Puran Poli

Puran Poli

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Serves: 6

Puran (filling) Poli (flat bread) is one of my husband and his family's favorite dishes. During a holiday you are bound to find it during meals at his family home in Gujarat, India.
Ingredients
For filling (puran):
  • 1 cup toover dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For dough:
  • 2 cups chapatti or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon neutral oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup or less all-purpose flour, for rolling and dusting
  • ¼ cup or less ghee (clarified butter), for brushing
Directions
  1. Wash split pigeon peas few times. For oily dal make sure all the oil is washed off. Soak in about 2 cups of water for 1 to 2 hours or until peas are soft in a medium size soup pot. (Soaking is optional).
  2. Cover dal with a lid and cook it with water on a medium heat until peas are very soft, about one hour. Dal can also be cooked in a pressure cooker, according to manufacturer’s direction.
  3. While dal is cooking make dough. Put chapatti or whole wheat flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add salt and 2 tablespoons oil and mix it with hands. Gradually add water and knead until it makes soft and smooth dough. Cover the dough with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it rest while dal is cooking and you make the filling.
  4. Once dal is cooked, add sugar and cook until mixture thickens, stirring frequently, about 25 to 30 minutes. (You can also cook filling in microwave uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes). Let filling cool for 45 minutes to an hour or until cool to handle. Add cardamom and nutmeg and stir to combine. Divide filling into 12 to 15 equal portions and roll into balls.
  5. Pour 1 teaspoon oil on top of the dough and knead it few times until smooth. Divide the dough into 12 to 15 equal portions and roll into balls.
  6. Put about half a cup of all-purpose flour into a flat dish. Dip the ball of dough into flour and flatten it on a smooth cutting board (wooden or marble). Dip the flatten dough into flour again on both sides. First roll out a biscuit size (about 3 inch in diameter) small circle. Put one ball of filling in the middle. Gradually make folds around the edges to cover filling. Pinch the folds together, twist the dough on top and press the dough down so that it makes small circle. Dip the circle into flour on both sides .Roll out into a circle about 6 inches in diameter, dusting with flour if the dough starts sticking to the board. If some stuffing comes out or dough breaks, it’s fine.
  7. Heat a griddle or a flat non-stick pan on a medium heat. Transfer puran poli on to heated pan. Let the first side cook for 30 seconds to 40 seconds or until small bubbles appear on surface and flip to the other side. Let the other side cook for one minute. Remove from the heat. Brush the first side with about 1 teaspoon of ghee. Repeat the process with all the remaining dough and filling balls. Stack cooked puran poli. Serve warm with a shaak (vegetable) like okra, tindola or bataka ni sukhi bhaji.
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Methi na Dhebra

Methi na Dhebra

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Serves: 6

Millet flour flat bread with fenugreek greens
Ingredients
  • 2 cups bajri (millet) flour
  • ½ cup bhakhri flour or cream of wheat
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 3 cups fresh chopped methi (fenugreek) leaves or frozen, thawed
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ cup yogurt (not Greek)
  • Neutral oil for semi frying
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour for dusting and rolling
Directions
  1. Combine two flours, olive oil, salt, sugar, turmeric and chili powder in large mixing bowl with hands. Add methi, cilantro, chili, ginger, garlic and yogurt. Mix them with hands and knead into soft dough. If mixture is dry, add some water to knead into soft and smooth dough. Cover dough with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide dough into 20 to 25 equal parts and form into balls.
  3. Put about all-purpose flour into a flat dish. Roll a ball of dough into flour and flatten it on a smooth cutting board (wooden or marble). Dip the flatten dough circle into flour again on both sides. Roll out into 4 inch diameter circle, dusting with flour if the dough starts sticking to the board.
  4. Heat a griddle or a flat non-stick pan on a medium heat. Transfer the dhebra on to heated pan. Let the first side cook for 30 seconds to 40 seconds or until small bubbles appear on surface and flip to the other side. Let the other side cook for one minute. Pour about one teaspoon of oil on the top surface of dhebra and flip. Cook the dhebra by pressing with a spatula on top surface for 30 to 40 seconds and flip. Cook the other side same way. Remove from the heat. Repeat the process with all the remaining dough balls.
  5. Serve as a snack or lunch with cilantro chutney and/or tomato chutney. Can also be served with a vegetable.
Notes
You can also use greens like spinach or kale in this recipe instead of fenugreek greens.

