Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gujarati Dinner Kadhi Khichdi

BM # 35 Day 3

Last day of this month's BM and today it is a Gujju dinner.This is one of the most simple Gujarati dinner and is cooked every fortnight. Inspite of it being a comfort meal, I always tend to overeat, specially in winters when you have the fresh green garlic.The combo is Kadhi and Khichdi with one or two veggies on the side.We normally make the potato onion side dish .

The Kadhi is very mild, the consistency is medium, rather on the thinner side.There is no turmeric used and should always be cooked in ghee.The curd used for the curry should be little sour or else one can add a little citric acid.It gets its sweetness from sugar and the balance of sweet and sour should be perfect.

Coming to Khicdi, it is made in various ways.For today I have used Pigeon pea with rice, but you could also use split green gram or yellow moong daal.One can make saadi khichdi or vaghareli kichdi.Vaghaar is tempering and this should be always done with ghee.Once the khichdi is cooked one can always induge into extra ghee, which tastes absolutely mind blowing but ...but..well one surely has to watch the inches.

Dungri is onion and Bateka is potatoes in Gujrati. The Dungri Bateka nu Shaak is a delicious side with this meal, it is served with Bhakris. For today I got store bought masala bhaakhris.

Finally we have the fresh green garlic which is sauted in ghee.This is one of the best things a person can eat in winters.Highlight of the meal!! which can be substituted with red garlic chutney . Check out the recipe here.

And now coming to the recipes...

2 tbsp chick pea flour
1 1/2 cups curd
1 tsp ginger , chilly paste
Curry leaves
2 tbsp sugar
Salt to taste

2 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 clove
A small piece cinnamon
Pinch asafoetida
1-2 whole red chilly
Curry leaves
Blend curds and chick pea flour with 2 1/2 cups of water.
Add ginger chilly paste, sugar and salt.
Mix well and bring to a boil, stirring continuously.
Temper the curry with the tempering ingredients mentioned in their respective order.
Simmer and cook for a few minutes 
Garnish with coriander.

Vaghareli Khichdi
1 cup rice
1/2 cup pigeon pea / Tuar daal

2 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch asafoetida
1 small piece cinnamon
2 cloves
2 -3 whole red chilly
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste

Wash and soak the rice and daal separately for an hour.
Cook the daal with salt and turmeric in a pressure cooker for one whistle.
Let the pressure release.
Add the soaked rice to the rice cooker, else put them in a pan.
Add the boiled daal to the rice.
Temper the rice with the tempering ingredients in the order in which they have been mentioned.
Add to the rice daal mix.
Add 3 cups water and switch on the rice cooker.
If making in a pan cook on full and then simmer till the rice is done.

Daal can be soaked for 2-3 hours prior to cooking, and then added to rice cooker directly without boiling.
While cooking in a pan add the daal first, let it half cook then add rice.
While cooking the daal in a pressure cooker, make sure the water used for cooking is just enough , even if there is about a cup extra, this can go in the khicdi, the khicdi will be softer.
The water added is normally double, but we add little extra to make the khicdi soft.
Extra hot ghee at the time of serving tastes awesome and one can enjoy this lavish treat.

Dungri Bateka nu Shaak
2 onions roughly chopped
4 potatoes, boiled, roughly chopped
1 tomato, roughly chopped
2-3 green chilly
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch asafoetida
Curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste

Heat oil.
Add mustard seeds , asafoetida and curry leaves.
Add onions and sauté till translucent.
Add the spices and boiled chopped potatoes.
Add spices including salt.
Add tomato and cook covered for about 5 minutes.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Gujarati Daal Bhaat

BM # 35   Week 4   Day 2

Yesterday I served Gujju breakfast, today it is Gujju lunch. A Gujju household has to have Daal Bhaat Rotli Shaak everyday. Daal Bhaat is daal and rice, while rotli shaak is chapati and dry veggie.The Gujju ladies get up in the morning and keep their cookers on the gas. Normally the cooker has sections, where one section is for daal, the second for rice and the third for vegetable.Once everything has cooked they temper everything separately.

