Coriander, Onion and Green Chilli Paratha
Hara Dhaniya, Pyaz aur Mirchi Paratha
Parathas are made of whole wheat chapatti flour. They can be made in all sorts of combinations, either by adding things to the dough or stuffing them inside. Here I have mixed the fresh flavour of coriander leaves with onions, with heat from fresh green chillies. Freshly cooked, crisp paratha, eaten as the cook is taking it off the griddle, is delicious though a little high in calories! Makes 10-12.
500 gm. ( 3 1/2-4 cups) chapatti flour (keep a little aside on a plate, to use for dusting)
1 bunch or 1 heaped cup fresh coriander leaves. Use stalks too, if tender.
1 medium onion, very finely chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. carom or ajwain seeds
2 tbsp. oil
300 ml. water approximately. Add a little more or a little less until you get a soft dough
Oil for pan frying
Chop onion, ginger, coriander leaves, green chillies in a food processor and chop finely. You can do this by hand too. It just takes longer.
Place flour, (save 1-2 heaped tablespoon of dry flour for dusting while rolling out parathas), onions, coriander leaves, green chillies, carom seeds, 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/slacker dough, which makes softer parathas.
Bring the dough together, no need to knead a lot at this stage. Do not use food processor for making this dough or it will grind the onion, coriander 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.