Methi Paratha 1 (Fenugreek Leaves in Dough)
Methi Atta Paratha
Paratha is made of whole wheat chapatti flour. It is a richer version of chapatti. Freshly cooked, crisp paratha, eaten as the cook is taking it off the griddle, is delicious though a little high in calories! Also see Aloo Methi Paratha. Makes 10-12.
500 gm. (3 1/2-4 cups) chapatti flour (keep a little aside on a plate, to use for dusting).
2 tbsp. oil
1 cup fresh methi leaves, chopped finely. You can use 2 tbsp. dry or 'kasoori' methi leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. carom or ajwain seeds
1 inch piece of ginger, very finely chopped
1 medium onion, very finely chopped (optional)
300 ml. water approximately. Add a little more or a little less until you get a soft dough
Oil for pan frying
If using dry methi leaves, soak them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. Then lift out the leaves, leaving the water and any dust in it behind.
Place flour, (save 1-2 heaped tablespoon of dry flour or use extra, for dusting while rolling out parathas), onions, ginger, methi leaves, carom seeds, 1 tbsp. oil, salt in a bowl.
Add enough water a little at a time, to make a soft to firm...ish dough. If you are new at making parathas, it is better to have a firm dough, which is easier to control while rolling out. Experienced Indian cooks prefer a little softer dough, which makes softer parathas.
Knead well for 5-6 minutes. Do not use food processor for making this dough or it will grind the onions, methi leaves etc. too fine and you will loose the texture.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes or so. Knead briefly again.
Rolling out parathas:
Break dough into 10-12 portions and roll them into balls, using a little dry flour to dust. Keep them covered with a moist cloth.
Parathas are generally rolled out one at a time. You roll out the next one while previous one is cooking.
Roll one ball in dry flour and roll it out to approximately 7 cm. or 3 inches diameter.
Place 1/8 tsp. (a few drops) of oil in the centre of the circle, pull the edges in and seal it in the centre. Now you have a ball again.
Heat a griddle or tava.
Roll out the ball into a 6-7 inches or 16-18 cm. circle. It should be rolled from centre outwards so that the edges are thinner than the centre. You will need to dip it in dusting flour, on both sides, a couple of time during this process. Parathas should not be too thin, approximately 2-3 mm. thick, as very thin ones do not have 'bite'. This again is your personal choice, some people prefer paper thin parathas.
Heat a griddle or tava to medium hot.
Put the paratha on the hot griddle. Turn it over when it changes colour to semi-translucent and you can see a few blisters on the under-surface.
Cook the other side same way and turn over again.
Brush a little oil on both surfaces. This can be done with a small ladle or a soup spoon.
Press it gently all over, using a flat spatula. This type of paratha does not usually puff up, because of the 'bits' of onion, ginger etc.
Cook until crisp and nicely browned on both sides.
Serve hot with a pickle of your choice and plain, natural yoghurt (sada dahi).
Parathas can be made in advance, stacked on top of each other and wrapped in Aluminium foil. They can be re-heated before serving, either individually on a griddle or in a microwave - place 4-5 parathas spread out on a plate and heat for 2-3 minutes on maximum power.
They freeze quite well but should be defrosted properly before re-heating.
You can cut parathas into wedges and serve as a snack.
You can use chopped up mooli leaves instead of methi leaves.