Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram) Stuffed Paratha
Channa Dal Paratha
This recipe is based on the Pooran Poli or sweet paratha recipe, which comes from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat states of India. These parathas are quite easy to make, specially if you are used to rolling out chapatties. Makes 12-15.
Stuffing or filling:
150 gm. or 1 cup chana or Bengal gram dal, skinless
2 cups water
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 green chillies, de-stalked
1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
1 tsp. cumin seeds, roasted (microwave on full for 5-6 minutes) and ground
500 gm. ( 3 1/2-4 cups) chapatti flour (keep a little aside on a plate, to use for dusting)
300 ml. water approximately. Add a little more or a little less until you get a soft dough
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
Ghee or cooking oil for shallow frying
3-4 tbsp. flour placed on a plate, for dusting (rolling out)
Wash and soak the dal for 1 hour.
Chop onion, ginger and green chilli finely in a food processor. Squeeze to get excess water out. Use gloves, if worried about chillies. Keep aside
Add water to flour and turmeric mix, a little at a time, and knead into a dough like chapatti dough (soft-firm). Keep aside.
Drain dal. Place in a pressure cooker, with 2 cups of boiling water and cook on full pressure, for 5 minutes or 5-6 pressures/whistles. Or, boil in a pan until dal is soft. It should not be mushy or runny. Drain the excess water off, if any. Allow to cool.
Grind to a smooth paste. I use a hand held blender for it. The consistency should be like a soft dough, not runny. You should be able to roll a teaspoon of dal into a ball.
Add and mix all other stuffing ingredients with the dal. It should be a little stiffer than your dough, then it is easier to roll out. That is why, it is important not have any water left over in either the dal or the onion, ginger mix.
Break off a golf ball size portion of dough and roll into a ball. Dust it with dry flour and roll it out to a circle of approximately 2 inch diameter.
Take 1 heaped tsp. of the filling and place it in the centre of the circle. Pull the edges in on top and gather like a parcel. Seal well by pinching the gathered edges. You now have a ball again.
Heat the griddle or tava.
Dip the stuffed ball in dusting flour on both sides and roll out to approximately 15-20 centimetre size. Roll from centre outwards so the edges are thinner than the centre. You will need to dust with dry flour a couple of times during the rolling process. If a little filling escapes, don't worry, just remove it.
Cooking the parathas:
Place the paratha on the pre-heated griddle. Turn it over when it changes colour slightly and you can see a few blisters on the under surface.
Cook the other side the same way. Turn it over again.
Brush oil on both surfaces, one by one.
Press gently all over, using a flat spatula. This helps to fluff it up into a ball, as well as making it crisp. Cook until nicely browned and crisp on both sides.
Serve hot with a pickle of choice and fresh yoghurt or dahi.
In the beginning, it is better to have two people working together, one rolling out and the other cooking.