Bajra Millet, Potato and Bathua (Lambsquarter) Roti or Paratha
Bajra Roti with Alu and Bathua
Bathua or Lamb's-quarters/pigweed (Chenopodium album) is a summer weed in UK. In India, it is a popular leaf vegetable during the winter months and it is cooked like spinach. Bathua has medicinal uses in some skin conditions and its oil is used to treat hook worms. It is supposed to be high in vitamin A, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, trace minerals, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, iron, and fibre. Do not use it from beds where insecticides or leaf fertilisers have been used. Numbers depend on the size you make. Amounts are approximate, a little more or less of potatoes and bathua will not make much difference. Makes-approximately 6-8.
2 cups (350 gm. approximately) Millet flour (keep a little aside on a plate, to use for dusting)
1 bunch of bathua (100-150 gm.), about 1/2 cup cooked leaves
2-3 medium potatoes (about 1 cup mashed pulp)
A couple of tbsp. dry flour on a plate for rolling out
1-2 tbsp. oil
Oil for pan-frying, if making paratha.
Boil potatoes in their skin (microwave in a steamer for about 6-7 minutes or boil in a pan or pressure cooker.
Cool, peel and mash.
De-stalk, wash and steam Bathua leaves in a microwave steamer for 3-4 minutes or boil. Drain water, cool and squeeze remaining water out.
Place flour, mashed potatoes, oil and bathua leaves in a bowl, add enough hot water to make medium soft dough. At this stage, mix it with a spoon or spatula.
Allow to cool and make it into a soft...ish dough, adding more water, if necessary. It should not be too soft or too firm, either is difficult to roll out. Keep aside, covered with a moist cloth.
Heat a tava or frying pan to medium hot.
Take about 1 1/2 the golf ball size portion of the dough and make it into a ball.
Flatten with your hand a little, dip in dry/dusting flour and roll it out gently with a rolling pin (belan) into a 6-8 inch circle. (Another way of rolling it out: Millet dough is sticky and plastic makes rolling it out easy. Split open a large sandwich bag on sides only, and open it up. Place one dusted or oiled dough ball on the centre of 1st layer of the plastic and cover with the 2nd layer of the plastic. Roll it out on top of the 2nd plastic layer into a 12 cm. circle.) The rolled out roti or paratha should not be too thin, roughly 3-4 mm. thick. Peel the top plastic sheet off the roti gently. Place the roti on your left palm. Gently (it breaks easily) peel off the 2nd layer of plastic off the roti.
Place it gently on the tava or frying pan.
After a minute or two, turn over gently using a wide spatula to ease it off the pan/tava. While it is cooking, you can roll out the next roti.
Turn it over once again. Both sides should now have a few brown spots on it.
Now cook it directly on a flame, using tongs, turning frequently, until crisp and cooked. It takes longer to cook than a wheat roti. You can also cook it under a preheated grill (HOT), but make sure to keep a close eye or it will burn!
For making paratha, do not cook it on the flame. Spread a thin layer of oil on both sides and cook, turning and pressing it with a ladle or spatula, until nice and crisp