 The Gujjus normally store Tuar Daal for the whole year, but with changing times, people buy monthly stock.Here is the recipe for Gujju daal which is a hot favorite in the family...except for me.My reason for finding it average is the addition of jaggery to it!! I like sweet things to be sweet and salty to be salty but that does not stop me from cooking this bi weekly .The addition of peanuts and dry dates lends it a flavor which is very very delicious. (i remove a bowl for myself before adding the jaggery).

Gujarati Daal
1 cup Tuar daal
2 tbsp peanuts
3-4 dry dates
4-5 kokum flower
1 tomato, chopped into big pieces
2 tbsp jaggery
1" piece ginger, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

1 tb sp ghee
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
2 cloves
1"piece cinnamon
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 dry red chillies
6-7 curry leaves

Wash the daal and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
Open once the pressure is released.check if done, else cook till done.
Blend with a hand blender.
Heat  ghee and oil .
Add mustard seeds,cloves, cinnamon,asafoetida,dry chillies and curry leaves.
Add the boiled daal and check the consistency, it should be on the thinner side.
Add green chillies, ginger, red chillies ,turmeric powder and salt.
Add boiled peanuts and dry dates.
Let the daal boil for about 15 minutes.
The consistency will become medium.
Add jaggery and kokum flowers and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
If kokum flowers aren't available, one can add lemon juice.
Garnish with coriander.

I served the daal with a simple Bhinda nu shaak....

Bhinda nu Shaak
250 gms lady fingers, washed, trimmed and chopped 
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch hing
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste
Heat oil.
Add cumin seeds and asafoetida
Add the lady fingers, salt and turmeric.
Saute for a few minutes .
Cover and cook till tender.
Add all the spices and mix well.

The rice is simple plain boiled rice, but is tempered with ghee, cloves and cinnamon.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013


BM # 35   Week 4   Day 1

For the last week of this marathon I shall be cooking Gujarati food.For today it is Khichyu which is served for breakfast. Khichyu is nothing but rice flour which is mixed with water , mildly spiced and cooked. It is then topped with some spicy masala and groundnut oil .The oil is drizzled quite lavishly, one surely can avoid it, but of course the taste with oil is any day better.

This is actually quite simple and is very light minus the oil. I love to treat myself to this wonderful Khichyu at least once a week for breakfast. No, I do not cook it myself , We have a street vendor with the name..... Maasi nu Khichyu . This guy has a van which is right outside the temple that my hubby visits every day. So while he is praying , I get it packed and wait to reach my work desk where I gorge on this piping hot Khichyu.

1 cup rice flour
1 green chilly , crushed
1 tsp cumin seed
Salt to taste

Boil the water with the crushed green chilly and cumin seed.
Slowly add the rice flour, stirring continuously , so that no lumps are formed.
After you finish adding all the rice flour, it will become like a semi soft lump.
Remove from fire and serve.

This is how we get in the market, but there is another version of Khichyu which needs to cook further....
Continue from where we left..

Remove from fire and place it in a big bowl to cool.
Knead this as though you are kneading a dough.
Make balls out of it, making a thumb impression in the center.
Steam them for 5-10 minutes.

Drizzle groundnut oil.
If you do not have ground nut oil, you could use any other oil.

This can also be served with curd and Garlic chutney.

Pics of the vendor selling Khichyu

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chaawaran ji Kheerni / Rice Pudding

BM # 35 Week 2 Day 3

For day 3 of the BM I have chosen Chawaran ji Kheerni under desserts. Chawara is rice in Sindhi language and Kheer is milk. The kheerni is similar to payasam , though we all have a slight variation to all the recipes.

This is a dessert which is normally served chilled, but some people like to have it hot too. It is normally made on festivals, but well I don’t need a excuse to make it, It is quick, delicious and without ghee , so that makes it a little quilt free, though the sugar content is slightly on the higher side. Anyway coming to the recipe...

