Yesterday my husband bought a nice long fat, juicy radish for sambar. Seeing that it was too much for sambar and knowing that half the mooli (radish) would go waste if I made the sambar, I decided to make mooli parathas the next morning for breakfast.
This filling is a little unusual. It is not what you find in most places in India. I once ate a piece of this paratha at my neighbour’s house about 3 years ago and I loved it. She in turn learnt it from another one of my Rajasthani neighbours, Mrs.Mathur.
Yield: Serves approx. 8 parathas about 6 inches in diameter
Ingredients for the filling:
Radish (Mooli) – 1 big or 5 small ones
Chickpea flour (Besan) – 1/2 cup
Carom seeds (Ajwain) – 1/2 tsp.
Salt to taste, a pinch of turmeric powder and chilli powder to taste
You may substitute red chilli pdr. with chopped green chillies if you are used to spicy stuff
Chopped coriander (Dhania)
Method to assemble the filling:
1. Grate the radish. Squeeze out the juice as much as possible and drink it up right then – It is good for health! Set aside.
2. Roast the besan well till the raw flavour is replaced by a nice aroma. (It needn’t be done but I feel that it removes any fear of a stomach ache)
3. Heat a small wok or kadhai. Pour a teaspoon of oil and crackle the ajwain. Put in the green chillies and saute for less than a minute. Add the grated and squeezed radish and mix well. Add salt and cook the radish well till dry.
4. Add the roasted besan, chilly powder, and turmeric powder. Mix well till the whole thing blends well together and no liquid remains. Mix in the chopped coriander. (It tastes nice at this stage so you will know whether you have got it right if you just taste the filling!!) This is how it will look:
Ingredients for the paratha dough:
Whole wheat flour – About 3 cups
Water, Oil (optional), salt to taste
Take the flour in a bowl and add salt Make a well in the center and pour a little water and oil (if needed – I never use oil for roti or paratha dough). Mix well and knead into a soft dough using water as required. The dough should not be sticky or hard. You should be able to make a dent in it without applying much pressure and yet the dough should not spread out when you do so – I guess thats the best way I can describe the consistency!
Making the parathas:
1. Take a lemon sized ball of dough and shape into a cup (As for modak!). Put in the filling – a little less than the size of the dough – and pinch the sides as shown. Gather the pinched sides together and roll again into a smooth ball.
2. Roll in dry flour, dusting off the extra, and flatten into a circle about 5 inches in diameter. Use the rolling pin gently and sprinkle a little dry flour if the paratha sticks to the work surface. The paratha will be about 3mm thick.
3. Heat a griddle and reduce the fire. Brush a little oil on the griddle and roast the paratha on one side on reduced heat. Flip over with a pancake turner and roast the other side. Ideally the paratha will fill up and the top layer will rise as shown below unless the filling has come out.
4. Roast both sides well till golden dotted with brown specks and remove. This paratha tastes good by itself or can be taken with plain curd/sweet curd. I feel it goes really well with pickle – preferably avakkai mango pickle and stuffed red chillies.
I wanted to a take them all arranged in a pile with pickle and raita on the side but it was not possible being a week day and since the parathas were just going right from the tawa onto the plates and were being devoured immediately – as parathas should ideally be treated!! If not, then remove from the tawa and rest the paratha on a rack so that the underside doesn’t sweat – I am a little particular about these things since I hate eating the last roti or paratha which sweats unless laid on a cloth or a rack!
I am sending all the Rotis/Parathas/Flatbreads I have made so far to the ‘roti mela’ hosted by Srivalli of ‘Cooking 4 all seasons’ by announcing a ‘roti mela’. She has got a great blog there with a large variety of items for your palate, so if you haven’t, do check it now!
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