Sprouts stuffed paratha

Sprouts Stuffed Paratha

I always feel responsible when my maamiyaar seems cross. She may have had some disagreement with Jagan. She may be upset that the maid retorted defiantly. Relatives may be giving her grief. She may have an upset stomach. I still feel responsible. Most times I don’t know the reason but because I feel responsible I don’t ask. I need to know though. So I rewind and play the day’s happenings in my mind stopping to scrutinize at every step – Did I say the truth? Did I make seppankezhangu fry? Did I not react cheerily enough to something? Did I react cheerily to something? Last week she seemed particularly morose. I felt I was responsible. I didn’t ask. But I worried. I pondered aloud to Jagan who admonished me for being irrational and dismissed me as an obsessive worrier. He triumphantly told me later that day “She was unwell. She had had an upset stomach yesterday night and that is the reason she looks dismal. I told you, you are wrong. This is the way you screw up things.” Taking the opportunity, Jagan went on about how my instincts were not always right. I needed to be more chatty, I needed to text her, call her and generally act sweet. Sweet?! How do ya be that to the Maamiyaar? Somebody please (don’t) teach me. Hmm, Maybe I am overanxious. Maybe, I am over-reacting to everything. Knowing it wasn’t me I asked her that night “I heard you were sick. What happened?” “Was a terrible case of food poisoning. It was the tamarind rice I had at lunch.” I stutter “Puli Puli sadam? Maybe it was the medhu pakoda we bought yesterday”. I had made the tamarind rice (puli sadam) the day before. “No, it must be the Puli sadam. The Puli kaachal in the fridge was too old. I should have thrown it out.” “Hmm.. Oh” I slink off. I had not made the puli kaachal. She had. I had used the leftover puli kaachal sitting in the fridge. I had wronged. She had an upset stomach and I was responsible. I made these sprouts stuffed parathas in a fit of health consciousness. I realized I wasn’t replacing everything with millets. I wasn’t substituting all purpose flour and granulated sugar with ragi and beetroots. I reckoned a little bit of sprouts stuffed inside parathas would compensate in some way.  ...

My shortcut Palak Paneer with Radish parathas

Ratha thadha the the , Ratha thadha the the.. Yennai Arindhal! The song’s been on my mind ever since I saw the movie a few weeks back. I have one question for Gautam Menon, many questions, but one most important one – Where are the real life versions of Dev.. Satyadev, Anbu Selvam and Raghavan? Chivalrous, desirable guys opening doors, saying all the right things, cooking meals, spending time with girlfriend’s kids (Jagan checks his records if it is in fact his turn to take the kids to the toilet before bed)! But mine is a ‘Mounam Pesiyadhe’ Surya, an ‘En Rasavin Manasile’ Raj Kiran. So it doesn’t apply. If somebody’s really got a ‘Varanam Aayiram’ Krishnan, ‘Vettayadu Vilayadu’ Raghavan do let me know in the comments box (below the post). I am curious. And by the way don’t you think that’s a great way to describe someone – short, crisp, spot on and everyone gets it. Imagine these matrimonial ads: “Want an “Idhayam Murali” type doctor maapillai (instead of “soft-spoken, sincere, sensitive, doctor cum poet”)” Or Want a “Suryavamsam” Sarath kumar (village side, dhuttu party) for a Devyani type IAS aspirant. Succinct, don’t you think? Now, where was I? I like watching his movies. It is just that the men in his movies are too good, too nice, too gentlemanly and the setting unrealistically perfect, stylish, wishful. And rarely ever any interfering family around except maybe a doting “Daddy”. The women are IIT/UCLA grads or in seemingly important positions but carry empty laptop bags. Everybody speaks flawless English, women wear starched cotton sarees and FabIndia outfits, people live in Anna Nagar or Adyar, the men are cops or romantics or both. They get down on one knee, play the guitar, fly overseas to meet you (how many times did you have to catch an auto because your husband couldn’t take a detour to pick you from office? All the time!), propose instantly and say insanely sweet things like so:        Radish Paratha to Palak Paneer: Ivlo azhagu! I am in love and you are responsible. Palak Paneer:  I didn’t think much of parathas but now I want to spend the rest of my life with you radish paratha. I see in his movies things I had written in college slam books, wishful romantic fantasy stuff (Rom-fan?!). But I really did think the radish paratha and palak paneer went extremely...

