Paratha Stuffed With Leftover Vegetable Bhaji/Sabji
Vegetable Bhaji/Sabji Paratha
Many leftover vegetable bhajies can be used as stuffing to make delicious parathas or sandwiches. Potato, cauliflower, cabbage, mooli, turnip are a few examples of things that can be made into stuffing. You can even use dals and meats. All the water has to be evaporated first, otherwise it will leak out during rolling out. Bhaji/curry should not be too oily, or it will be difficult to handle as stuffing, the oil will leak out during rolling out the paratha.
Mash the item you are using for stuffing and add extra salt/spices. Remember, it will have to be stuffed inside a salt and spice free dough.
Another way of utilizing leftover dals and bhajies in making parathas is to make the dough using them as the liquid for kneading. Again, you have to add a little extra salt and spices.
I often use a Dosa pan, which is large and allows me to make 3-4 parathas at a time.
Don't be put off by long instructions. They are there to explain the process clearly. Makes 10.
For the dough:
400-500 gm. chapatti flour
1 tbsp. oil or ghee
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ajwain or carom seeds
Enough water to make dough
Oil for pan frying
for the stuffing
Any left over vegetable bhaji/sabji, crushed a little and spiced up, if necessary
Preparing the bhaji for stuffing
Mash the bhaji, add a little extra spice and salt to taste. Remember that it will be filled between 2 layers of rolled out dough
Stir-fry it until completely free of water/liquid. Otherwise, it will be impossible to roll out and ooze out from the edges. Allow to cool completely.
Save 2 tablespoons of dry flour on a plate, for dusting while rolling out parathas.
Mix the remaining flour, salt, ajwain and 2 tbsp. oil or ghee and add enough water to make a firmâ€¦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 cooks prefer a little softer dough, which make softer parathas. Knead well for 5-6 minutes. This process can be done quickly in a food processor.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes or so. Knead briefly again.
Rolling out parathas:
Break dough into approximately 10 portions. Break each of these portions again into 2 and roll into balls (20 balls). Each paratha will require 2 balls. Keep covered with a moist cloth. Once you learn to make them, you can make 2 balls for one paratha at a time and roll the next balls and paratha, while the previous one is cooking.
For each paratha, dust 2 balls with flour and roll out to 8-10 cm. in size.
Take roughly 1/10th of the filling and spread out in the centre of one circle. Cover with the second circle on top and gently press the edges to seal. Now you have a stuffed double circle, with the filling between the two layers.
Heat the griddle or tava.
Dust the stuffed circle with flour on both sides and roll out gently, to approximately 20 cm. in size. You may need to dust it with dry flour a couple of times during the rolling out process. If a little filling escapes, don't worry, just remove it.
Rolling out round parathas
Make a dough ball about the size of a ping-pong ball.
Dust with flour and roll out to approximately 10cm. circle
Take a full tablespoon of the filling and place in the centre of the circle. Pull in edges and gather in the centre.
Dip the stuffed dough ball in dusting flour on both sides and roll out gently, to approximately 16 cm. in size. Roll from centre outwards, so that the edges are thinner than the centre. You will need to dust it with dry flour a couple of times during the rolling out process. If a little filling escapes, don't worry, just remove it.
Cooking the parathas:
Place the paratha on the heated tava or griddle (medium hot, not smoking hot). Turn it over when it changes colour slightly, 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, using a long handled spoon or ladle.
Press gently all over, using a flat spatula. This helps to make it crisp. Cook until nicely browned and crisp on both sides. It is important that you crisp the paratha on medium heat and not cook it too fast.
In the beginning, it is better to have two people working together, one rolling out and the other cooking.
Parathas can be made in advance, stacked on top of each other, wrapped in Aluminium foil and chilled or frozen. They can be de-frosted and re-heated before serving, either individually on a griddle. To re-heat, place 1 paratha on a hot griddle or tava and allow it to become crisp on both sides.
They can be cut in wedges, like pizza, and served as starters.