Wednesday, July 30, 2008

1001 Parathas

Reposted entry for Joelen's Asian Inspired recipes and Srivalli's Roti Mela.

Parathas are non-leavened flatbreads shallow fried in oil. They are usually sinfully rich and very filling. Many different flours can be used to make parathas but wheat flour is the easiest to work with as it is very kneadable. Most other flours cannot be kneaded into a dough (as they are poor in gluten - the glue which binds the dough together). So when using other flours, mixing in wheat flour makes them easier to work with.

Parathas are eaten with butter, yogurt, raitas, pickles, curries or tomato sauce. They can be eaten plain, or dipped in tea. Parathas originated in Punjab and quickly spread to the rest of the world. They travelled with Indian immigrants to Singapore and Malaysia and came to be called Loti prata and Roti canai. They became Farata in Mauritius, Palata in Burma and Bussup shut ( Bust up shirt - what a flaky, crumbly paratha resembles) in Trinidad.

Parathas can be thick or thin, small or large, round, square or triangular, stuffed or plain. Parathas can be cooked on a skillet, baked in an oven or even deep fried in oil / ghee.

Plain parathas :.
North Indian parathas are made from wholewheat flour ( Atta) and the south Indian parotta is made from all purpose flour ( Maida). The traditional style of creating a flaky, layered parathas take quite a bit of skill. It is much easier to use the shortcut given in the one page cookbook.

See Pooja’s garlic paratha, Barbara’s Methi paratha, Lacha paratha, Indosungod’s Pumpkin paratha ( neither a stuffed nor a plain paratha! )

Stuffed parathas :
Anything that can be shaped into a tight ball can be used to stuff a paratha. My Punjabi friend tells me of his grandma's threat - "finish off what's in your plate or you'll have it inside a paratha later today ! "
Anything wet and soggy will not make a good stuffing. This is why paneer/ boiled potato / boiled dal/ boiled green peas make easy stuffings, but grated radish / cauliflower take quite a bit of practice. For many vegetables, water needs to be squeezed out of the grated vegetable completely, before using them as stuffing. See Srivalli’s Mooli Paratha, Grihini’s Papaya Paratha, Anjali’s Carrot paratha, Divya’s Aloo paratha, Sreelu’s Aloo cheese paratha, Sheetal’s Corn paratha, Skrible’s Stuffed Methi paratha.Jugalbandi’s Gobi paratha, Pakistan’s Chole paratha and the innovative Halwa paratha.


6 comments:

Kittee said...

ramki,
i found a link to your blog from couchsurfers. i think you might be a genius. i like this one and the podi page the most, though i can't figure out half the ingredients you require for the podis.

xo
kittee

Lavanya said...

I found a link to your page from Lakshmi's blog (http://lakshmusings.wordpress.com/). What a wonderful idea! I haven't tried any of your recipes yet, but hope to do so soon.

Lavanya

Ramki said...

Kittee : You make me blush :)

Lavanya : Thanks. But none of the recipes are mine. This is just an attempt to present existing in a way that first time cooks can understand easily and experiment with.

Dibs said...

Hi Ramki - Have an 'award' for you at my site. Do drop by and pick it up!

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Ramki I really like your view of life. It all boils down to living and loving and doing what makes us happy, like cooking. Congratulations on your award from Dibs.

ML said...

Amazing Ramkee! I didn't know u had this amazing passion for cooking apart from travelling!! It's so handy! I am sure I'm gonna try many of these dishes once the kitchen n cooking comes onto my head! :)

Cheers,
Mital (CS pal)

Food Consultancy / Licensing / Crash Courses

Contact siramki@gmail.com for complete Food consultancy from concept to completion.

Customised one page cookbooks now available for pressure cooker / microwave / mixie / masala & other cooking product manufacturers. Replace bulky recipe books with easy to refer One page cookbooks and watch your sales soar !

Twecipies

Blog Archive

Cooking is fun - Duplication is a pain !

"It is extraordinary to me that the idea of creating thousands of recipes by mixing building blocks takes immediately to people or it doesn’t take at all. .... If it doesn’t grab a person right away, ... you can talk to him for years and show him demos, and it doesn’t make any difference. They just don’t seem able to grasp the concept, simple as it is". ( Thanks Warren Buffett !)

"What's angering about instructions in many cookbooks is that they imply there's only one way to cook a dish - their way. And that presumption wipes out all the creativity." Cook dishes your way - Download  1001 South Indian curries now and learn to cook, not to duplicate ! ( Thanks Robert Pirsig !)

"Recipe purity is no different from racial purity or linguistic purity. It just does not exist. Cuisines are alive and change all the time. What is traditional today was esoteric just a few decades back. So being a 'foodist' is as bad as being a racist !

About Me

My photo
Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
Okay, let me start from the very beginning. 1500 crore years ago, with a Big Bang, the Universe is born. It expands dramatically. Hydrogen forms, contracts under gravity and lights up, forming stars. Some stars explode, dusting space with the building blocks of life. These condense into planets, one of which is Earth. Over time, self replicating molecules appear, multiply and become more complex. They create elaborate survival machines (cells, plants, animals). A variety of lifeforms evolve. Soon, humans arise, discover fire, invent language, agriculture and religion. Civilisations rise and fall. Alexander marches into India. Moguls establish an empire. Britain follows. Independence. Partition. Bloodshed. The license raj is in full sway. I'm born. India struggles to find its place. Liberalisation. The Internet arrives! I move from Tirupur to Chennai. Start a company. Expand into Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East. Poof! Dot com bust. Funding dries up. Struggle. Retire. Discover the joy of cooking, giving, friendships and the pleasures of a simple life. Life seems less complicated. Pizza Republic, Pita Bite and Bhojan Express bloom !

Looking for Treatment?