Friday, December 11, 2009
Gobi Paratha (Cauliflower-stuffed Flatbread)
I have fun cooking with my father because he's always up for inventing or trying out new recipes. I guess it makes sense because experimenting in the kitchen is a natural extension of his work as a scientist. And like a scientist, he is also quite methodical in the way in which he follows and dictates a recipe. On this trip, there was some hilarious footage of him giving me step by step instructions on the correct way to cut a pineapple but that is for another time........
The recipe we tried out this time was for gobi paratha, which is a flat bread that is stuffed with curried cauliflower filling and then rolled out and fried on a skillet - yum! You can make paratha with no filling, but usually it is stuffed with potato. It's a really good traveling or picnic snack because it is curry and roti in one. It goes well with yogurt and some Indian pickle or with a potato curry.
When I was in college, my father would make a stack of potato ones for me to take back to school. Making paratha for the first time with him, I realized how much care goes into each one. It's a nice recipe to make with a friend or your dad:)
adapted from Chef Richard La Marita's paratha dough recipe
2 1/2 cups chapati flour (or 1 1/2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee, melted (or oil)
2/3 cups warm water
2 cups shredded cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ginger, shredded
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Drizzle in melted ghee and rub with fingertips until mixture has consistency of course breadcrumbs. Add the warm water, bit by bit, to form a dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Place dough into a bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Dough should rest here for at least 15 minutes.
Mix grated cauliflower and salt in a bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Squeeze out as much water as you can and put handfuls into another bowl. (This is important to do because dough will not cook properly if there is too much moisture from cauliflower.) Mix strained cauliflower with rest of filling ingredients.
Divide dough into 10 even pieces and roll into balls. Flatten a ball and dip into dusting flour. Roll out to 3 inch diameter. Place one tablespoon of filling in the center. Wrap the edges up and pinch closed at top like a dumpling. Make sure the top is sealed and smooth out the crease. Repeat for all ten dough pieces.
Turn on skillet to medium heat.
Sprinkle your rolling surface and the top of the filled dough ball with some flour and roll out to 6 inch diameter. Make sure to roll out with sealed side on top.
When the skillet is hot (you can check with a drop of water - when it sizzles the skillet is hot), place a paratha on it. When bubbles start to form, turn the paratha over. Cook for 10 seconds and spread 1 teaspoon of ghee or oil over the top surface of the paratha. Flip over and spread a bit of ghee or oil over the top of this side of the paratha. Press the puffed areas with a spatula lightly. Flip again and press with the spatula making sure the dough is cooked and the paratha is golden-brown with spots on both sides.