Jun 14, 2011

Gajar Mooli paranthas (Carrot, radish flatbreads)

First of light lunches for Red Chilies

So paranthas, those Indian flatbreads made by shallow frying them in oil, are not what you would call a light lunch, especially if it is paired by chole or a similar kind of gravy. But in my house, we like to eat them with a light sabzi of aloo mattar (potatoes and peas) or even with some yogurt or lassi. I am sure Supriya of Red Chilies will agree that this one qualifies for a light lunch.

Now, if you are a fan of  Red Chilies you must be aware of the month long event featuring light lunches being showcased there. If you are a regular of my blog you must be aware of my blog's irregular postings. Anyways, a couple of months ago when Supriya did her first event, Dosa Month at RC, I almost smacked myself in the head. I had been thinking of an idea along similar lines to increase my involvement with DSM but never got around to execute it.

The gracious host that she is, Supriya said I could do it with her. So here I am following her lead to announce that I too will be posting light lunches this whole month. If you have a recipe for a light lunch, anything from sandwiches, salads to rice preparation and anything in between, post it and link it to Supriya's announcement. Head on over to her blog to check for rules. She will do the roundup at the end of the month. Not only that, she has a Taste of Home cookbook giveaway for one lucky winner in the US or Canada.

With mango pickle

I grew up taking these paranthas to school in my lunch box and eating them rolled up and dunked in tea for an evening snack. You can make them in a big stack, wrap in foil and they will keep in the refrigerator for a week. I made these after a long time because of a radish, carrot surplus from our local organic farm. We have started buying produce from an organic farm in our area. Every Sat morning we go up to the farm to fill our grocery bag with produce the owner has picked up that morning. We never know what we will get and this time around he went and got a whole bunch of radishes along with red kale, broccoli, carrots, onions, turnips and a big bunch of herbs.

Plucked off the ground
American radishes do not have the sharp, almost pungent taste that the Indian mooli has but it comes very close to it. However, kneaded in the dough with carrots, cilantro and green chilies, they transform the humble parantha into a delicious, almost gourmet tortilla.

Gajar Mooli Paranthas

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups grated radishes and carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (add more if you like)
3-4 green chilies, chopped fine
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp ajwain (caraway seeds)
2 tsp sesame seeds
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying

Grate the radishes and carrots, add a little salt and keep aside. Radishes have some water content which is released if you salt them and keep aside for some time.

Meanwhile, finely chop the green chilies and the cilantro. Heap the whole wheat flour in a large, shallow, plate. Add salt, turmeric powder, sesame seeds, ajwain and red chili powder. Mix well.
Red, Yellow, Orange, Green of the kneaded dough

Add the cilantro, green chilies and grated carrot-radish. Use the rendered water from the radishes to knead the dough. If need be, add some more water to make a stiff but pliable dough. Cover and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

Heat a cast iron skillet. Make slightly larger than golf sized balls from the dough, flatten with your palms and dredge it in some flour. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Slap the rolled out disc on to the hot griddle. Wait for a minute and then turn over. Spread about a teaspoon of oil on the cooked side, flip it over and spread another teaspoon on the other side. Press it down and cook till red spots appear on both sides.

Repeat with the rest of the doug and stack the paranthas like above. Once cooled, store in an airtight container or foil. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and can be warmed up in the microwave or skillet as needed.

If you are not familiar with the art of making paranthas, here is a video which should give you a pretty good idea of how to make it.

Note: The videos of gajar mooli parantha I found were all for stuffed paranthas. I find stuffing and rolling out paranthas this way too tedious. I prefer to knead the flour very much the same way one makes a methi thepla. This video, which is for methi theplas, should give you an idea of what I am talking about. Just substitute the fenugreek for radishes and carrots.


  1. any paratha ....and i'm game ! :D they look delicious . ive never made gajar mooli ones though...will give it a try

  2. Thank you Spoonful of Yum! Let me know how they turn out. BTW, that was the quicket comment I ever got. Seven minutes from the time I posted!

  3. Absolutely love this idea. I usually fill it, but mixing it with the dough sounds even more wonderful.

  4. We just love all such parathas . I add some grated ginger to it . Mooli n ginger are great friends .. along with green chilly .
    Loved your pictures too.

  5. Love all types of parathas.... Mooli parathas are really healthy and you have put it up a notch with all those colorful veggies:)

  6. Thank you, thank you and thank you for joining and also for doing this post and the mention.
    It has been ages since I did the mooli paratha. Like the addition of carrot and ajwain to this.

  7. Love any parathas n this is definitely simple n yummy

  8. I haven't added carrots to my parathas or sesame seeds. I have started using ajwain though. :-D These are perfect for a Sunday brunch! Delicious!

    I like the idea of light lunches. Please keep these ideas coming. They will work for light dinners, too!

  9. Priya, let me know how they turn out this way. I find stuffing mooli gajar tedious. This is way easier.

    Sangeeta, did not know garlic and mooli go together. Will definitely try next time.

    Malli and Pratibhs, thank you.

    RC, it is my pleasure. Wish I had posted it sooner. Had the post and photos ready, just didn't get around to posting it. Another light lunch coming up soon.

    Manisha, you are right. They are perfect for a Sunday brunch with some lassi and a poori bhaji kind sabzi. BTW, is there anything one can't add sesame seeds to? :)

  10. I like this idea of kneading the veggies into the dough - different from the usual stuffing method. The combination of veggies - that too so fresh - must make them very appetising!

  11. Thank you Miri and a very warm welcome. :)

  12. Last winter I never got 'round to making any mooli parathas! Love the idea of kneading everything together ... makes the job much easier than stuffing parathas. Love the look of those soft parathas Jaya ... it is brakfast time now and am craving some badly. :-)

  13. I live in Canada. Radishes have been a disappointed this year (probably because the quantity of rain early in the planting season). Later there will be/might be white and black radishes (blacks are available much later). I can also get daikon, Asian radish. I think one of them should work, don't you? Colour flecks will not be as pretty.

  14. Sharmilla, let me know how they turned out whenever you make them.

    Kitblu, welcome to my blog. Wow, I have never heard of black radishes. Is the skin black or does the color go all the way and do they taste different than the red or the white ones? I like the sharpness of the white radishes. I am pretty sure any kind of radish would work. Black would give an interesting color. Let me know if you attempt to make some. :)


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