½ cup rice, washed , soaked and cooked
1 lt full fat milk
¼ tin condensed milk / sugar to taste
½ tsp cardamom powder

Almonds / nuts
Rose petals

Boil the milk.
Add the cooked rice and cook on slow fire till the milk is reduced to half.
Add condensed milk and cardamom powder.
The milk and rice should have blended by now, but if not, cook further till they blend.
Check the sweetness, to your taste.
One can avoid the condensed milk or sugar and add sugar free too.
Remove from fire and pour into individual cups.
Garnish with almonds and chopped rose petals.
To chill, bring it to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Caramel Pudding

BM # 35 Week 2 Day 2

For the second week of this marathon and desserts as my theme I will make a   Caramel Pudding today.This is a pudding that my family loves, specially my daughter and her little three year old. Every time he comes I try and make a small bowl for him, and try to shape it in different moulds .

This pudding is one of the simplest puddings with caramel.The caramel lovers simply can't do with one bowl .Now the intensity of the caramel is very very personal, I like my caramel to be nice and golden , towards the darker side, but you can always keep it light golden.Again one has the option to set the caramel like I do , or merge it. In that case you have to caramelized the sugar and pour the milk mix right away, you should not set the melted sugar. The taste in both cases is different .
Garnishing the dessert with zest is also optional, if you wish you could add nuts in your pudding, though it tastes equally good without them too. I being a chocolate fan poured some chocolate syrup, again this is optional.So friends go on make the pudding with so many options to suit your taste buds.

500 ml milk
4 gms agar agar
Vanilla essence
Sugar to taste

2-4 tbsp sugar

Lemon zest
Orange zest

Take a aluminum pan and sprinkle sugar in it.Place this over medium heat, let the sugar melt and turn to a deep golden.
Remove from fire and let it cool.
Boil milk .
Add agar agar and let it dissolve completely.
Add sugar and let it boil for 2 boils.
Switch off the gas and add vanilla essence.
Pour this into the prepared pan while it is still hot.
Let it cool down and once it comes to the room temperature, you. will observe the pudding has set.
Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2-3 hours .
I prefer to leave it overnight.
De mould the pudding.
Garnish with chocolate sauce , lemon zest,orange zest and pecans.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gulkand Barfi

BM # 35 Week 2 Day 1

Desserts is such a big category and so much can fit into this.I love making western desserts, at the same time I love making Indian desserts too .I find them so traditional and like to give them my twists .For this week my theme is desserts and for today I am making a Gulkand Barfi.

This is a barfi which I made long back, I had some ricotta cheese and was wondering how to finish .Sandhya came to my rescue as she had posted the recipe for this barfi .I had book marked the recipe and gave it a twist by sandwiching it with Gulkand. For the original recipe and step by step pics please refer Sandhya's post.

15 oz container Ricotta cheese
400 ml tin condensed milk
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp Cardamon powder


Pinch saffron
Rose petals

Combine ricotta cheese and condensed milk over low heat.
Keep stirring.
You will have to stir this for about 20-30 minutes, till the mix dries up and leaves the sides of the pan.
Add cardamom powder and mix.
Remove from heat and transfer keep stirring so that it cools a little.
Transfer half of the mix to a greased tray.
Spread a thin layer of gulkand.
Spread the rest of the mix on gulkand.
Smooth the surface to make it even.
Garnish with saffron, nuts and rose petals.

I put this in muffin moulds and spread a layer of gulkand and topped it with the barfi mix.
After an hour I de moulded the barfi and garnished.

The taste of the barfi was very pleasant, though I wish I had put a thinner layer of gulkand. It was a little on the sweeter side,  I like my sweets a little extra sweet, but rest of the family prefers mild sweetness, and everyone gets a excuse not to eat, unless I feed them personally.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pizza Toastie

BM # 34   Week 4   Day 3

As a kid I always had a evening snack and most of the time it was street food, but if I had to eat something at home it would normally be a grilled toast.And now I realize that when my niece comes back from school, she too loves to eat a similar toast. Naturally there has to be a variation in these too.So one of the evenings I tried a pizza toast.the pizza base was slightly dry so I made it into a grilled pizza Toastie.