 

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Bajri na Rotla

Bajri na Rotla

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Serves: 4

Millet flour flat bread
Ingredients
  • 1 cup bajri (millet) flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Water as needed
  • ½ cup bajri or all-purpose flour, for dusting and rolling
  • ⅛ cup or less ghee or melted butter for brushing (optional)
Directions
  1. Combine salt and bajri flour in a medium mixing bowl. Gradually add water and knead into soft and smooth dough. Divide into 5 to 6 equal portions and roll into balls.
  2. Start heating a skillet or a griddle on medium high heat.
  3. Put flour for dusting and rolling in a pie plate or a plate. Dip a ball into flour and gently flatten it with your hand. Flip it on other side and roll it in flour. Start rolling dough on a wooden or marble cutting board either with a rolling pin or with your hands by gently pressing on dough and moving in a circle, until it makes a circle of 4 inch diameter. To roll this dough easily you will have to constantly dust flour on both sides.
  4. Transfer it to heated skillet or a griddle and cook it on one side for 40 seconds to a minute or until small bubbles appear on surface. Flip it and cooked it on other side for a minute to minute and a half. Remove a skillet or a griddle from heat and increase heat to high. Put the first side of rotla on open flame and let the rotla puff up. Flip it to other side and let it cook for a 10 to 20 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate. Replace a skillet or a griddle over medium high heat. Dust off extra flour from rotla and brush the first side with ghee or melted butter. Repeat the process with remaining dough balls. Stack cooked rotla and to keep rotla warm, wrap it in kitchen towel. Serve warm with a vegetable or bean dish and garlic chutney. Children love to eat rotla with ghee and jaggery (Indian raw sugar).

 

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Bhakhri

Bhakhri

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Serves: 4

This whole wheat flour flat bread is eaten as a breakfast in many homes in state of Gujarat. It is made with coarse flour than the usual chapatti flour used in making flat breads. Because of this textured flour and firm dough, it comes out like a shortbread.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups bhakhri flour (coarse whole wheat flour), see Note.
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Water as needed
  • ⅛ cup or less Ghee or melted butter, for brushing (optional)
Directions
  1. Combine flour, salt and oil in a mixing bowl with hands. Gradually add water and knead into firm and smooth dough. Cover with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it stand for ½ to 1 hour.
  2. After dough is rested knead it few times until smooth. Divide dough into 12 to 13 equal portions and roll them into golf ball sized balls.
  3. Start heating a skillet or a griddle on medium high heat. Put the dough ball on a wooden or marble or smooth cutting board and make dough flat with palm of hand. Roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 4 inch diameter round.
  4. Transfer it to heated skillet or a griddle and cook it on one side for 40 seconds to a minute or until small bubbles appear on surface. Flip it and cooked it on other side for 1 minute to 1 ½ minutes. Remove a skillet or a griddle from heat and increase heat to high. Put the first side of bhakhri on open flame and let bhakhri puff up. Flip it to other side and let it cook for a 20 to 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Replace skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Brush the first side of bhakhri with ghee or melted butter. Repeat the process with remaining dough balls. Serve warm with a vegetable or bean dish.
Notes
Bhakhri flour is available in Indian grocery stores.

 

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Puda

Puda

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Serves: 6

In this recipe of Savory Pancakes you can also add finely chopped vegetables like carrots, spinach, peas etc.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup or more chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped or minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped or minced ginger
  • ½ small tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • Water as needed
Directions
  1. Whisk flour and yogurt in a mixing bowl. Gradually add water as needed and make it into pancake like batter. Let it stand for 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Whisk remaining ingredients. If the batter becomes too thin, add more flour. Heat a griddle or a skillet and brush with oil. Pour about ½ cup batter and spread into thin pancake with a spatula. Let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes, flip it and cook for another minute. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot with cilanro chutney or ketchup.

 

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Puri

Puri

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Serves: 4

Fried puffed whole wheat flour flat bread
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (best is Indian chapati flour)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, for dough
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Water as needed
  • Canola oil for frying
Directions
  1. Combine flour, salt and three tablespoons oil in a mixing bowl. Using water, knead into firm and smooth dough. Cover the dough with a plate or kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Knead dough few times until smooth. If dough is sticky, rub it with one tablespoon oil. Divide the dough into about 25 to 30 small rounds (smaller than golf ball). Keep it covered with kitchen towel.
  3. Roll out each round into a round of three inch diameter (Puri) and with thickness of tortilla, 1 to 1 ½ minute. Spread it out on a plate or a kitchen towel and keep it covered with a kitchen towel.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan until ready for frying. Deep fry Puri until light golden brown, three or four at a time, depending on pan size. When you first drop Puri in the hot oil, it should puff up, 30 to 45 seconds. To make it puff up, gently push the Puri in the hot oil with a slotted spoon or a spider. Turn it over once the underside is light golden brown. Fry the other side until light golden brown, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove Puri from oil with a slotted spoon or a spider draining as much oil as you can. Transfer Puri to paper towel lined mixing bowl or a plate. Serve warm with Shak (vegetable) (best is with Bataka Ni Sukhi Bhaji).

