Happiness is… You must have come across this series of web-comics which enumerates the little things in life that bring happiness. My today’s addition to it would be- Happiness is learning to make the food you like. Thankfully, I like lots of food from different places, so learning to make it (one at a time) means happiness abounds 🙂
Parantha or the stuffed flatbread is one of the most popular foods of North India. It is made and served across homes, fancy restaurant chains, and street food joints. It becomes a part of breakfasts, dinners, travel tiffins. Although I have always liked it, it was after coming to Delhi, my love for parantha blossomed. While I even enjoyed paranthas in our University canteen, I knew that the best ones were made by the home cooks, courtesy to kind local friends, who treated me with these delicacies…
However, learning to make parantha seemed daunting at first. I was fairly new in the field of cooking and the idea of rolling a flatbread with stuffing within seemed too difficult. Might I add, that I had hardly made even a regular flatbread, such as roti, before. Thankfully, my cravings for parantha made me overcome my fears. As usual, the practice helps and now I am pretty confident to plan paranthas on the menu, whenever my partner or I fancy it.
This time, I used the stuffing of white radish. But really, the choices for parantha stuffing are plenty, such as potatoes, cauliflower, paneer (cottage cheese), or minced meats.
RADDISH PARANTHA/ STUFFED FLATBREAD
Makes 6 paranthas
1 medium sized white radish
2 cups of whole wheat flour, plus some more for rolling the flatbreads
2 tbspoons of oil, plus some more for roasting
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon of carom seeds
1/2 teaspoon of sumac (optional)
1 cup water (if required)
Pinch of asafoetida
Salt to taste
- Cut radish into thin shreds, using mandolin/ slicer.
- Sprinkle salt over it, mix, and keep aside for about 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, squeeze the shredded radish and transfer it into another bowl.
- You can use the salty water of the radish to knead the dough. Measure it to 1 cup (add water, if required).
- In this water, add flour and oil.
- Knead to make a soft but non-sticky and pliant ball of dough. Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fluff the squeezed radish with a fork. Add turmeric, chilli powder, carom seeds, sumac, asafoetida to it. Adjust salt, if necessary. Mix properly. This would make the stuffing into the parantha.
- After standing time, divide the dough into 6 equally sized balls.
- Take a dough ball onto the platform. Sprinkle it with the loose flour.
- Roll into a small disk of about 3-4 inches diameter.
- Place about a tablespoon full of stuffing into the center.
- Bring all the sides of bread disk together above the center (thus, enclosing the stuffing into a pouch) and seal them by applying pressure with your fingers.
- Now hold this pouch and shape it back into a shape of ball, that could be rolled further.
- Sprinkle this again with a flour and start rolling gently with pin, applying equal pressure everywhere.
- As you roll on, you would start noticing the stuffing from within the dough covering that is getting thinner. Roll alternatively from both the sides. Intermittent sprinkling with loose flour (onto the parantha, as well as on the platform) will help handling the parantha.
- Try to roll in such a way that the stuffing spreads equally along the entire parantha. If while doing this, you achieve a perfect round shape, pat yourself. But if you don’t, then there is no need to despair. Uniform spreading of the parantha is more important for its taste. Roll till the parantha is about of width 1/8 inch.
- Heat a non-stick/ cast-iron griddle on a medium heat. Coat it with oil.
- Transfer the parantha onto the griddle. Roast from one side, till the light brown spots appear. Apply a thin coat of oil onto the parantha, and flip it to be roasted from another side.
- You can repeat the above step to make sure that the parantha is roasted properly from both the sides.
- Serve the hot parantha with any vegetable side or pickles or yogurt, or with a fresh tangy salad of tomato and onion, as we did.