Sunday

Stacked


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 Verdict:
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...

16 comments:

Mallika said...

This if my first time on your blog and I LOVE it. Parathas, by the way, taste best when someone else cooks them and serves them.

Asha said...

What a great writings, you made me smile this Sunday! Love Parathas too, and wheat Bread flour is so yum. I baked a Masala Potato bread at Aroma with that, so tasty and great earthy color too. Looks great, except Yeast, I do the same way, will add yeast your way. Happy Monday dear girl, with all that in the tummy, it will be I am sure!:D

TBC said...

The parathas look great ...and your writing's not too bad either. ;-)

aroona said...

Hi Smita,

Love reading your blog, food-lovers that we are, and good writing as a bonus!

My mother makes a yummy pea paratha, which you can try. Fresh peas, boiled with green chillies and hing!!( this is extra special!). Drain out any excess water, mash and cook without oil until all the water evaporates.Add salt and use as any other filling for a very tasty version of parathas. Drool-worthy.

Nags said...

nice parathas.. i made some a couple of weeks back too.. couldn't photograph though..

Padmaja said...

hey smitha those parathas are perfect!!
love them!!!

bindiya said...

Hi Smita, sure you served the paranthas right, lovely blog you have!

lakshmi said...

i make rotis and parathas everyday - we dont eat much rice (roughly once in 10-15 days)- will try your bread flour version soon and if succeeds, you have saved me a life of rolling

click said...

ming tsai + parathas + whole wheat = drool drool drool. i love that guy.

click said...

ming tsai + parathas + whole wheat = drool drool drool. i love that guy.

Manasi said...

whole wheat bread flour parathas!!! coool!!
Wonderful post!!

remya said...

perfect parathas!!! just love them...

Suganya said...

I came here looking for pancakes. This is a treat :).

David said...

What timing for parathas! Rheaa spent the weekend with us and she and Chandra significantly boosted the Indian economy by a determined assault on Fab India and related outlets, while yours truly manned the getaway vehicle. And what did we have for lunch? Mooli parathas with options of dhania chutney, coarse ground mustard and lime n ginger chutney! Wish you were here with us :)

ServesYouRight said...

Many thanks for stopping by!

Mallika - You're so right, Parathas taste best when someone else makes 'em :-)

Asha, Manasi and everyone who loves breadflour: I couldn't agree more!

Aroona: Delighted that you wrote!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe - can't wait to try it. Lots of love - S

David: (sigh) You have me drooling at my keyboard, yet again, with tales of food adventures. Bestest,

Smita

Swaroopa said...

hey smitha, i liked ur version of freezing. thanx for the tip.