Dal Poori – Jharkand

I love fried anything but I am very skimpy with oil. I feel terribly guilty emptying a quarter of the 1 litre oil pack for making vadais or pooris. I sometimes overcome my “fried-manic-oil-phobic” concerns and go ahead and fry away. I did with this dal poori I found at gayathri’s blog and I loved it. The dal poori is beautiful. These are golden pooris stuffed with a subtly spiced channa dal mixture. The dal poori has so much going on on its own that it really didn’t need an accompaniment but if I did serve it with something, the something had to be fresh and simple. I made a tomato oambal and it seemed to be the best thing that happened to the Dal Poori. They were lovely together, the two of them. Cutest pair ever. Made for each other. I conveniently used Bihar’s Dal Poori for Jharkand as I’ve heard they’re very similar. After all Jharkand was part of Bihar up until 2000. Jharkand means “Land of forests” and it accounts for 40% of India’s mineral resources. Funny that many of the newly formed states are rich in mineral resources and majority of the people are poor. A convenient combination. Nevertheless, Dal pooris are delicious and are a must try. Prep time: 30 minsCooking time: 30 minsServes: 4-5 Ingredients – Poori Wheat flour – 2 cupsBlack sesame seeds – ¼ tspSalt – a pinchWater as neededOil – for deep frying Ingredients – Stuffing Channa dal/Kadalai paruppu – ½ cupOnion – 1 medium chopped fineGreen chillies – 2 chopped fineCumin seeds/Jeera – ½ tspTurmeric powder – ¼ tspSalt to tasteGaram Masala – ½ tspOil – 2 tsp Method 1.      Combine wheat flour, salt and sesame seeds in a bowl and add water little at a time to make a soft firm dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for half an hour. Meanwhile prepare the filling. 2.      Pressure cook channa dal till soft. Drain the water and mash the dal. Set aside. 3.      To a pan, add oil and when hot, add the cumin seeds. After about half a minute, add the chopped onions and green chillies and sauté till the onions turn translucent. Then add the mashed dal, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt and mix well. Cook on low heat till the dal mixture is quite dry and starts leaving the sides of the pan...

Burger Bun

Baking buns and breads somehow makes me feel like I am a real professional baker which I am most definitely not. But I do try my hand from time to time and these buns were one such attempt. These buns turned out pretty good, they looked good and they tasted real nice too, soft and slightly sweet. I used the number one bun recipe from google search results on the KingArthur’s website. These buns would be perfect for burgers, they hold up well and don’t get all soggy and limp. These buns weren’t difficult at all. Just knead everything together and let rise. Then divide, let rise again and bake. That is it! They’re much simpler than cakes even. The best part about yeasted breads/buns is the rising part. I love to see the puffed up dough. It’s fascinating to see those little yeast granules doing so much. If you’ve not tried making buns or breads before, I strongly recommend starting with these buns. They’re super easy. There is absolutely nothing to beat that lovely sweet aroma that wafts all over the house when these buns bake in the oven. It’s intoxicating. You could make slider buns which are basically mini-buns or the usual sized ones. Just divide the dough appropriately. If you are like me and can never make up your mind in these matters, do both like I did. Same with the sesame seed topping. I wanted it both ways. So you’ll see assorted buns here, some with the topping, some without, some big and some mini. Prep time: 15 mins Baking time: 20-25 mins Makes – 6 medium buns or 12 mini buns (slider buns) Ingredients All purpose flour/Maida – 1-3/4 cups Sugar – 1/8 cup Egg – 1 Butter – 1 tbsp Salt – ¾ tsp Yeast – ¾ tbsp. soaked in 2 tbsp lukewarm water and ¼ tsp sugar Lukewarm Water – ½ cup (adjust) Topping Ingredients White Sesame seeds/Vellai ellu – 1 tbsp for topping (optional) Egg wash (1 egg white + 3 tbsp water) – beaten for brushing the tops Melted butter – 1-1/2 tbsp for brushing the finished buns Method 1.      If you are using instant yeast, add directly to the other ingredients. Else sprinkle the yeast in a small dish containing lukewarm water and ¼ tsp sugar. Set aside. The yeast will dissolve and froth up. It is then ready to use. 2.     ...

Gobi Paratha – Cauliflower Stuffed Flatbread

I made these gobi parathas last weekend for lunch and they ought to be the simplest, most basic gobi parathas around but they were out-of the world. Really. I am saying this because Jagan asked for these parathas again for dinner the same day and he is never fond of vegetarian food. They were delicious. I wanted to mince the cauliflower and I started out with a knife but soon got impatient. So I tried pulsing it in the mixer and you know what, it’s so much easier and so much better. I wanted teeny tiny florets, but when I minced it in the mixer I ended up with a fine cauliflower crumble – somewhat like breadcrumbs but with teeny florets here and there. I somehow felt this cauliflower crumble stuffing was more flavourful and tasty, more than the parathas with those teeny tiny florets. Don’t skimp on the butter(or ghee) while cooking the parathas. The butter (ghee) is what makes a stuffed paratha so special. So go ahead, smear it on. Prep time: 30 minsCooking time: 20 minsMakes: 10-12 Ingredients – Paratha Wheat flour – 2-1/2 cupsSalt – a pinchOil – 2 tspWater as necessaryButter/Oil/Ghee – 2 tsp for each paratha Ingredients – filling 1 Medium Cauliflower – rinsed and cut into floretsRed chilli powder – 1tbspCumin powder – 1 tspTurmeric powder – ½ tspSalt to tasteOil – 3 tsp Method 1.      Prepare the dough first. Take the wheat flour in a medium bowl. Add salt and oil and mix to incorporate. Then add water slowly little at a time and knead to a soft, smooth dough. Set aside. Let the dough rest covered till you make the filling. 2.      For the filling, first rinse the cauliflower, pat dry and cut into florets. Take the dried cauliflower florets in a mixer/grinder in batches and pulse to get them minced. It’s important to just pulse or the texture will be lost. You’ll have a coarse minced cauliflower mixture. 3.      Heat a pan, add oil and when hot add the minced cauliflower. Saute for a minute. Add red chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Cook covered for 5-8 minutes ill cooked through and fragrant. Uncover and cook for a further 2 minutes. Switch off and let cool. 4.      To make the paratha, pinch a lemon sized ball of the dough and roll out using a rolling...

