Showing posts with label Naan/Paratha/Roti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Naan/Paratha/Roti. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Indian Flat Bread - Kulcha

#IndianFlatBread, #FlatBread, #Kulcha, #Recipe #SimiJoisPhotography

The smell of fresh flour roasting in ghee on a cast-iron hot griddle is a childhood memory. I remember my mother sitting by the tele, kneading the dough and dad asking her what was the sabji/curry to go with the bread. These memories stir a strange kind of emotion in me. A part of me thankful to be born in a household where fresh food was the norm. On the other side my heart becomes nostalgic from memories of my childhood. Those were some of the most beautiful days of my life, went by too quickly.  My mother always made fresh flat bread every day and it was quite the norm when we were growing up. It still is in many Indian homes , I am glad as there is nothing better than fresh kulcha, parathas, naans or rotis from the griddle. I wish I had a count of how many I have eaten in my life time: am sure then run into hundreds. In Indian culture we never count when we eat, and now that I think of it, we do not have obesity as a burning issue in India.  Counting calories and watching what you eat, does it really help or is it more about fresh, pure, seasonal and home made? Something to think about. Am no expert, but somewhere I do believe it is not the amount or the calories, cook with love, sit together with family and enjoy what you eat, it truly fills you up in every aspect. After all life is just once and if you live it well once is enough.

 Oh! how I digress, from memories to calories to enjoying food at the table…

 Sophia, Ilva and me got together and thought about doing a post on ‘breads’ , something close to our heart.  I am the last to post, thanks to time zone. Here is Sophia’s daily bread and Ilva’s childhood story about bread.  I just loved the stories these girls have narrated and loved the photography even more.

It might get confusing with all the talk about Indian flat bread, so here is a little description of each kind.

Roti : A flat bread made of wheat flour and no stuffing. It is the everyday Indian bread. It could be made in a tandoor ( clay oven) or the gas stove.

Pulka : A softer and thinner version of the roti, it is rolled much thinner and is almost always made on stove top. Indian everyday flat bread.

Paratha : It is a stuffed roti. Stuffed with potatoes, paneer, nuts, beets, greens, peas, a lot of varieties. It is roasted in ghee.

Naan : is made from refined wheat flour : all purpose and is originally made in the tandoor,  you can also make it on the gas stove.

Kulcha : Is a stuffed nan, again it is made in a tandoor but can be also made on the gas stove like above.

Rumali rotti : Is a huge extremely think roti and is v v v soft and folds like a handkerchief, rumal in hindi means a handkerchief.

Puri : is made from whole wheat flour and is smaller than roti and a good puri is always fluffy. Could be flavored or plain

Kachori : is a stuffed puri

Bhature: is made from all purpose flour and is deep fried, it is almost always served with choley.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Mysore Masala Dosa

So many memories are flooding in as I write this post. Our home was the official headquarters of dosa, or should I call it the dosa factory. All my friends will vouch for that and to many of them my mom was a friend and a confidante more than a mere ‘aunty’. In India we do not call elders by their name, so every friend’s mom is an aunty. Now that I think of it, I would always bring in friends from school and it was understood that they would be having lunch at my place. When I turned 16, my mom threw me a surprise party,  she invited all my friends and had a huge poster of sweet sixteen up in the living room - which she painted herself.  We must have been some 20 kids - dosas for 20 giggly teens is not an easy task. Can you imagine, I do not have a single photograph from it, but everything is crystal clear in my mind…I remember it like yesterday.  A baby pink poster with a pink rose (hand painted) and sweet sixteen painted on it. My teen turns sixteen next year, am not sure if anything can top what mom did for me…life is such a full circle. I can’t imagine that so much time has gone by. As I make dosas for my teen and her friends, I always think of my mom and her kitchen, her 1000 watt smile, that can light up a room even today - she has never frowned, it’s always smiles, in good times and otherwise. She did have her share of anger - but frown, hardly.  Life has always smiled back at her. Her smile is still as young as probably when she was sixteen. 

To me dosa is not a mere south Indian delicacy, it’s memories, it’s soul food ….it’s the key to Indian hospitality. Probably that is why my family thinks  it’s one of the things I make best. (if I may say so myself). Probably some where I feel the need to keep up with my mother’s standards of not only making perfect dosas but of hospitality, of  serving food with a smile, that shines from within. 

