Thursday, October 13th, 2016
I have just written the recipe for a pumpkin paratha and it may have just opened a can of parathas! A really well made paratha is difficult, it takes practise, but we are home cooks together, striving to have healthy, happy families and good nutrition is part of that, so, please just get stuck in.
You may have heard of these deliciously filling flat breads that are so hard to resist and are so gratifying, the difficulty is to decide which one? It’s the ultimate sandwich, your favourite fillings encased in a bread/pastry like shell, fried. Whilst I write this, my memories take me far beyond a flat bread or the kitchen.
Typically, a bride will prepare sweet parathas as the first dish shes cooks in her new home, such a scary dish to take on, with all her new family members lined up to taste, with the sweet ones being so moreish, it will test not only your cooking skills but your patience, sweet ones are particularly tricky. I am lead to believe that modern brides may cook pancakes these days, oh, didn’t we have a tough time in our day! Good luck to the new brides xx
A blog about parathas would not be complete without talking about my dad, he didn’t cook, I remember him taking on the mighty chicken curry as a child and it had way toooo much garam masala in it, yes it is possible, you switch my little pots and…. no, please, just take my word for it. Back to my dad, he made the most delicious, perfectly crusty, dumpy parathas in the world. They were BIG parathas, dinner plate sized, with the width of a pound coin, perfectly flaky, crispy and chewy, no-body could have a second. I have not had a better paratha and they weren’t even greasy, so so good, stuffed and fried in butter, always rolled into a sausage and then a pin wheel, perfectly rolled into a circle.
The basic everyday paratha, known as the layered paratha, is simply a dough made from flour and water, rolled flat, spread with butter, and cooked on a tava (flat frying pan) with the final frying having some more butter added. Needless to say, I rarely make them, thanks to my healthy husband, Krish. A layered paratha can be seasoned with chillies, garam masala, salt, garlic and coriander.
Staying with parathas, if you ever have left over curry or daal, add it to flour to make a dough, turn them into parathas and again you have some seriously good breads, they can be tricky as the dough needs to be tough and you will also need to season them. Methi, fresh fenugreek leaves can be mixed with spices to the dough, very, very good but the leaves must be fresh and use lots of fresh green chillies.
The stuffed paratha are two chappatties fried together with a filling, the tip is to use a cold filling, the ratio should be more filling to dough, but that takes practise.
Here’s a list of my favourites,
Pumpkin parathas, and the recipe can be found here http://www.lajinamasala.com/recipe/pumpkin-parathas/
Boiled potatoes, fresh chilli, garam masala, salt and coriander.
Cheese, paneer, cheddar, any cheese, chillies, coriander, red onion and garam masala
Cauliflower and potato, either curry or a special mix made.
I have only just touched on the subject of the paratha, if you need recipes or advice, let me know and please share your paratha making journeys, thank you!
Oh, and I only use locally grown rape seed oil and wholemeal flour, don’t make them too often, they are addictive!!
Lajina Leal, Founder, Lajina Masala
Lajina had a Corporate Career as an Accountant for many years and whilst discussing an impending redundancy in an Indian restaurant with her friends, they persuaded her to set up an Indian Cooking School.
The fun started in October 2013 and the business has grown from strength to strength.