My second one in the 'Flatbreads' series this week is going to be these Indian style spicy flatbreads with a beetroot stuffing. Potato, radish, cauliflower, lentils or paneer (milk based Indian cheese) are the most commonly used ingredients to stuff the unleavened Indian breads called parathas / paranthas. These parathas with a spicy stuffing do not need any other side dishes to go with and are served with a pat of butter, yogurt and a hot pickle if needed. Beetroot filling though not a conventional one, offers a healthy alternative and these parathas are one more way to include the iron and folic acid rich root vegetable in the diet.
I love the earthy flavor of beets and usually prefer to retain it in a dish by not overly masking it in spices. These parathas are no exception and only ginger and chili powder add the heat factor here. I sometimes tend to add garam masala but not particular about it in these parathas. A dash of ground coriander and cumin or amchur may be an interesting addition too though I prefer to keep the filling simple as mentioned above. I had made them spicy and so, a cup of yogurt was all I needed to enjoy them.
Ingredients: (Yield 6 parathas)
1 cup wheat flour / atta + extra for dusting
1 peeled and grated beetroot (about 2 cups)
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. red chili powder (or as per taste)
1/4 tsp. garam masala (optional)
Salt & oil as needed
* Combine wheat flour and 1/4 tsp. salt in a mixing bowl. Add water and mix working with your fingers to for a firm, pliable dough. (6 to 7 tbsp. water would be needed for this quantity flour.) Add a tsp. of oil and knead the dough for a minute or two. Cover and leave the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes. I usually leave the dough to rest for about two hours as I don't knead.
* Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing for parathas. Heat 2 tsp. of oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they start to brown, add the grated beetroot and salt. Mix with a spatula, cover and cook on low flame until the beet gratings are cooked. Add chili powder and any other seasonings if using and mix well. Cook for a minute more and turn off the stove. Let this stuffing come to room temperature before preparing the parathas.
* Knead the dough again for few seconds and divide it into 6 or 12 portions depending upon which method mentioned below you are going to use to roll out the stuffed parathas. Roll each dough portion into a smooth ball. Work on one portion at a time and keep the remaining covered.
* There are two ways to stuff and roll the parathas. The first method requires some amount of expertise to stuff and roll without spilling. In this case, a dough ball is rolled into a circle and the stuffing is placed at the center. Then the edges are brought together encasing the stuffing in a disc form and rolled again.
The second method is the easiest one where you roll out two dough circles for each paratha. Spoon out the stuffing over one circle, place another circle over it, join the edges and then roll them together. Check my aloo paratha post for a detailed explanation with pictures.
* Heat an iron griddle or a shallow, non stick pan and place the rolled out paratha. Toast the paratha, brushing generously with oil until both sides are cooked well and brown spots appear.
* Repeat the steps of rolling and toasting the parathas with the remaining dough balls and the stuffing. Serve them hot with yogurt and a spicy pickle.
This goes to Blogging marathon #69, under the theme 'Flatbreads'. Check here to find out what the other marathoners are cooking as part of the BM.