I have tried to capture dosa so many times but I have never really been  satisfied, am not as happy… I might redo the post with better pictures. I don’t think it is even possible to capture this amazing delicacy. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, when you bite into it, you can taste the crunch, the sweet-sourness of the fermented lentils, the rich aromatic flavor of ghee (clarified butter). Close your eyes, use your hands to break into the dosa and feel the texture, put it into your mouth, the crisp crunchy dosa, the sweet and spicy chutney, the potato filling….culinary ecstasy! I can be really dramatic :)

#MysoreMasalaDosa #HomeMadeDosa #ButterDosa #Recipe

#MysoreMasalaDosa #HomeMadeDosa #ButterDosa #Recipe

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Uttapam : the Indian Pizza

Rain has always evoked a romantic response from me. Am not restricting romance to just a feeling of love towards a special someone. It's a feeling of being alive, of the lush green, of being comfortable in the moment and enjoying it. Our minds are always running between the past and the future. It's strange that we forget to live in the present. I love to stand by my patio door and watch the rain, nothing on my mind... just enjoying the moment. It probably takes me back to my teen years, coming home from college my mother would make hot adrak chai with some hot savory snack, and both of us would sit and spend some good time, talking about the day. Brings on a sense of comfort,  no matter how many pot-holes life may have, finally in the end, it's worth it. It's 'this' life that has made you who you are and its more than worth it. See, what a pitter-patter does to me. It brings out the sage in me. lol!

Some hot chai is a must on such days... bring on some music, a good book and snuggle in your little corner. Blissful! My reading habits have changed over the years. There was a time when I enjoyed fiction and you would often see me biting my nails while reading a mystery or literally crying with the protagonist in a poignant scene. Now, I love to read about food, history of food, photography and even techie stuff. But the feeling to snuggle with your favorite read, chai, rain and hot uttapam... that has not changed. And last evening I did just that. What did I read ? David Lebovitz's blog. 

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spelt Flour and Lentil Paratha/Flat Bread

Spicy, savory, aromatic and soul filling. You cannot complain if it is healthy too. Flat bread or rotis and parathas are my all time favorite. Am not really a rice eater, I prefer bread/ roti/naan/ paratha to rice, any day. Coming from a person who is from the south of India, this is unusual. Brought up in the north of the country, my palette is heavily influenced by the northern cuisine. But, I cannot give up my dosa, similarly, I cannot give up on parathas or rotis.  A dollop of ghee, is a perfect accompaniment.  I keep trying out different recipes of parathas and have never been really disappointed. Among all the wild and not so wild experiments in my kitchen, this one is a favorite. Here to stay, repeated many times in the Jois household and each time getting better. It has the goodness of grains n lentils. A meal in itself, when served with some raita or daal. Simple, easy and great for week nights. 

I shared this recipe with a very good friend of mine and she asked me "what is spelt flour ?" I am sure most of you are aware of this wonder flour.  If not... Well, I really did not know that it is older than wheat and I do believe it is a distant cousin to wheat. Easier to digest, and lesser gluten, so can still be substituted for wheat in baking, it needs a little more kneading for the gluten to get working than wheat. Also, a better nutritional profile.  Am not a nutritionist, this is just from my reading. Forget about the nutritional profile, am telling the taste profile is awesome, I could tell it is a bit nuttier than wheat, needs less water to kneed into a dough and is absolutely great tasting. So am not complaining ! 
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pumpkin and fenugreek flatbread/Paratha with pomegranate in yogurt raita

Parathas always take me back in time, when I lived in Delhi. Anyone who has ever lived or visited Delhi will know about the famous 'Gali paranthe Wali' or ' Parathe Wali Gali' in Chandni  chowk. The world's best place for stuffed Indian flat bread...hands down! I don't think there is any other place that can be a close contender.  I do not recommend you to peak into the don't ask why ! But you got to eat there with your eyes focusing on just the food, not the kitchen....and yes if you do have a sensitive digestive system....let's say your palette will thank you but I don't guarantee anything else. I have never had issues eating there, but you make your call.  Most of the stores only serve vegetarian parathas not even onion and garlic. Big history for a small narrow gali (lane) . Chandni chowk dates back to Shah Jahan era (1670), the first paratha shop in the gali was opened in 1870. Till date the parathas are shallow fried in pure ghee. Some of the recipes dates back to a century - that is what I have been told. You will find all kinds of filling - from cashew n almonds to the more common potatoes. I do recollect Anthony Bourdain feasting on some of the parathas @ CC, then again am not sure, maybe it was Rajasthan. Anyway Paratha gali is surely a haven for paratha lovers with some history .....