The Toastie tasted just like pizza but a lot more crisper.I could say that it was crisp like Jasu Ben Pizza, but the basic taste was like a good Pizza Hut pizza.

My post under Evening snacks for day 3

What you need...
Pizza base
Pizza purée
Onions, chopped
Cut the pizza base into two.
Apply butter on both the pieces.
Apply a generous layer of the pizza sauce on one piece.
Sprinkle onions,olives and cheese.
Sprinkle oregano and chilly flakes.
Apply sauce on the second piece also.
Cover like a sandwich.
Apply butter.
Grill till crisp and golden.
Cut. Into pieces and serve.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Paani Poori with Ragda

BM # 34 Week 4 Day 2
This time while I was in Delhi my cousin showed me a packet of ready to fry pooris..yes these are ready to fry Golgappa pooris. I was actually amazed and could not believe that something like this could be possible.I picked up that half used packet and got it here and decided to fry these pooris and serve them with ragda. After fring these pooris puffed up really well and were crisp like the store bought ones. on eating the poori by itself I could feel that a little rice flour had been added to it.I was not sure if they would taste as good after adding the accompaniments.I was to serve these with ragda.Now what is ragda..ragdas are white peas which are cooked with spices and used as a filling with in the pooris, these pooris are then dipped in spicy water . Coming to the taste of pooris, they tasted just like the regular pooris that we eat, and now I plan to keep a packet handy at home.

For today's evening snack we have paani poori with ragda.This tastes awesome in winters when the pooris are filled with piping hot ragda and then with spicy water. I must tell you that after the vendor gives you the poori he gives some chopped onion on the side, this is then filled in the poori. I normally do not make this at home , love to eat it outside as somehow how ever hard I try I just do not get the water that spicy.but all you paani poori lovers if you have not had this combo of paani poori you guys have to try it , it is truly mind blowing. Since I am a paani poori fan I have some more versions, do check them ...if you too are fond of this amazing street food.

I am not happy with the ragda pics but I shall redo them soon.

Ready packet or make them at home or store bought

Chopped onion

Spicy water for Poori's
Large bunch mint
Bunch coriander
4-5 green chillies
Juice of a lemon
Black salt
Mix all into a fine paste .
Add water to get the right consistency.
This spicy water is normally made from a special mint..the mint is from Rajasthan and called Udaipur ka Pudina. The flavor and aroma of this mint is absolutely fantastic. The green chillies used for this are the small dark green ones, which are very spicy.The spice is one's individual choice, but make sure to add lemon and salt to the mint before making a paste, else the color will be dark green.

100 gms white peas / vatana
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
12 tsp red chilly powder
Green chilly paste..for making it spicy( optional )
Salt to taste
Soak the peas for 3-4 hours.
Boil for 1 whistle with salt and turmeric.
Depending on the quality of peas they might or might not get cooked in one whistle. In case they do not cook simmer for a while till they are nice and soft.
Add the red chilly powder and coriander leaves.
The consistency has to be thick.
Normally the vendors have a big flat pan in which they keep these peas and a small gas stove to keep it hot.
The green chillies are used for spicing up the peas.

Serving Style
Tap the poori with your index finger, thus making a hole.
Add the piping hot ragdas.
Dip in the spicy water, filling the poori with it.
Add a little finely chopped onion.
Serve immediately.

If you like a little sweet in your paani poori add 1/4 tsp of sweet chutney before dipping the poori in water.

This is a combination of hot ragdas with chilled water and crunchy onions. At times the ragdas are so hot that I literally burn my mouth , but it sure is a treat.During our BM # 25 celebrations , we all ventured on these and I still remember everybody relishing these.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Green Daal Idli

BM # 34  Week 4 Day 1

If you have a early lunch you get hunger pangs in the evening, I almost avoid eating these evening snacks but it is on holidays or Sundays when the family is together that you want to indulge into these .This week I will be cooking some evening snacks and for the firat day it is green daal idli.