Parotta – Flaky, Layered Ceylon Parottas

There’s a road-side parotta kadai just across the road from our house and one of our favourite pastimes is gawking at the parotta master in action. He so skilfully tosses the parotta dough into the air instead of rolling it out with a rolling pin, then with quick nifty movements pleats the dough, rolls them up, dabs a bit of oil on top and places them aside, while turning over a batch of parottas cooking on the huge rectangular tawa. The best part and my personal favourite is the last step, when he stacks up the parottas and then smacks them with his hands to fluff up the parottas and bring out the nice flaky layers. Two things to keep in mind while making parottas, knead the dough well making sure it’s smooth and really soft and let it rest for some time. While cooking the parottas, cook them on medium high heat for soft and flaky parottas. Cooking on low heat for a long time can make the parottas tough and chewy. I’ve made parottas quite a few times at home and my family always finds it extremely amusing to watch me make parottas. I don’t even throw around the dough (I tried once but just tore up the dough), I just roll it out using a rolling pin. The whole act of Parotta making has this simple charm to it, it’s really fun. I love smacking the stacked up parottas, it’s the finishing touch it makes all the difference between thich, tough to handle parottas and flaky, layered parottas. Imagine the irritating neighbour, that lazy procrastinating clerk at the government office, bsnl customer care or annoying telemarketers, close your eye, hold your hands out on either side of the parottas and then smack them together with the parottas in between. Great stress-buster and flaky parathas in one step. I served this with Potato Kurma here. Parotta tastes divine with Chicken Salna which I hope to post soon. Prep time: 15 mins + 1 hour resting timeCooking time: 1-2 min per parottaServes: 16-17 parottas Ingredients Maida – 1/2 kiloSalt to tasteOil – 2 tbsp for kneadingWater as requiredOil for frying Method 1.      Add salt and oil to maida and mix well. Then adding water little at a time, knead to a smooth, soft dough. Cover and let rest for 1 hour minimum. 2.      Then clear an area of your...

Aloo Paratha with Cauliflower and Meal-maker (Soya chunk) curry

I am not a huge fan of meal maker (soya chunks) but that may be because I’ve rarely ever tried it earlier. My family is however quite fond of meal-maker. Surprisingly this time, I liked the curry too. The cauliflower added texture and added a nice twist to a plain meal-maker curry. I served this curry alongside onion raita and crispy fried bitter gourd fritters with Aloo paratha. The meal-maker curry was a huge hit and so was the meal combo.  Aloo paratha was such a delicacy in hostel. Mondays use to be Aloo Paratha if I am not wrong. Our mess served terrible food (except a few select items, breakfast was usually tolerable) was also terribly strict about the timings, you wouldn’t get anything after 9:30 am. Even if we didn’t have a class in the morning, we’d be up Monday mornings in time for the Aloo Parathas. There barely was any Aloo in the Aloo paratha (should have been called Al paratha), but we were such a starved lot, we’d hog these size zero Al parathas as well. At home I always over-indulge, my parathas are not neat, they’re usually bursting with Aloo with some of the aloo oozing out at places. I like it that way. Hearty and calorie-packed! I butter my toasts the same way, I slather a ½ inch layer of butter on my toasts. I know you are trying to imagine how fat I must be.  I am not very fat. Just slightly. Preparation time: 20 minsCooking time: 30 minsServes: 5 Ingredients – Aloo Paratha Potatoes – 3 large boiled, peeled and mashedGreen chillies – 4-5 chopped fineCumin/Whole Jeera – 2 tspTurmeric powder – 1/2 tspSalt to tasteChapathi dough – kneaded and kept covered (I used around 3 cups flour) Ingredients – Meal maker curry Meal maker/Soya chunks – 3 cupsCauliflower – 1 small, blanched whole and then chopped into bite sized piecesOnion – 2 large chopped fineTomatoes – 2 large chopped fineGinger-garlic – 2 tbsp (1 inch ginger, 6-8 garlic cloves)Red chilli powder – 2 tbspBlack Pepper powder – 1-1/2 tspTurmeric powder – 1/2 tspSalt to tasteOil – 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp Method 1.      For the paratha filling, combine together, mashed potatoes, turmeric powder, chopped green chillies, cumin, turmeric powder and salt and mix well. 2.      To make the parathas, take a ball of chappathi dough and roll out into a disc....

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