Orange Bergamot Mint
Our friend Bhavani, of the triple-X rated paratha fame, has a huge repertoire. (Parathas are Indian whole wheat flatbreads, often stuffed.)
One evening, after a particularly satiating meal, her hubby S sent us an e-mail about “the best parathas I’ve ever tasted”, with these pics.
We had to try them. Bhavani sent us the recipe, and we’ve made them twice since. Yes, they’re the best parathas we’ve ever made.
Paneer is Indian cottage cheese. You can use store-bought, but it’s easy to make at home, and the flavour and texture of home-made is MUCH superior.
We tried a few different things, which we will explain after sharing her recipe.
PANEER MINT PARATHAS
3 cups whole wheat chapati flour (atta)
**chapati flour has a finer grind than regular whole wheat flour. If using regular whole wheat flour, mix in 1 part all purpose flour to 3 parts whole wheat flour.
a little over 1 cup water
salt to taste
until a pliable but non-sticky dough is formed. Let it rest in a covered, oiled bowl for atleast 30 minutes. (If refrigerated, it can stay this way for a day or two).
For the filling, mix together
2 cups grated paneer
1 cup chopped mint leaves (loosely packed)
half tsp turmeric powder
3 to 4 fine chopped green Thai or serrano chilies
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp amchur (dry mango powder) (or lime juice)
salt to taste
Divide the filling into 12 equal portions and press them into firm balls. Dust each with flour if necessary.
Likewise, divide the dough into 12 equal portions. The size of the filling ball should be slightly smaller than the size of the dough ball.
Roll out each ball of dough to a circle about 3 to 3.5 inches in diameter. Make it a bit thicker in the middle. Place it in your hand like a cup, put the filling in, and pinch and seal the edges. LIKE THIS.
Roll out each stuffed ball of dough lightly into a disc about 10 inches in diameter, taking care not to break the dough. If it does tear, stick a small piece of dough on the tear to seal it.
Toast one side on a hot cast iron or metal pan on medium-high heat until it gets a few brown spots, add
1/4 tsp oil/ghee (clarified butter)
turn it to the other side, and toast with another
1/4 tsp oil/ghee.
Press down with the spatula gently for even cooking on the edges.
Make all the parathas this way. Store them stacked one upon the other in foil or in a kitchen towel.
VARIATIONS AND TIPS
The first time we made it with whole wheat chapati flour. The next time, we used a combination of stiff sourdough starter and chapati flour – 3/4 cup stiff sourdough starter (6 ounces) plus 2 cups whole wheat chapati flour, plus water to knead the dough.
We often have leftover sourdough starter, and this is a great way to immediately convert it into something. It adds great flavour too.
We’ve tried substituting paneer with the Mexican Queso Blanco/Queso Fresco/Panela, which is made quite the same way.
Two things to keep in mind – Queso Blanco is VERY salty. So skip the salt in the filling and in the dough if you wish. It also tends to get very gooey and melt faster than regular paneer. So make sure your paratha is sealed very well. If the stuff oozes out, you’ll have burnt cheese strings on your skillet.
We’ve increased the quantity of mint to 2 cups – it tastes even better. You can use a combo of mint and cilantro, or a variety of mints – like spearmint, peppermint, applemint, orange bergamot mint, chocolate mint, ginger mint.
What does this picture mean?
Growing What We Eat by Bee @ Forgive Me My Nonsense …