The green daal or the split green gram is one of the lightest daals. This is the daal that we use for making Daal wadas or lentil fritters.The daalwada 's are very popular street food of Gujarat and available at every nook and corner.Since it is a fried snack I use the same batter and steam it to form idlis or dhoklas. These taste nearly like the daalwadas ..only the crunch is missing.I love to serve this with the popular Gujarati Methia Masala.

1 cup split green gram
3-4 green chillies roughly chopped and pounded
2 tbsp crushed garlic
1 sachet ENO
(in winters I use crushed fresh green garlic )
A good bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
Salt to taste.
Soak the daal for 2-4 hours.
Wash the daal and discard half the husk.
Grind coarsely .
Add all the ingredients.
Beat well.
Add ENO, mix well.
Pour the batter into idli moulds or thali and steam for 10 minutes or till done.
Serve with Methi Masala
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Pathiri Chatri from Kerala for Indian Cooking Challenge

The Indian Cooking Challenges are something that I always look forward to. At times I know my family will not relish the dish but yet I do not like to miss these challenges.It is a good chance to learn the traditional dishes of our country. I know the basic taste of the family, but all the same If it is a sweet version I make a small portion.

This month we have a sweet Pathiri Chatri. This is a tradidtonal dish from Kerela and Anita has done an awesome job of it. Pathiri are thinly rolled chapatis, lightly cooked on a griddle.This recipe reminded me of enchiladas, where we make corn rotis and then dip them in a sauce, fill with a stuffing and pour sauce to moisten .This is a similar recipe, we have the same chapatis, flour is different, both are dipped in sauce, both are filled with a stuffing and finally a sauce is poured in both...and not to forget they both are baked ,one is a savory version the other is a sweet version.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup warm water
1 tbs vegetable oil / ghee

Half tin condensed milk
1 tsp ghee
7 tbsp grated coconut
3 tbsp raisins
3 tbsp cashew nuts
3 tbsp almonds
3 tbsp pistachios
4 tbsp poppy seeds
3 tbsp cardamom powder
To coat and pour
1 tetra pack coconut milk
5 tbsp mix of cardamom powder and powdered sugar
Add ghee/ oil to the flour and knead into a dough like that of chappati. Keep it covered for half an hour.
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions.Using a roller pin, roll it out into paper-thin chapatis/round flat bread .
I used my baking dish as template and cut these chapatis into rectangles, but circular ones are as good.
Heat a griddle and cook the chapatis lightly on a tawa. Keep them aside.
Note:You can vary the size of the chapati depending on the size of the pathiri chatri or the vessel in which you are baking it.

Heat a pan
Add ghee and saute raisins, cashew nuts, poppy seeds, almonds and pistachios
Sauté grated coconut along with cardamom powder until they start to change the colour .
Mix the above with half a tin of condensed milk and keep aside. Taste to check the level of sweetness. Add more condensed milk if required.

For the coating and the assembling.
Add cardamom powder and powdered sugar to the coconut milk and keep aside.
Take a baking tray, or a deep skillet and spread a little oil or ghee / clarified butter all around.
Dip the chapati in the coconut mixture and place it in the greased dish as the first layer.
Using a spoon sprinkle the stuffing on it.
Dip the second chapati in the coconut milk mixture, coat well and place it on top of the filling.
Repeat the stuffing and make similar layers till all the chapatis and stuffing is over, the top layer will not have any stuffing.
Pour the left over coconut mix,all around the dish so that Chatti Pathiri is moist.
Garnish with nuts.
Bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until the top of pathiri turns golden.

Alternately you can  cook it on a stove top in a non stick deep skillet or deep pan. All you have to do is to place it at a very low flame and flip it carefully to cook on the other side.

The flipping becomes a bit easy when the lowest layer of flat bread/pathiri is a little hard. When both the sides have cooked well,  slide it out of the pan into the serving plate.