While this one is an original from my kitchen, I could not help but think about the paratha gali and different exotic parathas they serve there. Flaky, juicy and full of flavors.  The sweetness and mushiness of pumkin with the mild bitterness and crunchiness of fenugreek leaves and the spices makes this a perfect combination.  I went a little easy on the ghee, but if you don't believe in the philosophy of less is more....go for it!!It's worth the extra calorie :)) 
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Tandoori Naan Pizza

The kids are off from school...yippee to a long FUN summer break!!!! Goodbye to schedules.. hello to a kitchen and pantry that will be open 24 hrs a day! Movie nights, play dates, picnics and " I am bored can I eat something" will occupy the next few weeks.  It is no coincidence that FUN and FOOD both spell with the same letter, and where I live @ breakfast we want to know what is for lunch and @ lunch we make dinner plans and at dinner.....we are too tired to think about anything but Zzz!! So in the spirit of summer fun ....we are now serving some spicy tandoori naan pizza and you are invited.

You will need :
4 naan
1 bell pepper finely chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
1/4 cup paneer finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped pineapple (optional)
12 tbsp pasta sauce of your choice
1 tbs olive oil
salt to taste
2 tsp tandoori masala
couple of handfuls of pizza three-cheese blend (shredded)
Brush on some olive oil on the naan, spread 3 tbsp pasta sauce on it, sprinkle some tandoori masala on it, get creative with all the toppings...add the cheese and sprinkle some more tandoori masala on it along with some salt. Bake for 10-12 min @ 350 F. Serve with your favorite drink. We had some mango lemonade and it went very well with the the Indian inspired pizza.
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Stuffed Eggplant or Bagara Baingan & Hot Chapatis

I have always loved hot chapatis / phulkas...the smell of wheat as you roast the chapatis on the flame is something you can only experience and not express. Am sure all of you who enjoy making/eating chapatis know what I am talking about. Don't you just love it when you smear a wee bit of ghee on the chapati and it melts...!!

For the Chapati Dough:
Wheat flour : 1 cup
Warm water to kneed
Salt to taste
Oil: 1/2 tsp

In a bowl stir together wheat flour salt and oil, add warm water and kneed into soft dough. Divide into 8-10 parts, roll into round shape. Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot. On a lightly floured surface, use a  rolling pin to roll out the ball of dough until very thin like  tortilla. When the pan starts smoking, put a chapati on it. Cook until there are air bubbles, then flip and cook on the other side, remove from pan and roast on the flame till it puffs...add a wee bit of ghee and enjoy with your favorite curry or vegetable.

Taking about favorite vegetable...I have a huge list of it...and definitely eggplant is one of them. I love stuffed eggplant or bagara baingan, the curry goes very well with the small baby eggplants. Serve with hot chapatis and you got a blockbuster here :)

For the  Masala:

Coconut: 1 cup
Onion: 1 small chopped
Green chilies: 2-3
red chillies: 2-3
Dalia : 2 tbsp
Juice of tamarind : 2 tbsp
Jaggery :  2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp

Grind the above into fine paste. Wash and slit Brinjals in a cross, without cutting the vegetable completely, keep aside. In a pan heat 2 tbsp oil, add mustard till it splutters then add curry leaves followed by the slit eggplants...let it roast , cover and let it cook on low flame for 10-15 min till the eggplant is tender, test with a toothpick. Now add the ground masala and bring to boil, simmer on low flame till the curry thickens and coats the eggplant.

This will be the entry for the event : Dish Name Starts with E hosted by Akila from learning to cook.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gobi-Paneer Paratha

It has been getting cooler and thou I really enjoy the nip in the air, am not ready for the first frost. The flowers are doing so well, and then who is going to clean the yard after the first frost.:( I am going to miss my rabbit, whom is not scared to chew on my flowers. I almost caught him red handed the other day peeking from my flower bush with a red petal sticking out of its mouth ...he didn't seem to care.

Colors in nature, "rainbow cauliflowers"- orange, purple and green. I believe they taste the same as the normal varieties ( never tasted one myself). Sure they add a splash of colour to the dinner table as they retain the color even after cooking.  Are these colorful cauliflowers really natural? Well if not rainbow, good old white for my paratha here.

