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 groundAmerican 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.