My Mom is a Malaysian. My Dad, an Indian. Theirs is ofcourse, a love marriage. My Dad, being a simple man when it comes to meals, refused to forsake his Dal-Roti routine when he married my Mom. She on the other hand, could never accept that cooking a traditional Indian meal was out of her reach. So she toiled, and she toiled, and today she makes the best curries and the meanest biryanis than any born-Indian I know.
When they first got married, as my Mom once very fondly narrated this story to me, she was unaccustomed to the roti. Not knowing the perfect recipe himself, all she could get out of my Dad was that the dough was made from whole wheat and water, and rolled out into thin, soft and fluffy mouthfuls of delight. She tried her various combinations of water and flour for many days to come, until one fine day Dad had a smile on his face after the very first bite, and announced it PERFECT! Since then, she has rolled bagfuls of flour into the most delicate rotis and parathas.
One thing I learnt for Mom, was that making rotis is an art in it’s truest form. I agree. Who ever has tried to roll them into the perfect circle with only the aide of a rolling pin, will know exactly what I mean. I started out with no-so-soft-irregular-shaped ones myself. But as they say, practice makes perfect. Though mine are still not as round as the moon, they do taste good.
The other day when I decided to make one of Hubby Dear’s finest favourites, I had a slight inclination to tamper with things a little. Who ever said never to play with tradition, certainly never tasted my version of it!
MASALA ALU PARATHAS
SPICY POTATO-STUFFED INDIAN BREAD
Prep time: 20 min, Cooking time: 30 min | Serves: 4Â Â
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
- 1/4 tsp carom seeds
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp light cooking oil
- water, as needed
- 2 medium-sized potatoes, boiled and mashed
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves
MIX mashed potatoes with salt, coriander leaves, garam masala, and fennel seeds and set aside.
MIX flour with salt, carom seeds, red chilli powder, fenugreek leaves and oil and form into a smooth dough with necessary amount of water, and allow to rest for half an hour. Once the dough is set, separate it into golf-sized balls and set aside.
FOR each dough ball, roll out the dough into a small circle and put around one tbsp of potato mixture in the centre. Bring the ends of the circle together and seal the edges completely so that the stuffing does not come out.
ROLL out into a 6 inch circle. Fry on a heated pan adding a bit of gheeoil around the edges to crisp it up.
All I have to say is, thanks Ma, for all the inspiration from your kitchen to mine.