Paranthas are an essential part of any Delhi child’s diet. Any North Indian child, possibly. But Delhi child for sure. Whether at home or at friend’s houses or when on road trips or just at dhabas on a whim. Paranthas scream comfort and decadence. The gorgeous varieties of stuffings, the lovely mix of spices, the soft dough and that ghee/butter. Yum!While potato, cauliflower or radish were the common ones at home, I’ve tried many other flavours over the years as well. This one is spiced peas and is not only super tasty but also makes the paranthas look beautiful, with specks of green throughout.
Peas are steamed till soft and mashable and then mixed with some spices and aromats to give a light, tasty filling. So tasty that you might end up eating it just as is!Dough is one of the things that daunts me. I want to learn how to overcome that fear, bit by bit. Every now and then I decide to tackle some new dough challenge. Sometimes it’s a hit, sometimes a miss.This year I’ve been very lazy about it so far. This week, I decided to take on a Parantha. Very warily.You might wonder why this is so daunting for an Indian, when roti and parantha are so everyday for us. Fair question! However, I’ve somehow never gotten roti right. Either the dough doesn’t come out right or the shape is off or it just becomes crispy instead of soft. So I’ve usually stayed away. But I need to face these fears sometime, right? I feel paranthas are more forgiving than rotis because there is the delicious stuffing and lashings of ghee to get people’s attention and the shape doesn’t need to matter as much. I hope.
So…Challenge accepted! The tough part with this parantha though, is that it is made the stuffing between two small rolled out dough pieces and then pinched together to roll as one. So now, not only did I have to get the basic shape right, I had to also match it exactly with another rolled out piece of dough! Why do I do this to myself, I wonder?
As you can see, I tried to keep the dough round but didn’t always succeed. I also didn’t always have exactly same shapes. It’s ok. Breathe. As long as the shapes are largely similar, you can pinch two layers together and roll them out to get a decent parantha.The feeling of accomplishment of first getting the dough right and then making each roll and actually layering two to make one parantha : next level! I’m quite proud of my misshapen paranthas right now 🙂
Its important to not roll it too thin so that it doesn’t burst all over. It’s also important to make sure the mixture is soft and dry before placing in the paranthas so it rolls easy and doesn’t wet the dough.
Heat the parantha on one side till it starts puffing and then flip and drizzle some ghee all over and cook for a few minutes. Then flip and repeat. It’s that easy. I’m not a fan of very greasy paranthas so I keep the ghee to a bare minimum which gives the taste as well as aroma and softness to the parantha.
I prefer rolling out all the dough in one go and then cooking one by one so that it gets done quickly and you can get started on wolfing them down. Because, trust me, you will wolf them down!
The dough is flaky, soft and also slightly crispy in parts with a flavourful filling. You can have this for breakfast or even for a main meal. Accompany it with some pickle and curd and you’re set. Happy tummies guaranteed!
Dig in. Enjoy the deliciousness!
2 cups (240g) whole wheat flour (atta)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
2/3-3/4 cup water as needed
1.25 cups peas
1.5 tbsp fresh coriander – chopped fine
2 green chillies – chopped fine
1/2 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
1 tbsp gram flour (besan)
1/2 tsp garam masala
Pinch of asafoetida (hing)
Salt to taste
Ghee/oil for cooking
- Mix the flour, oil and salt in a large flat bowl/plate
- Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water and mix well. Keep adding water little by little as you knead the dough, so that all the water is absorbed into the dough. If it gets too sticky, add a little more flour
- Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes till it becomes supple, smooth and pliable, without sticking to the plate
- Make the dough into a ball and cover the vessel with a damp cloth. Let it rest for 30 minutes
- Wash the peas and place them in a steamer. Let them steam on medium heat for 30-40 mins till they are cooked through and soft. You can also use a pressure cooker, without sealing the top and using a bowl inside the cooker so that the peas steam instead of boiling
- Once cooked, let the peas dry on a plate
- Once dried, transfer them to another plate and mash them well. They should be soft and form a coarse mash
- Roast a tablespoon of gram flour (besan) on low flame till the colour becomes a little darker and the raw smell goes away (around 1-2 mins). Keep stirring as you roast. Add the besan to the smashed peas
- In the same pan, dry roast the cumin seeds till they become fragrant and pop. Add these to the peas
- Add the chopped coriander, chillies, salt, hing (asafoetida) and garam masala to the peas and mix everything well. Taste and adjust salt as needed
- Make 16 small balls from the dough (1-1.5 inch). Keep them covered with the cloth
- On a rolling board, sprinkle some flour and roll two balls into circles (4-5 inches diameter). It is ok if they aren’t perfect circles or exactly the same size, being similar works as well
- On one disc, put 1-2 tbsp of pea mash and spread out flat around most of the disc. Put the other disc on top of this one and press the edges together to seal
- Sprinkle some more flour over this and roll out, gently, into a large circle (7-8 inches). Make sure the dough doesn’t become too thin and don’t roll too hard to ensure the filling doesn’t burst
- Do the same for all the other dough balls and keep the paranthas ready to cook
- Heat a pan. Place one parantha on the pan on low-medium heat and let it cook. As it does, it will begin to puff slightly. Press the parantha down with the spatula and flip. Spread 1/2 tsp of ghee/oil all over the parantha and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes, pressing the parantha as it puffs. Flip, spread ghee on the other side and cook for another 3-4 minutes
- The paranthas should be cooked through, soft yet browned with slightly crispy bits
- Take them off the pan and have with curd and/or pickle