Take two classic Indian staples and combined them to make something wonderful: Dal stuffed parathas. Parathas can be stuffed with anything, so long as it is a bit mushy but not liquidy. This time we stuff with a spicy toor dal. It makes for a great snack, appetizer, or light entree. The paratha dough is super easy to work with, don't hesitate, stop by your local Asian/Indian market and make this today!
For the Toor Dal:
1 cup Toor Dal (yellow lentils) - you may subsitute other lentils if you like.
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger, peeled
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala*
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped tomato (canned or fresh)
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and clean the lentils.
In 4 cups of water, bring the lentils and the turmeric to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked and most of the water is absorbed, and the lentils are very 'mashable'. (Add more water if necessary.) Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium flame.
Add the onions, garlic, mustard seeds, and ginger. Sautee until the onions are translucent.
Mix in the cumin, coriander, garam masala and hot pepper.
Add the chopped tomato, and cook for 1 minute.
Pour the cooked lentils into the skillet. Cook, stirring until the mixture has a thick mushy consistency, adding water if necessary.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove ginger and discard.
For the paratha dough:
2 cups atta flour
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup atta flour for working surfaces
additional oil for pan frying
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the oil and salt.
Add enough water to the mixture to create a firm dough. (Start with 1/2 cup water and add more as necessary.)
Knead until well combined.
Allow the dough to rest under a moist teacloth for 20 minutes.
For the stuffed paratha:
Tear off a piece of dough (about 1/8 of dough) and shape into a ball.
On a floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a thin disc about 8 to 10 inches across.
Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of dal filling into the center.
Fold over one edge of the dough around the stuffing, fold another adjacent edge and pinch together the edges so that they stick.
Continue folding around the filling and pinching until the dough is totally sealed. Gently pat down to make a round fat disc.
With the rolling pin, very gently flatten the disc further, making sure not to tear the dough.
Heat a skillet over medium flame. Place paratha in the skillet seam side down. Drizzle oil in the pan around the paratha and shimmy the pan so that the oil seeps underneath the paratha. Let cook for 1 minute and flip.
Continue cooking and flipping until both sides are evenly browned. Set paratha aside on paper towels.
Repeat above for the rest of the dough.
Makes 8 stuffed paratha.
* Garam masala is a spice blend common to many tasty Indian dishes. Atta flour is a type of whole wheat flour used for many kinds of Indian breads; Both are very affordable and can be found at your local Indian or Asian market (check one out, most areas have at least one). Any brand should be suitable.