For Dough
2 cups whole wheat flour

For stuffing
Cauliflower: 1 cup grated
Paneer: 3/4 cup grated
Green chillies: 2-3
Cilantro: handful finely chopped
Cumin: 1tsp
Salt to taste
oil to shallow fry

Make a dough with wheat flour and water. Keep aside. Grate 3-4 big florets of white cauliflower, add mashed panner to it (a little less then the amount of cauliflower) add cumin, salt, finely chopped green chillies and cilantro. Make sure the grated cauliflower has no water and is dry before you mix in the ingredients. Note: add salt just when u are ready to roll the paratha, as cauliflower has the tendency to leave water when salt added to it
On a lightly floured surface, roll a ball of dough into a round, like you do for a roti.  Keep aside. Repeat and make another roti. Spread the filling over the first roti smear water around the edges of the roti and place the second roti over it and seal the edges by pressing on it. The water will ensure perfect sealed edges. Heat a pan, preferably a cast iron and roast the paratha on both sides, you can add ghee/oil for roasting. Serve hot with plain yogurt.

We have been planning to host an event for the longest time now...just getting cold feet. Any suggestions, dos and donts.
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Aloo Paratha / Indian Flat bread

         Hot aloo paratha with cold home-made yogurt  was a treat from our neighbor’s Punjabi kitchen… !! Always palette scalding hot and fresh with aloo in every bite, it has till date been our favorite version of paratha…
For old times sake.....our take on Aloo Paratha.....!

Ingredients: serves 2-4

Wheat flour: 4-5 cups
Potatoes: 2-3 medium size, boiled, peeled and mashed
Salt: to taste
Jeera/cumin: 2 tsp
Red chili flakes: 1 tbsp or
Green chili: 2-3 finely chopped
Ginger: grated- 2tsp
Cilantro: handful finely chopped

For the dough: mix wheat flour, salt and warm water and knead to form a smooth dough. Keep aside, covered.

Mix the mashed potatoes with salt, cumin, red chili flakes, ginger and cilantro….this tastes sooo good!!

Roll the dough into a 5 inch circle and scoop (use an ice cream scooper) a generous helping of the potato mix into it. Well generous coz we do not want to wonder what happened to aloo in aloo paratha…taste of aloo edge to edge!! ;-) Slowly lift the edges and bring together in the center to form a pouch. Press the ends together to close the pouch. Remove any extra dough and seal. Press down so you have a flattened pouch. Flour the rolling surface and roll the flat pouch to a 7-8 inch circle. Now!! Don’t obsess about the round shape!!:)

Heat a pan and toss the paratha on it, cook till bubbles start to pop on the surface. Flip and cook about one more minute. Now add oil/ghee and let it roast on both sides to a crispy crunchy golden brownness. Parathas have to be eaten hot and straight from the pan so, serve hot with butter, yogurt and achar…ummmm!! Sooo good!!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Indian Flat Bread/ Spinach Paratha

Thanks to Popeye , the sailor, (from the famous comic strip ), Spinach is the most popular and  much loved green leafy vegetable , recognized by most children . Our tryst with spinach , too , started way back in school , and has only deepened over the years.

 There is so much much one can do with spinach , it is so versatile , cook it , puree it or blanch it, treat it anyway , it never complains! 
 But for now, it is paratha , filled with nutritious  superfood green spinach.

This is our entry for:  Healing Foods Event-Spinach

Ingredients: serves-3-4

Wheat Flour: 2 Cups
Spinach washed & cooked  : 1 bunch
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Paprika Flakes: 3/4 tsp
Haldi/Turmeric: 1/2tsp
Dhaniya leaves / cilantro: finely chopped small bunch
Fine Rava/semolina: 2 tbsp (for crispness)
Til/Sesame seed: 2tsp, roasted and powdered (for flakiness)
Water: to knead the dough
Oil: 1 tbsp (to soften the dough)
Ghee: to make the parathas
Salt: to taste
Chop the Spinach finely and cook

Knead Wheat, spinach, cumin, paprika flakes, turmeric, coriander leaves, fine rava, sesame powder and salt with required water to make dough. Add oil & make the dough to soft consistency.

With a help of a rolling pin take a lemon sized dough & roll it to Paratha shape. (Round)
Heat a flat pan, toss the paratha in & let it cook till it starts to get small bubbles, now turn it around & add ¼ tspof ghee around the paratha. Let it roast nice and crispy (both sides) on medium low flame, serve hot with plain yogurt and a mix of assorted chutneys/ pickles. Enjoy this healthy snack/meal any time of day.

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