20 April 2009

Aloo methi parathas and methi ki chutney

This is a match made in heaven. Piping hot, crispy parathas stuffed with potato and fenugreek, served with a tangy, sweet, and spicy fenugreek seed chutney. Mummy made this for us several times while she was here, and I finally got her to teach me to make them and let me measure the ingredients as we went along.

Aloo Methi Parathas

3 large potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and microwaved in a covered dish or boiled until well cooked.
3 serrano chiles, minced fine
1/2 cup dried methi (fenugreek) leaves
2 tsp red chile powder
3 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
3 cups atta

Mash up the potatoes with the chiles, methi, and spices until well combined and very smooth. If the mixture is not smooth, it will cause the paranthas to tear.

Place 3 cups atta in a large bowl. Make a dough of the atta with at least 1 1/2 cups water (more or less) to make a springy dough that is not too dry or wet. Put a little extra atta to one side in the bowl.

Pinch off large walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll into a round ball in your hands. Drop it into the dry atta to cover all sides, then place on a smooth surface for rolling (such as a marble chakla or a clean countertop) and flatten a bit. Roll it out to a 4-inch round. Take a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture and place it in the middle of the round, then bring the sides up around it and pinch together to make a ball. Smooth it out a little by rolling gently between your hands. Drop it into the dry atta again, then flatten a bit on the rolling surface and roll it out into a 7-inch round, picking it up and turning it or flipping it as you go so that it doesn't become stuck to the surface. If it starts to get sticky in between you can pick it up and put it into the dry atta again.

Place the parantha in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Cook it on one side and flip when it starts to get golden-brown, 1 minute or so. Brush it with a little ghee or oil as the other side cooks. Flip it again to cook the other side, and brush with ghee or oil again. You can press it a bit with a spatula as it cooks. It is ready when it's golden brown and crispy on both sides. Serve hot with methi chutney, or with curries or other dishes. They taste the best as soon as they have been cooked, but if you want you can cook a pile of them and keep them warm on a plate in the oven (they won't stay as crispy this way).

Methi ki chutney

1/2 cup methi (fenugreek) seeds
2/3 cup golden raisins
10 small dried red chiles
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 tsp khatai
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp red chile powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
1 cup sugar

Put seeds in a small pressure cooker or saucepan, and cover with water. Heat over high heat until the cooker steams, then turn to medium for about 5 minutes. Turn to low for 5 minutes or so. Release steam and open pot. Drain and rinse the seeds at least 4 times to get rid of the bitterness. The seeds should be starting to become soft. Return the seeds to the cooker and cover with more water. Add the spices and the sugar, and replace the top on the cooker and heat over high heat until it steams, then turning down to medium for a few minutes, then low for a couple minutes. Release steam and open the pot. Taste the chutney and adjust seasoning/sugar if necessary. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until the chutney is the desired consistency--usually a bit thick and syrupy, but not dry.

I'm ba-ack!

I haven't been gone, just haven't had time to write. The main thing that has happened since last I wrote is that Mummy went back to India at the end of March. That was really hard--she became part of our household, and made our house more of a home by her presence. We both miss her a lot now that she's back in India. A couple more posts to come today, if I have time...