Family being oceans apart, our friends are like family to us in this home away from home country. Friends we’ve known for years, many from back in the days when we used to still live in India. We got married almost around the same time, had kids around the same time and now these kids are lucky enough to grow up together and are attached to each other almost like cousins if not more. So now we fill in for family, for each other. Festivals, birthdays and graduations are celebrated together and first calls are made to each other in times of difficulties.
Its a ritual to gather at one person’s home for Diwali and other’s at Thanksgiving. So this year when some of them were out of town or country for Thanksgiving, it was assumed that there won’t be any Thanksgiving dinner for us. So a few days before thanksgiving when the butterfly did not notice any hustle or bustle for the big day she got confused. Came to me asking the reason why no one is using the word thanksgiving dinner yet, because clearly it was about time! And when I told her we might not be having one this time around, her response was, “That’s so weird! How can there be no thanksgiving?”. Well, that was enough to activate me and the rest of her uncle and aunts, who were still in town!
And very soon pumpkins were bought, pies were made and chickens were roasted, a usual substitute to turkey on our thanksgiving dinner table. I got carried away a little bit while roasting pumpkin for the pies though. Ended up having a lot of leftover pumpkin puree. So while usually people are looking for ways to use up their leftover thanksgiving turkey, I’ve been looking for ways to use up my leftover pumpkin. A person can eat only so much pumpkin pies, you see! Hence this pumpkin paratha was a desperate effort which proved to be a delicious one. Pumpkin added a sweet and earthy flavor to the parathas and they were surprisingly super soft. A hit with the kids too. No lunchbox leftovers!
1 1/2 cup packed, roasted pumpkin (follow the recipe here or can also use canned pumpkin puree)
2 cups, whole wheat durum aata
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tsp minced thai green chili (adjust per taste)
Salt to taste
Ghee or Oil of cooking the paratha
In a large mixing bowl bring together pumpkin puree, whole wheat flour, salt, cilantro, fennel seeds and green chili. Mix it all together and knead into a smooth dough. Depending on the consistency of the pumpkin puree, you may need extra water for kneading. Follow this process to knead the dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Knead the dough for another minute to make it smooth. Divide the dough into 8-10 parts. Roll them into balls.
Dust the rolling board with flour. Dust one dough ball liberally with flour. Roll it into a flat circular disk. Repeat the same with all the dough balls. Cover with a damp cloth.
Heat skillet on medium high. Place rolled dough onto skillet. Cook for 18-20 seconds or until dough turns darker and small bubbles break the surface. Flip. Cook for 18-20 seconds. Brush ghee/oil on surface. Flip. Cook for 15-18 seconds or until golden brown spots appear on the surface. Flip. Repeat. Remove from skillet when both sides are cooked.
Serve hot with a side of curry, chutney or raita.