Vegetable Parathas

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Paratha, as the Hairy Bikers reliably inform me, is a type of Indian flat-bread, usually stuffed with vegetables. I took their recipe and edited it slightly but credit must go mainly to them. I made far too much (which I guess isn’t a bad thing as they’re damn tasty) so I’ve slimmed down my quantities here. This would work with various spice mixes so if you don’t have all the ingredients feel free to mix and match, swap them in and out till your heart’s content! The filling is also perfectly serviceable on its own. I did this over two nights, making the veg mix first then the bread dough the next day.

Serves 5 (at a guess)

Vegetable Filling

Ingredients

1 large, old potato, chopped into 2cm cubes
1 large sweet potato, chopped into 2cm cubes
½ butternut squash, chopped into 2cm cubes
1 carrot, chopped into 1cm cubes
1 cup peas
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 thumb-size piece of ginger, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 little finger sized piece fresh turmeric, grated (or 1 tsp powder)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin (crushed seeds, or powder)
handful fresh curry leaves, roughly chopped
handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime

Method

Apologies for all that chopping – you’re probably worn out by now. I know I was. Anyway, put the potato on the boil, then after a few minutes add the carrot, sweet potato and squash. Leave to simmer and have a power-nap. Or don’t, that could be dangerous…

Heat a glug of oil in a frying pan and when ‘ot throw in your onion, garlic and ginger. You’re aiming to sweat the onions rather than caramelise them so don’t have the oil too ‘ot. When starting to soften add the turmeric, chilli powder, ground coriander and cumin and cook for a further few minutes before adding the curry leaves and fresh coriander. When cooked through, turn down to as low as heat as possible to keep warm without cooking any further.

Stab the fattest cubes of potato, squash etc to check they are cooked though – slightly firm is preferable to too squishy. If cooked, drain and roughly mash to taste. I added a couple of teaspoons of butter, a glug of milk, a few twists of pepper and a pinch of salt and mashed roughly making sure not to leave any too large pieces. Throw in the onion mix and peas, squeeze in the lime and give a good smush around. And there you have it, some awesome Indian-inspired mash. Cover and stick in the fridge

Bread Dough

Ingredients

400g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
200ml milk
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
pinch of chilli powder
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Find yourself a large mixing bowl, sieve in the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk up the egg, with a pinch salt and dash of pepper and stir into the mix with a wooden spoon. Add the milk slowly – 20ml at a time, until the dough starts to come together. If you add too much the dough will become too sticky and hard to work with. If this happens, as it did with me, add flour a little bit at a time until the dough is less ‘wet’. Add all the spices then work roughly (either with a spoon, or better, with your hands) for 10 minutes. Cover bowl with clingfilm and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile fetch your spice-tastic mash. I heated mine on a low power in a microwave for several minutes, until it was warm all the way through.

When the dough has rested, flour a work surface and pull golfball-sized clumps off the doughball. Pat down onto the flour, then flip over and do the same. Roll out with a rolling pin to pound coin thickness – it should make a 10cm (ish) round. Add a couple of spoonfuls of mash to the centre (leave a wide margin around the edge) top with some raw spring onion rings  then bring the edges of the pastry up and roughly twist over the top to seal (sort of) the paratha. Flip over and gently roll out  again, until about 1cm thick. I recommend making a few (2-3 per person) before cooking.

Heat some oil wayyy hot in a frying pan. Place as many parathas as you can comfortably fit in the oil, twisted-side down and cook until brown (a couple of minutes). Flip over and repeat. Serve with a simple salad. No pictures of these I’m afraid (sadface) but I do have a beautiful picture of my chopped veg:

J

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