I took my little monster to the doctor this Friday. Nothing major, just the same old reason which has been troubling every parent since eternity. My kid doesn’t eat very well! She would eat anything in the world except her food and that’s the reason she’s not gaining weight so her doctor wants to keep a close eye. As it turns out, planning and cooking food for my 11 month old is way too difficult for me than planning a menu for a big party. She hates vegetables, wouldn’t eat meat if not cooked in a certain way and her favorite thing to do with cheese is throwing it around. And did I tell you that the little one wouldn’t touch food that could make her cute little hands dirty? Yup, we have a nosy princess in our house!
So I have been experimenting a lot lately and the good part is I get some good recipes out of it. One of my friends gave me this paratha recipe and I sort of fell in love with it mostly because it has so many vegetables in it and ofcourse because it tastes wonderful.
The part of India where I come from Roti/Paratha is kind of a staple. I have some fond memories of us sitting and drooling, holding our plates and staring at the tava (skillet) while my mom would cook each paratha on low heat until perfection. So you can say that we take our parathas a little too seriously. But now when I’m cooking I have a little problem with adding oil/fat to anything and probably that’s also the reason why I loved this paratha recipe.
1 bunch spinach
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup shredded paneer/cottage cheese
1/2 finely chopped onion
1 cup boiled and mashed potatoes
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ginger paste
1-2 green chili minced (if you are making it for kids you have to go easy on it)
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tbsp ajwain seeds (this again is good for the kids as its very good for digestion so I added them, you can totally omit them if you can’t find them)
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
3/4 cups Semolina/ Cream of wheat
You can grate and add as many vegetables as you want. I used what I had handy.
Grate carrots and paneer and chop the rest of the vegetables. Mix them all together in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.
Mix everything all together with your hand applying a little pressure and try to bind them all together. You don’t want to add any water because vegetables themselves will leave a lot of water, enough to make a dough out of it. Then divide it into smaller balls about 2.5 – 3 inch in size.
Using a rolling pin flatten them just like you roll a roti (if you want to see a step by step recipe for a roti you might want to go here). Vegetables lose a lot of water and that can loosen the dough fast so you must dust it frequently while rolling. This can be the part where you need to be patient because it can be a bit of a struggle!
Nicely heat a tava or griddle. Put a paratha on the griddle. Do the first flip after 20-25 seconds. As soon as the first flip is done, spray a bit of oil on the top to spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip again in 30 seconds and spray oil on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown. Try not to overheat the griddle or the parathas will brown from outside and stay undercooked, so once the griddle is hot enough turn the heat to medium.
Serve with chilled yogurt and your favourite pickle or chutney.