Spicy Parathas with Tomato, Onion, Garlic, Ginger & Coriander

My last three recipes have been on Indian sweets so this week, I thought I would share with you my recipe for parathas. Most Indian food is accompanied by rice or Indian breads like chappatis, puris, naan, parathas etc.  This version of fluffy and spicy parathas is perfect with lunch or dinner.

Ingredients for serving 4 people
Time 40-50 minutes

½ cup of passata or blended tomatoes
1 small piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
1-2 green chillies (use less if you don’t want to make them too hot)
Small bunch of finely cut coriander
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons oil for the dough
3 cups of chappati flour to make the dough (Available in most supermarkets or Asian grocers – often called Atta)
½ cup flour for dusting the parathas when rolling them.
2 cups oil for frying (I use sunflower oil)

Method:

1. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and green chillies to the tomato mixture and grind it all in a blender.
2. Sieve the flour and add in the salt and turmeric and the coriander. I didn’t blend in the coriander with the passata as I wanted the porathas to have some green specks.

3. Add in the 2 tablespoons of oil and mix.

4. Using the tomato mixture, mix the dough. If you don’t have enough tomato mixture, you can use some warm water to finish making the dough . The dough should be nice and pliable. Keep this covered for 20 minutes.

5. Divide the dough into 10 or 12 equal balls.

6. You can roll out this paratha as a round paratha and lightly fry it as per my instructions below or you could use this style to create a “wow factor”.

7.  Roll out the paratha and brush some oil on one side and dust it with some flour.

8.  Fold it in half.

9. Fold it again so it is now a quarter.

10. Dust it with some flour.

 

10. Now roll it so that it looks like a triangle paratha

11.  Now transfer it to cook on a a frying pan (or tava if you have one).

12. Allow it to cook slightly and turn it. Once the paratha is par cooked, lightly brush it with oil and cook it until it rises.

13. Your parathas are now ready to eat on their own or with any curries or raita.

Images courtesy of Mina Joshi

Spicy Sauted Potatoes with Sweetcorn & Peanuts

There are thousands of varieties of potatoes in the World and most of us will have certain favourites for certain dishes.  Most of us who cook regularly, will have worked out which potatoes to use for curries, chips, etc. The ones I used for this recipe are the ones used mostly for making jacket potatoes – a variety called Estima. These potatoes can be baked or boiled and really make great jacket potatoes. I love having jacket potatoes as a quick snack but sometimes, I prefer to have them spicer with a hint of Indian spices. One of the ways of making the potato spicer is to sauté it with the spices. Every time, I make this I experiment with the spices and condiments. Please use this recipe as a guide but enjoy trying out different variations.

Ingredients:

2 large jacket potatoes
½ cup of sweetcorn
½ cup of peanuts
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
1 tablespoon of oil
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
Some fresh coriander (optional)
1 green chilli (optional)
2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon sugar to taste (optional)
Honey mustard sauce to taste (optional)
Grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese (optional)

Method:

1.  Wash the potato and  score it in the middle with a sharp knife.

2.  Boil the potatoes in a saucepan of water or wrap them in a wet kitchen paper and cook them in the microwave. I prefer to steam them in a pressure cooker.

3. Once cooked, peel the potato, cut them into cubes, sprinkle the salt and pepper or chilli powder to the potatoes.

4. In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the cumin seeds.

5. Add the peanuts and allow them to brown slightly.

6. Now add the sweetcorn.

7. Add in the potatoes and stir well.

8. Add the sugar, lemon juice and fresh coriander (and the green chilli if you like hot food) to the potatoes. If you like honey mustard, add this just before serving the dish.

9.  Allow the potatoes to sauté well.

10.  If you like cheese, you can sprinkle some grated cheese on top of your potatoes when serving.

11. Serve this hot.

Images courtesy of Mina Joshi

Falafels with an Indian Touch

 

Falafels  are made from fried chickpeas and are a very popular filling for pita bread.  Traditionally, it’s a Mediterranean dish but the recipe is very similar to the Dall bhajias I make.    Falafels are healthy and really easy to make.   Served in a pitta or tortilla or on their own, they are just perfect for BBQ’s,  snacks or a light lunch. You can make a big batch of falafels and freeze them to use as you need them.

Falafel Recipe
Timing 1 hour
Preparation required

Ingredients for 20-25 falafels

3 cups of dried white chick peas (kabuli chana) or 4 cups of boiled chickpeas . (Tip: You can also use canned chick peas sold in any supermarket.)
2 medium potaoes
1 onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
3-4 green chillies
1-2 teaspoons of grated garlic
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 litre cooking oil

For serving:

6-8 pitta bread
A variation of Salad – I tend to use white and red cabbage, carrots, red peppers, lettuce and tomatoes
Plus a variety of condiments such as sour cream, tahini, chilly sauce etc – Time to  adventurous and try out new tastes!

Method

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight.

2. Once soaked, boil them with lots of water in a pressure cooker if possible. Boiling them in a saucepan could take longer.

3. At the same time, peel and boil the two potatoes.

4. Add the boiled chick peas, potatoes, onions,garlic, garlic, green chillies into a food processor.

5. Add the spices – salt and pepper.

6. Blend the mixture.

7. Remove the mixture and add the plain flour as that helps to bind the mixture.

8. Divide the mixture into 20-25 small balls.

9. You can  make them as a round ball shape or flatten them slightly.

 

10. Heat the oil and fry the falafels in a medium heat, turning them occasionally to ensure that they are cooked thoroughly.

 

To serve:

11. Warm the tortillas in the grill or BBQ.

12. Cut them in half and fill them with falafels, salad and any condiments you like.  This is the time to be adventurous and enjoy them with  a variation.

 

Hot Sandwiches with a Difference

How often do our kids bring home friends after school and ask us to provide  quick snacks for them?   I know it happens in most families and often we end up giving them unhealthy snacks like crisps and biscuts.  If possible,   I like to serve them something healthy as they have been to school for the whole day and could be starving.  These sandwiches are quick to make, are healthy and  can be made using ingredients most people have in the cupboard or fridge/freezer. And they make great snacks for your adult friends too!!

Ingredients for the variety of sandwiches:

7-8 medium potatoes
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 onion
3-4 cups of cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chilly powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
Butter or margarine to spread on the bread
1 loaf of bread
½ cup of coriander and chilly green chutney

Method:
1. Wash and finely dice the potatoes.

2. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds

3. Once the cumin seeds go brown, add the potatoes and mixed vegetables.

4. Add the salt, chilly powder and turmeric and stir.

5. Cover and cook on a low heat for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are soft..

6. Sprinkle some lemon juice to the mixture  and your sandwich filling is ready.

7. For adding variations to the sandwiches – grate the onions and cheese.

8. Butter one side of the bread and turn over the slice.

9. On the second side of the bread, spread the potato filling and top it with cheese

10. Cover it with a second slice of cheese and spread butter on the outer slice.

11.  For a variation, you can just add the filling and roll the slice of bread like a swiss roll.

11. The sandwiches can be cooked in a pre heated oven on a pizza tray ( 220 degrees for 5 minutes) or you can also cook them  in a sandwich maker.

12. Make a variety of sandwiches – some with cheese and onion, some with green chutney spread on the bread before topping it with the potato filling. In fact, you can use any  vegetables as fillings for these sandwiches.

13. These sandwiches  can be served with tomato ketchup, tamarind sauce or sour cream.