It was a simple problem.
1. One craves parathas made from scratch. Ergo, one makes parathas from scratch.
2. One simply cannot eat more than two parathas at a sitting.
3. The making of said parathas requires a bit of planning and elbow grease.
4. Umm, lets just say, I am built for distance, not speed. Ergo, I would rather make a stack of 12 parathas at a go than two parathas in a jiffy.
5. Parathas don't keep well.
6. Stalemate (pun unintended)
And so I embarked on a quest for home-made parathas that could be frozen and eaten later. I tossed and turned, looking for solutions. And then, I was dipping into Dim Sum when inspiration struck. (Side note: Have you noticed how many good things happen over Dim Sum? Marvellous really.) But I digress. The point is, I was delicately cutting leek pockets into demure bite-sized pieces, completely entranced by their fluffy, crispy perfection when the old neurons fired. This, I mused, is what I want the texture of my parathas to be. Almost instantaneously, the vision of Ming Tsai, in his blue shirt, smiling and confident, appeared in my head. Of course! I almost clapped my hand on my forehead: the Blue Ginger Cracker Dough! A ha! I would make parathas with the blue ginger cracker dough recipe. If it works for Ming Tsai's scallion pancakes, surely it would work with parathas...
I was unstoppable. I wanted to rush home and slave over a hot stove. I hunted down potatoes. Mashed them and chucked in ginger, garlic and green chillies to make a robust filling. One that would have any truck driver in the Punjab twirling his mustache with unfeigned approval. I made the dough with whole wheat bread flour, yeast, one tablespoon vegetable oil and water. Gave it plenty of time to sit and rise. Sure enough, it doubled. Fortunately for me, the dough was easy to work with and lent itself to the folding and fussing that makes a paratha the lovely, fluffy crispy thing that it is.
The whole wheat bread flour in the dough made the parathas heartier than the usual version made with atta. I see this as a positive change. In addition, the parathas held their fluffiness better than the traditional atta-version. I froze a batch to use in a week. The whole wheat - spiced potato mix is quite unbeatable, although I'm sure peas and/or cauliflower would be a nice variation. I've cut up parathas into little wedges and served them as an appetizer. Also tried working the dough into quesadilla and pocket shapes. All in all, I think the whole wheat version of the cracker dough will work quite nicely to make a robust, hearty paratha.
Paratha How-to on the web, pretty pictures and all
1. Spinach and cheese version - yum!
2. Bureka Boy's unstoppable cauliflower filling!
3. A mixed dal version thats on my mind...