Wednesday, November 15, 2006

cauliflower stuffed bread [paratha]

this stuffed bread is quite easy to make and not as labour intensive as it may initially appear — especially if the filling or bread dough is made ahead of time. cauliflower is a much loved and used vegetable in india and is often seen in many other dishes. it is also one of my favourite vegetables.

the dough for this bread is one used for standard indian bread. is made from atta flour, a finely ground durum variety. the brand i use is called golden temple and is made here in canada, one of the world's wheat producing capitals by the fort garry milling company.

for those unfamiliar with it, it is not the same as whole wheat flour as there are no flecks of bran in the flour. if you do not have this, you can make an approximation with equal amounts of whole wheat and regular AP flour. this does work. as you can see, it is not as dark as a whole wheat flour. atta flour also has a soft and silky feeling to it.

as i was trying out different recipes lately, i ended up using a different version for the cauliflower stuffing than i usually do. this one from madhur jaffrey's book — world vegetarian. while it was fine, i prefer the version i usually use which i will add as option *2.

the following is jaffrey's recipe.

cauliflower stuffed paratha
gobi ka paratha

paratha dough

2 c chapati flour [or 1/2 whole wheat & 1/2 AP]
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil

1 c warm water

method for dough:

place flour and salt into a bowl and mix together. add the oil and with your hands rub this into the flour. rub your hands as though you were washing the flour. do not skip this step as this is the proper way to make sure all the flour has its share of oil. this further helps for a successful final product.

add the warm water and make a dough.

knead the dough for a few minutes to make sure it is elastic and smooth. if it needs more flour or water, adjust. it should be fine. set this aside, covered.

it can also be refrigerated at this point for a few days in a ziploc bag which has a light coating of oil inside to prevent it sticking. it will work perfectly even after several days. just let it come back to room temperature.

stuffing ingredients:

1 tbsp oil
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1/2 to 1 hot green chili, finely chopped
2 c raw grated califlower
4 tbsp chopped coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper

i added cumin & coriander also

method for filling:

grate cauliflower coarsely to get 2 cups or 6 oz. put this in a bowl and measure out the rest of the needed ingredients.

heat oil and add ginger, stir and add the all the spices, except the cilantro.

fry this for about 30 seconds or so. add the cauliflower and cook for another minute. cover the pan and let cook for about 4 or 5 minutes. the mixture should be fairly dry. set aside to cool and adjust flavouring if needed.

method for making & cooking the stuffed paratha:

separate the dough and the filling into 5 portions.

take one of the balls of dough and roll it out to a 5 inch diameter on a floured board.

place one portion of the filling in the center of the dough.

then carefully pull up one half of the dough to the center and continue to do this all the way around to pleat it. refer to my picture. it is very simple and quick to do. make sure there is no open gap in the center.

at this point, you can continue to do this to the rest of the portions and set them aside. do not stack them. cover the paratha with a tea towel to prevent drying.

heat your fry pan over medium heat; cast iron is best. you do not need to oil it. dust the board and the top of the paratha with a little flour and then roll out the paratha until it is approximately 7 inches, pleated side down.

place the paratha in the fry pan and let it cook until the bottom is speckled with brown spots. this should take from 45 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes. turn it over and then add 1 tsp oil around the edges of the paratha and let it cook until it is speckled and brown on that side. flip it over again and continue to cook it for about 15 seconds per side until it is golden. it should take about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes.

continue with the rest of them in this way. you can stack them and cover them with foil until ready to eat.

they can be refrigerated and reheated later in an oven or microwave. obviously, they are best when freshly made.

* * * * *

the following is the stuffing i like better than the one used above. it does make more than called for however you won't regret making it or eating the rest.

*my preferred filling [option 2]:

1 med cauliflower
3 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
4 oz water
1 tsp amchoor or 1 tbsp lemon juice [optional]

clean and cut the cauliflower into very small florets. make sure it is drained and dry when you fry it. put it on a clean teatowel to dry if you like for 30 minutes.

heat oil on high heat and add the dry cauliflower. stirfry for one minute and then add the cumin coriander, turmeric, chili powder, amchoor, salt and ginger. if using lemon juice, add it at the end of the recipe when it finishes cooking.

saute this for about 3 minutes, turning to make sure the cauliflower is coated. add the water and cover the pan. reduce the heat to low and let cook for about 10 minutes. uncover the pan, turn up the heat to medium and stirfry again until the moisture evaporates.

*use about 2 c of this mixture to fill the parathas and eat the rest.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That looks marvelous! I love Indian flatbreads...

burekaboy — said...

hey rosa — thank you. these are one of my favourites, too. they don't last long around here. ;-p

Anonymous said...

huh..... you never fail to surprise me whenever i visit your blog..... I bet your wife is one lucky girl..... :)

Burcu said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog so that I discovered yours. I liked your recipes a lot. Especially this one! I didn't even know that one could make paratha at home. And stuffing it with spicy cauliflower...mmmmmm

Anonymous said...

Cauliflower season is just starting here, so now I have something else to add to my list of things to do... naughty you, giving me the yen to spend even more time in the kitchen!

burekaboy — said...

rooma - BLUSH

burekaboy — said...

burcu - you're welcome both for the compliment and stopping by "chez moi". this is actually a very easy recipe and one that can be done at home without much effort provided you do it in steps — either cooking the filling or making the dough beforehand. i always make and cook both the same day. hope you try your hand at them, they are fun to make.

burekaboy — said...

aja - i am glad you have been tempted BUT i wanna see results!! use the second version for the stuffing. it's tastier, IMO.

i still have a few more things to do with cauliflower. stay tuned....

Beenzzz said...

Hey, that is really similar to dahl puri. Just use the same spices and yellow split peas instead of cauliflower and you'll have it!

Anonymous said...

I really love Paratha's and have been wanting to try them at home. They looked so time consuming in The Bread Bible, but you make it look so simple and tasty! :-) How do you keep the filling from coming out? Does it ever come out?

I will most certainly have to try this recipe.

burekaboy — said...

jamila - you have to try them; they're so easy to make and you can freeze them after they're cooked for snacks later on :)

as long as they are closed properly, as i show in the pictures, the stuffing will stay inside. some people divide the dough into two and then place the filling on one round and then the top round over that (both rolled out beforehand), sealing the edges with a bit of water. then they roll it out. i've done both but in my opinion, it's a lot of work — it does make for a more "refined" paratha since the first method can leave a little doughy part in the center if it's not well made. you basically just pinch the center after it overlaps a bit and roll it until it's about 1/4 inch thick.

give it a try, and you'll see. try out the 2nd cauliflower filling with it, if you use this recipe for your parathas. you can also put a spicy potato mixture, etc... make sure to serve them with a chutney, too :) extra yum, LOL.