This is a sweet that we all loved..yes in spite of it being sweet every one ate it and loved it.I know that I will be making it very often specially in winters when I look for desserts full of dry fruits.This one will surely be a party hit too..serving it with Ice cream will make it a real cool combo.I wish I had ice cream in my frig..Ah...never mind will make it again and serve it.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indian Stuffed Parathas...A Tribute to Tarla Dala ji

"Celebrated chef and cookbook author Tarla Dalal (77) passed away at her south Mumbai residence, reportedly following a cardiac arrest. She is survived by three children, and a legacy of over 100 cookbooks and thousands of recipes.''

This was the news that was more than headlines ...I was completely shocked. I knew she was aging but with some people you feel they will be there for ever. Somehow when I actually started cooking I always referred her books, I guess I have almost all her cookbooks. It was and still is a passion to buy all her books. I have made full use of her books and her recipes never ever fail.The recipe format is always simple and easy to follow.She wrote more than 100 cook books and was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007.

 India's first masterchef, she made her way to people's hearts by hosting cookery shows. This was the first time when I actually saw her live.I must say this was such a homely airs no frills..simple homely language and lot of fun. Her books have even been translated in many languages.Following today's trend she even wrote health books.

When she launched her magazine Cooking and More , the readers were so happy, because it was actually cooking and much more...there were ideas for table settings, flower arrangements , cooking tips and every thing associated with food.

Tarla Dalal became a trusted brand herself and ran India's largest food website Not only that, she also came out with her own brand of ready-to-cook mixes, known as Tarla Dalal mixes which are such a boon . I specially like her eggless cake mixes.

As a small tribute to her, we a group of bloggers at Blogging Marathon are posting her recipes today. I have made a variety of Parathas from her cook book ParathasI have made some minor changes to suit our family tastes. 

God Bless her soul

Parathas have always been a whole some meal and we always have a variety of them at the table.Today I am sharing stuffed parathas. The basic dough for all parathas is same . it is the stuffing that is different. I have added moderate spices, you could adjust them to your taste.

The basic paratha dough
2 cups wheat flour
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Combine the wheat flour, salt , oil with enough water and knead into a soft and smooth dough.
Keep aside under a wet muslin for 30 minutes.

Onion Parathas

1 cup onions, finely chopped
2 green chilly, finely chopped
1 small bunch coriander leaves, chopped
Few mint leaves, chopped
Salt to taste
Mix salt with onions and leave for 10 minutes.
Mix well and squeeze out the excess water .
Add chillies, coriander and mint and mix well.

Paneer Parathas
1 cup grated paneer
2 green chilly, finely chopped
Coriander leaves, chopped
Mint leaves, chopped (optional )
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Pinch garam masala
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients and prepare a stuffing.

Chaawal ka Paratha
1 cup rice, cooked
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp dry mango powder
Coriander leaves
Mint leaves ( optional )
Onion ( optional )
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients very well and mash the rice lightly.

Papad ke Parathe
3-4 roasted papads
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
Coriander leaves
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Pinch of salt.
Crush the roasted papads with hands.they should be well crushed.
Add all the ingredients and mix well.

Stuffing a paratha
Pinch out a small ball from the dough.
Roll out into a circle.
Place some stuffing in the centre of the circle.
Bring together all sides in the centre and seal tightly.
Dust with dry flour.
Roll out again to the desired thickness.
Cook on a hot gridle, using little oil, until both sides are golden brown.

Make sure there is no moisture in the stuffing.
After rolling into the first circle, sprinkle some dry flour and then place the stuffing, sprinkle some dry flour again on top of the stuffing, this shall absorb any unseen moisture too, thus helping in better rolling.

Parathas taste best if they are cooked in pure ghee.
For a lighter version of Parathas, cook them completely, do not use any oil or ghee, once cooked remove from fire and apply ghee or butter.

Serve them with a variety of pickles, chutneys. curd and papads else enjoy them as it is.

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