Broccoli Paratha

It is Friday (September 16, 2011). I went to lunch with friends and their beautiful daughters. We called ourselves the "Terrors of Montreal", what with our 3 giant strollers. One of my friends even suggested that area high schools should invite us to their schools to show girls how difficult babies can be. To convince them that abstinence is the best policy.

Lost a shawl. Forgot to pick up a tea bag for the tea that came with my lunch. Got told, "It's Friday!", in a tone that meant that a person is allowed to be scatterbrained on a Friday afternoon. Except, this could have happened to me on any day, these days.

Anyway, I started writing this post yesterday, but I think my phone rang. My mother was calling and we skyped with her, to show her M's new fancy. Size 7 shoes. Her feet are a dainty size 4.

Eating a broccoli paratha may have made her think herself quite big.

Here's how that came about. R doesn't eat rice on Fridays at all. Neither do I normally, but we can talk about it later. Usually for M's dinner, I give her rice, although she may get different grains during the day. But on this day, I was in no mood to cook 2 separate kinds of meals. I wanted to eat something "good" (defined as, I-am-feeling-lazy-and-clueless-but want-something-hot-and-tasty). I opened the frig and ransacked the crisper, while I tried to keep the door open. People fear about preventing their children from opening doors. She's at a stage when she shuts any open door she encounters. Anyway, I found a head of broccoli from our Sunday trip to the market. I wondered now. Can I make a paratha out of it? After all, cauliflower is used for gobi parathas! So, I googled the word and came up with many hits. That's all I needed to know, before setting about making some. R was not too happy that I was spending so much time to make something so stupid (read containing broccoli).

Ingredients

Stuffing:

One bunch of broccoli, florets broken out and grated/shreddded; I used a hand cranked food processor

Cumin powder to taste, 1 tsp

Coriander powder to taste, 1 tsp

Salt a pinch or 2

Thyme powder to taste, 0.5 tsp

Asafoetida a sprinkle

Red chilli powder, 1 tsp

Ginger 1 inch piece, grated

Shell:

Whole wheat flour for dough 3 cups

Whole wheat flour for dusting 0.5 cup

Water

Salt

Oil

Oil for shallow frying

Method:

Add salt to the grated broccoli and set aside.

Add water into the wheat flour slowly, folding the flour into the dough until the dough doesn't stick to the hands.

Let it sit covered for at least a half hour.

Tip from my paratha-land friend: put the dough into the frig. if you're in a hurry. Leave it there until it is needed. Knead it again and use.

Place cast iron pan on the stove and begin heating it.

Meanwhile:

Squeeze the water out of the broccoli (this water can be reserved to use in a soup or a stew or another recipe that calls for water).

Mix the remaining ingredients of the stuffing in with the broccoli.

Remove dough from frig., re-knead for a minute or so, apply a few drops of oil in your hand and make several balls of dough.

Flatten a ball between the palms, make a cup out of it in your cupped palm, and place a bit of stuffing in it.

Close it by pulling the edges closed, making sure not to tear the dough (I have torn it, and it makes the rolling out trickier, but it has worked for me, so don't panic).

Flatten the ball again and coat it with flour on all sides, roll it out into a circle (or, if you aren't a shape fascist – another name for someone who knows what they're doing and can actually get circles that are of even thickness; given by those of us who don't always get it right; ok, by me). It is more important to get it to a uniform thickness than for it to be a circle, for the taste. Aesthetics? That's another story. I roll it out as thin as I can.

Then, shallow fry it on the now hot pan, with oil (or ghee, which will give you a more authentic taste, and of course, not a little too much calories. As if the ghee weren't enough, serving it with butter and pickle? Yummmm).

Serve hot with plain yogurt or a raita (finely chopped vegetables, usually cucumber, onion, tomato, or a combination thereof, along with herbs and spices, in a ladle-whipped yogurt base).

This seems like a lot but isn't really too much, as I found out when I started making something that'll include a vegetable into her "tapiti".
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