 

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Rotli

Rotli

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Serves: 4

Thin puffed whole wheat flour flat bread
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chapatti or whole wheat flour, see Note
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • Water as needed
  • ½ cup or more all purpose flour for dusting and rolling
  • ⅛ cup or less ghee or melted butter for brushing (optional)
Directions
  1. Combine flour, salt and 2 teaspoons oil in a mixing bowl with hands. Gradually add water and knead into soft and smooth dough. Cover with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it stand for ½ to 1 hour.
  2. Once dough is rested, pour 1 teaspoon oil over dough and knead it few times until smooth. Divide dough into 12 to 13 equal size portions and roll them into small radish size balls.
  3. Put about half a cup of all purpose flour in to a pie dish or a plate. Roll a dough ball into flour. Start heating a skillet or a griddle on medium high heat. Put the dough ball on a wooden or marble or smooth cutting board and make dough flat with palm of hand. Roll the flatten dough into flour on both sides. Gradually, start rolling the dough with a rolling pin and roll into a 4 inch diameter circle (like a small tortilla, but thinner than tortilla). As soon as dough starts sticking to a board, roll both sides of dough into flour.
  4. Transfer it to heated skillet or a griddle and cook it on one side for 30 seconds to a minute or until small bubbles appear on surface. Flip it and cooked it on other side for 40 seconds to a minute. Remove a skillet or a griddle from heat and increase heat to high. Put the first side of rotli on open flame and let the rotli puff up. Flip it to other side and let it cook for a 10 to 20 seconds. Remove from heat. Replace a skillet or a griddle over medium heat. Dust off extra flour from rotli and brush the first side with ghee or melted butter. Transfer to a plate. Repeat the process with remaining dough balls. Stack cooked and brushed rotli. To keep rotli warm, wrap it in kitchen towel. Serve warm with a vegetable or a bean dish.
Notes
Chapatti flour is available in Indian grocery stores.

 

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Paratha

Plain Paratha

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Serves: 2

Layered whole wheat flour flat bread
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat or chapatti flour, see Note.
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons olive or canola oil, for dough
  • Water as needed
  • ½ cup or more all purpose flour, for dusting
  • ½ cup or more canola oil, for brushing and semi frying
Directions
  1. Put chapatti or whole wheat flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add salt and 2 teaspoons of oil and mix it with hands. Gradually add water while mixing and kneading until it makes soft and smooth dough. Cover the dough with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to one hour.
  2. Pour 1 teaspoon oil on top of the dough and knead it few times until smooth. Divide the dough into 6 to 7 golf ball size balls.
  3. Put about half a cup of all-purpose flour into a flat dish. Roll a ball of dough into flour and flatten it on a smooth cutting board (wooden or marble). Dip the flatten dough circle into flour again on both sides. First roll out a biscuit size small circle, about 3 inches in diameter. Brush the circle with oil on top side and dip the oiled side into flour. Fold the circle in half. Again brush the top side with oil and dip into flour. Fold the half circle again to make a triangle shape. Dip the triangle into flour on both sides and start rolling on cutting board with a rolling pin. Make about six inch triangle (paratha), dusting with flour if the dough starts sticking to the board.
  4. Heat a griddle or a flat non-stick pan on a medium heat. Transfer the paratha on to heated pan. Let the first side cook for 30 seconds to 40 seconds or until small bubbles appear on surface and flip to the other side. Let the other side cook for same amount of time. Pour about one teaspoon of oil on the top surface of paratha and flip. Cook the paratha by pressing with a spatula on top surface for 30 seconds and flip. Cook the other side same way. Remove from the heat. Repeat the process with all the remaining dough balls.
Notes
You can buy chapatti flour from Indian grocery stores.

