First things first
I have been absent for far too long. I've missed you all so much!
Being sickly didn't exactly put me in a cooking/ sharing mood. I was down with bronchitis and am happy on the recovery high now. No medicines!! Just some good ole steaming and some tea tree oil and cups n cups of hot soup and tea. The process was slow but at least my body was relatively chemical free.
I did lapse in between, had some fried chips once, had a grilled cheese once with soup... well, we're all human and then who can resist a good grill cheese! Not me for sure!
I did stay away from cooking something that I could share here with you unfortunately. But I'm back baby and have a whole lot to share too! Been craving comfort food so badly, and well here is the epitome of comfort food for moi.
If you've been following my posts, you'll know how much I love having me some good ole Parathas when the weather starts to get cooler and the leaves turn brown. Parathas are unleavened flatbreads that are roasted on a griddle with oil or clarified butter (ghee). Being a punjabi and all, Parathas are my lifeline. We have them for breakfasts usually almost everyday. And we love sprucing them up with all sorts of variations. Check out my versions of different parathas if you're craving for some variety and want to make your meals more nutritious and warm and delicious.
Aloo Paratha (Potato stuffed Paratha)
Aloo Pyaaz Paratha (onion and potato Paratha)
Methi Paneer Paratha (Fenugreek leaves and cottage cheese stuffed Paratha)
Lachha Paratha (Layered Flatbread)
Now coming to today's speciality, one of my TOP favourite parathas is this *drumroll please* - Lehsuni Pudina Paratha. I always order this whenever I am eating out Indian food.
The flavours of garlic infused ghee and fresh mint leaves makes one of the tastiest breads that will ever accompany your Indian veggies and meat curries. There is something about the extra punch of flavour that brings out the best in any and all the dishes accompanying the paratha. The crispy layers and the melt in the mouth interiors make this for an unbelievably rich dining experiences.
Mind you, this is not an everyday food. Parathas that we have everyday are roasted in just about a few drops of oil. These on the other hand are rich and well, its wise to indulge in them once in awhile.
Lets get cookin' then shall we!
Makes: 3 Parathas
Time taken: 45 mins (including resting time)
1 1/2 cup wheat flour + extra for dusting
3/4th cup water
1 cup ghee or clarified butter (used at different stages)
3-4 garlic cloves (grated)
1/2 cup of chopped mint leaves
Pinch of love
*Learn how to make ghee from butter, scroll to the end of recipe
Meet the stars of today's recipes!
We'll first knead the dough. For that, take the wheat flour and add 2 tbsp of ghee to it. If you want to add salt, go ahead. I didn't.
Rub the flour with the ghee, like you would for a shortcrust pastry. This just ensures the fat is evenly distributed all over and makes the end product flakier.
Gradually add water to the flour and start kneading. Knead for about 5-7 minutes till the dough becomes smooth-ish. Cover with a damp cloth for about 20 mins to allow the gluten to develop and for the dough to become stretchy.
Meanwhile, grate your garlic cloves. Heat about 4 tbsp of ghee in a skillet on the lowest possible heat
Add in that grated garlic to it. We want to infuse that ghee with the beautiful fragrant garlic. So let it fry till the edges of the garlic turn golden in colour.
Take it off the heat and allow to cool. My house was smelling heavenly right about now. One of my favourite smells ever! Set it aside.
Time to make the parathas! Divide the rested dough into 3 portions. Now you can easily double up the proportions to get more parathas.
On a flat surface, have some extra flour for dusting handy. Start rolling out one dough ball at a time. We need to roll it out nice and thin. Its going to be pretty wide, more than 12" wide.
Around 2mm in thickness. When you pick it up, it should be translucent. Keep dusting that extra flour so the paratha doesn't stick.
Now comes the time to add those gorgeous flavours. Begin by brushing over some of that aromatic garlic ghee with those bits of grated garlic. Ohhh yumm!!!
Next sprinkle on those chopped mint leaves. You can even use dried mint for this. I just happened to have fresh leaves on hand. Spread them out evenly as possible.
To shape those parathas, begin by dusting some flour over the open side.
Start folding in from the edge in a fan shape like this.
Press those pleats down to thin them out and then roll them up like so.
There you have it! All rolled up. This is what is going to give us all the layers.
Flatten the ball and roll it out till it is about 6"-7" wide. The rolled out paratha will be thicker than when we rolled it out the first time.
While cooking it on a griddle, add about half a tbsp of ghee on each side and cook till the outer layers become crispy and have brown spots all over them. Roast them on a medium flame for 3-4 minutes so the layers inside also get evenly cooked. As soon as you take the parathas off the griddle, crush them with your hands from the sides. This helps the layers to separate.
I paired them with Paneer Masala (Cottage cheese Masala)- recipe coming up
and also with Murgh kali mirch (black pepper chicken curry)- coming up
Just look at those layers!
Crispy on the outside and melt in the mouth in the middle
And several other times and it tastes phenomenal!! Indulge!
*To make ghee out of butter, in a skillet, melt 100 gms or 1 stick of butter and keep it on medium low heat till the butter starts to brown. The milk solids will start turning golden and settling down at the bottom of the skillet. The fats floating on the top is called ghee or clarified butter aka Elixir of Punjab aka All the goodness in the world