Saturday, 2 July 2016

Parathe Aloo ke

Aloo ( potato) stuffed parathas with some spicy mango pickle and creamy yoghurt on side

Another dish which makes me feel very satisfied when I can serve on the breakfast counter for family and friends. Used to be quite a frequent part of my childhood when Ma made these stuffed parathas and also brings back the nostalgic University days , being a paying guest with a Delhi punjabi family- sunday morning breakfast aloo ke parathe with a dollop of homemade creamy Safed Makkhan (white butter) drooping and melting on them. Believe me or not, I can still smell the freshness of butter- have to try to make it someday although these days try to rush away from such heavenly cravings.

Sometimes while making these parathas- rather while rolling them, the stuffing tries hard to peep out of the thin film of pastry- the tick is not to have watery boiled potatoes. I would generally cook the potatoes in the microwave after giving them some pricks on their body. This would help in avoiding extra moisture which makes the potato ooze out while rolling them. But trust me, even if a bit of the stuffing still behaves impatient and peeps out- its absolutely ok as while frying the parathas those bits get quite crispy and adds to the tastebuds quite positively.

Depending on the mood of the day and what's available - I add accessories to the main ingredient -potatoes. Some days it could be some boiled spinach( usually the frozen ones- just cook them in the micro for few mins), grated paneer, methi leaves or kastoori methi, Crushed peas. One can be as experimenting as you can think of to give that extra twist and nutrition too (need to be quite active about nutrition specially planning family meals)

What I used-
  • Atta ( wholemeal flour) 2 cups
  • Maida ( plain flour) 1 cup
  • Potatoes- 3 
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • small piece of ginger chopped fine
  • Some green chillis chopped fine
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Kastori Methi- 3 tbsp
  • Roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Paratha masala - 2 tbsp (  I use Shaan paratha masala- if not available, any mix of cumin, coriander, chilli powder, ajwain can be used)
  • Ajwain- 1 tsp
  • Seasoning- Rock salt and pepper 
  • Oil 

  1. Start the potatoes cooking in the mirror- prick them with knife on the body and put them in a bowl and cook for 5 mins covered. This could vary for different microwaves- you probably have to do it few times to get the right time. It should not get over soft- just the texture which can be held against a garter- after cooking I would grate the potatoes- to avoid any lumpy potatoes in your mouth
  2. Knead the flour- mix both- add some salt and a tsp of oil-with little amount of warm water - not pouring all at once but with intervals. knead to a soft dough. Spray some oil and keep the dough covered well most for half an hour atleast. This would guarantee soft parathas ( my theory to this the dough gets quite pliable with time and adjustment)
  3. Add the chopped onion, ginger, chillies, kasturi methi, all the spices to the potatoes and mix them with loose hands to keep some texture
  4. Make some balls from the dough. Roll 1 ball to about 3 cm radius and add 1 big tbsp of the stuffing and close the edges and press with your fingers to make it look like a dumpling and make sure the edges stick to each other.
  5. Roll with a soft hand again - trying not to squeeze out the stuffing . 
  6. Now heat a tawa or thick bottom frying pan and put the paratha on it. Wait till you see some light brown spots and then turn for the other side to cook. Its cooking at its best if a there are pockets of swollen up paratha. Then add oil or ghee to the side facing you and turn it. Lower the heat and press hard on the paratha with a spatula. After a minute cooking on that side, add some more oil to the paratha and cook the opposite side by turning. Keep pressing hard to get the crisp.
  7. Sprinkle some rock salt and pepper and serve with condiments like pickle and raita.

Oodles of Noodles

Stir Fried noodles with hot fresh chillies in soy sauce and some  Szechwan chilli sauce as condiments

Have been off my blogging for ages and ages, but a strong drive pushed me to come and say Hello to Zanis Corner- hence this post about a comfort food for me and my son on a cold Saturday winter night while he was engrossed in Australian Poll analysis- a sudden new deep interest in my 10yr old. Hubby away on business trip- something quick but tasty was on the taste bud for us after a tired long day. Thought of using some leftover vegetables and had defrosted a lonely piece of a chicken thigh fillet. So here goes a very very simple stir fried noodles with chicken- and indeed a very simple without any fancy trims- just some carrot and capsicum stick to add to the colour.

What I used-

  1. 3 cakes of egg noodles
  2. a carrot julienned
  3. a red capsicum julienned
  4. 2 small onions sliced
  5. Sliced 3 garlic cloves and a small piece of ginger julienned
  6. 2-3 fresh green chillies chopped
  7. 2 eggs 
  8. 1 chicken thigh fillet chopped into small cubes
  9. Sauces- Oyster sauce, soy sauce, Sweet chilli sauce, Vinegar, chilli Sauce
  10. Oil for cooking
  11. some drops of chilli Oil 
How I did it-
  1. Started the boiling of the noodles first while I did my prep with the veggies- chopped as explained above. Sometimes the chopping can actually take some time but once you master the chopping, it actually becomes a fun element of the cook- just like using colours while painting. Might sound weird but indeed you draw a picture of your final dish and trace the shapes of the veggies to be cut.
  2. Mise -en -place ( french word used in Culinary meaning having all your ingredients measured, cut, sliced etc before cooking) - have all on a plate along with beaten eggs.
  3. On a Wok heat a teaspoon of oil- smoking hot- and throw some of the ginger and garlic and the chicken pieces- moist with some soy and oyster sauce and fry for couple of minutes. Gets cooked really quick with high heat and stirring. Keep the cooked chicken aside.
  4. Make sure the noodles are not overboiled- strain the noodles and shower with cold water instantly to wash off the starch.
  5. Next heat the wok with some more oil - add the rest of the ginger, garlic and onion with the chilles- then goes the carrots and capsicum- stir fry on high heat- add a teaspoon of all the sauces mentioned above. Finish this before the veggies loose their crunch and keep aside in a plate
  6. Now the finale- heat a teaspoon of oil and pour the beaten eggs . Just as the egg is cooking, strain the noodles again with some cold water and use your fingers to separate them a bit on the colander. Add the noodles to the eggs and stir in a brisk motion- sprinkle salt and pepper seasoning to the noodles -add the veggies and the chicken and stir quick with the noodles. 
  7. Squeeze some lemon - trust me adds some flavourable twist to the dish and sprinkle some more pepper and some chilli oil.
  8. Serve simple with a szcechuan sauce and chillies in soy sauce to give that extra chinese takeaway flavour and enjoy.
That was my simple noodles- any vegetables like beans, mushroom, spring onions etc could be added.