 

 

Stuffed Paratha

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
For Dough:
  • 2 cups chapatti or whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
  • Water as needed
For making paratha:
  • ½ cup or more all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • ⅓ cup or more canola oil, for semi frying
For potato stuffed paratha:
  • 2 medium sized russet potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
For cabbage stuffed paratha:
  • ¼ of whole medium sized cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
For red cabbage, carrot and tofu paratha:
  • ¼ of whole medium sized red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 small carrot, finely shredded
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 4 to 5 scallions, finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • ½ package of extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Put chapatti or whole wheat flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add salt and 2 tablespoons oil and mix it with hands. Gradually add water and knead until it makes soft and smooth dough. Cover the dough with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to one hour.
  2. Pour 1 teaspoon oil on top of the dough and knead it few times until smooth. Divide the dough into 14 to 15 golf ball size balls.
  3. For potato stuffed paratha: Combine mashed potatoes along with rest of ingredients into a medium size mixing bowl. Divide mashed potatoes into 14 to 15 golf ball size balls.
  4. For cabbage stuffed paratha: Combined spices and salt into a small mixing bowl. Roughly divide shredded cabbage into 4 equal parts. Transfer one part of shredded cabbage to small mixing bowl. Sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon of spice rub on top and mix with cabbage. This will make about 4 parathas. Once you ran out of seasoned cabbage, repeat the process to season next part of cabbage. It’s best to season cabbage in small parts so that it does not become too soggy.
  5. For red cabbage, carrot and tofu stuffed paratha: Remove excess water from tofu by placing between two baking sheets and weighing down with heavy objects for 10-15 minutes. Cut tofu roughly into small pieces and transfer to food processor bowl. Pulse 7 to 8 times until tofu is crumbled and stays to gather. Transfer to large mixing bowl and combine with rest of ingredients of red cabbage, carrot and tofu paratha.
  6. To make paratha, put about half a cup of all-purpose flour into a flat dish. Roll the ball of dough into flour and flatten it on a smooth cutting board (wooden or marble). Dip the flatten dough into flour again on both sides. First roll out a biscuit size (about 3 inch in diameter) small circle. For both cabbage stuffed paratha, scoop cabbage with small ice cream scoop, packing tightly. Drop scooped cabbage in the middle of small circle. For potato stuffed paratha, put one ball of spiced mashed potatoes in the middle. Gradually make folds around the edges to cover vegetables. Pinch the folds together, twist the dough on top and press the dough down so that it makes small circle. Dip the circle into flour on both sides .Roll out into a circle about 6 inches in diameter, dusting with flour if the dough starts sticking to the board. If some stuffing comes out or dough breaks, it’s fine.
  7. Heat a griddle or a flat non-stick pan on a medium heat. Transfer the paratha on to heated pan. Let the first side cook for 30 seconds to 40 seconds or until small bubbles appear on surface and flip to the other side. Let the other side cook for same amount of time. Pour about one teaspoon of oil on the top surface of paratha and flip. Cook the paratha by pressing with a spatula on top surface for 30 seconds and flip. Cook the other side same way. Remove from the heat. Repeat the process with all the remaining dough balls and filling.
  8. Serve warm stuffed parathas with curry or cilantro and/or tomato chutney.
Notes
Stuffed paratha can also be made with variety of vegetables other than potatoes and cabbage like shredded carrots, shredded daikon, mashed cauliflower, mashed green peas, etc.

 
Scallion Paratha

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Serves: 4

I make these paratha in place of scallion pancakes to go with Asian food.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat or chapatti flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt or taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil, for dough
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, finely sliced
  • Water as needed
  • ½ cup or more all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • ½ cup or more canola or vegetable oil, for brushing and semi frying
Directions
  1. Put chapatti or whole wheat flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper, scallions, 2 teaspoons of oil and sesame oil and mix it with hands. Gradually add water while mixing and kneading until it makes soft and smooth dough. Cover the dough with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to one hour.
  2. Pour 1 teaspoon oil on top of the dough and knead it few times until smooth. Divide the dough into 6 to 7 golf ball size balls.
  3. Put about half a cup of all-purpose flour into a flat dish. Roll a ball of dough into flour and flatten it on a smooth cutting board (wooden or marble). Dip the flatten dough circle into flour again on both sides. First roll out a biscuit size small circle, about 3 inches in diameter. Brush the circle with oil on top side and dip the oiled side into flour. Fold the circle in half. Again brush the top side with oil and dip into flour. Fold the half circle again to make a triangle shape. Dip the triangle into flour on both sides and start rolling on cutting board with a rolling pin. Make about six inch triangle (paratha), dusting with flour if the dough starts sticking to the board.
  4. Heat a griddle or a flat non-stick pan on a medium heat. Transfer the paratha on to heated pan. Let the first side cook for 30 seconds to 40 seconds or until small bubbles appear on surface and flip to the other side. Let the other side cook for same amount of time. Pour about one teaspoon of oil on the top surface of paratha and flip. Cook the paratha by pressing with a spatula on top surface for 30 seconds and flip. Cook the other side same way. Remove from the heat. Repeat the process with all the remaining dough balls.

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