Dal Paratha

Chettinad Fiesta
Sat, 23 Mar 2013 04:00:00 +0000
Packing protein into your diet seamlessly - Dal Paratha! I still remember the first time I had a Moong Dal Paratha! It was in Bombay at my father's friends place. The place overwhelmed me; I was awestruck by Bombay! I was from Pondicherry - a small and peaceful town; and my one 'city' visit had been to Madras.  Zeroing in to the topic ... (Back home - late 70's and early 80's) Idli and Dosa were our normal dinner fare. But in our home, Chapathi's were a specialty. Amma would serve Dal (Chettinad style) and a Onion-Tomato Salad along with it. And we always had relatives asking for this signature dinner at home. Murugan Annan (our cook who was like part of the family) would effortlessly make the softest Chapathi and treat my sister and me to "Cheeni Chapathi". Nothing in my experience to match Murugan Annan's fare.Then comes our visit to Bombay. We were served Paratha for lunch - DAL stuffed Parathas. I do not remember the Sabji; but the moment I touched the Paratha - the texture and flavour completely floored me. So soft and flaky. Crisp too. The memory of the best that you have tasted lingers in your mind. Does it not? Ingredients: For the Paratha: Wheat Flour - 1 cup Salt - 1/2 teaspoon Oil - 1 teaspoon Water to knead the dough For the Stuffing: Moong Dal - 1/2 cup Oil - 1 teaspoon Cumin - 1/4 teaspoon Turmerric Powder - 1/8 teaspoon Salt to taste Chilli Powder - 1/2 teaspoon Corriander Leaves - 1 tablespoon Instructions: For the Paratha: Take the wheat flour in a shallow bowl and add the oil and salt. Rub it into the flour very well. Make a well in the centre and add water. Mix to a smooth dough adding just enough water. Knead the dough. Keep covered until you need to use it. For the Stuffing: Soak the Moong Dal for about 20 minutes. Cook until just soft with turmerric powder and a little salt. Drain and keep aside. Heat Oil in a kadai and splutter Jeera seeds. Add the cooked dal, chilli powder, salt and corriander leaves and stir fry until dry. Cool completely. To make the Paratha: Divide dough into 5 or 6 even sized balls. Roll out lightly; or make a cup shape from the dough. Place a tablespoon of filling in the centre and cover the filling with the dough from all sides. Seal well. Take care to make a tight ball. Roll out the filled dough into thin discs. Cook it on a hot Tava, using a little butter / ghee / oil. Heat a tava over medium flame. Place a roti on the hot tava. Flip after about 10 seconds. Now, cook until spots appear on the under side of the roti; place a little butter on top and then flip the roti. Press down the Roti with your spatula, until browned. Flip once again for about a second, pressing down the Roti along the edges and take off heat. Serve hot with Raitha and Pickle. Makes a wonderful packed lunch too!
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