cooked.
Serve with an additional spoon of ghee over it. The above recipe makes one paratha.

Egg filling
Ingredients for the filling

  • 1 egg
  • A pinch salt
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • ½ a green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp oil

Method
Break the egg into a bowl. Add in salt, chilli powder and black pepper and green chilli. Mix it well. In a pan add one tsp oil. Let it heat for two to three minutes on medium flame. Add in the egg mix and let it cook on pan. Break into small pieces.
Then proceed to make the paratha as in the first recipe.

Minced chicken filling
Ingredients for the filling

  • 50-60 gm ready-made minced chicken
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of red chilli powder
  • ½ chopped green chilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • A pinch of garam masala
  • A pinch of coriander powder
  • 2 tsp oil

Method
In a pan, take the oil and let it heat a bit. Then add the garlic that’s finely chopped. Once a little cooked, toss in the
chicken and let it cook for five to eight minutes on medium flame. Add in all the other ingredients for the filling and let it mix well for another two minutes. Then keep aside to cool till room temperature.
Then continue according to the first recipe to make the paratha.

Tags: food recipes, aloo paneer paratha