Wild Garlic Leaves Paratha
Jungli Lahsun Patte Ki Roti Ka 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. Adding wild garlic leaves to the dough gives a lovely flavour. You can use garlic chives or garlic greens.
Wild garlic grows across the UK from late winter until the end of spring. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and they taste milder than regular garlic. Lily of the Valley leaves look similar, but are poisonous. Before you start picking, check to make sure that the leaves you are picking smell of garlic.
500 gm. whole wheat chapatti flour
1/2 cup flour on a plate for dusting.
2 tbsp. oil
A large bunch of fresh, wild garlic leaves.
1/2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste)
1 tsp. carom or ajwain seeds
1 inch piece of ginger, very finely chopped (optional)
Enough water to make dough
Oil for pan frying
Wash, drain and wilt garlic leaves in a microwave steamer. 2 minutes on full heat is enough. Drained water can be used in making dough.
Chop leaves roughly.
Place flour, wild garlic leaves, carom seeds, 1 tbsp. oil and salt in a bowl.
Add enough water, including drained water, a little at a time, to make a soft, pliable dough. If you are new at making parathas, it is better to have a firmer dough, which is easier to control while rolling out. Experienced Indian cooks prefer a little softer dough, which makes softer parathas.
Knead well for 3-4 minutes. Do not use food processor for making this dough or it will grind the wild garlic leaves too fine and you will loose the texture.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes or longer. Knead briefly again to get it a smooth dough.
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 rolled out one at a time. You roll the next one while previous one is cooking.
Heat a griddle or tava to medium hot.
Meanwhile, dip one ball in dry flour and then roll it out to 2-3 inches or 6-8 cm. circle.
Place a few drops of oil in the centre of the circle, gather edges over it and make it into a ball again.
Now roll this out into a pancake like circle of 6-7 inches/15-17 cm. A paratha should be rolled from centre outwards so that the edges are thinner than the centre. You will need to dip it in dry flour a couple of times, on both sides, during this process. Parathas should not be too thin, approximately 2-3 mm. thick, as very thin ones do not have 'bite'.
Frying a Paratha
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 when lifted.
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 may or may not puff up, because of the 'bits' of leaves, ginger etc. make it burst.
Cook until crisp and nicely browned on both sides.
Serve hot with a pickle of your choice and natural yoghurt (sada dahi) or as part of any Indian meal.
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.