Some foods give us comfort. They need not necessarily be rich and gourmet, but what makes them special is the memory attached to it - of our growing up years or anything that means a lot to us. These Mooli Parathas (Daikon radish stuffed flatbreads) come under that category for me. Nostalgic with warm and cozy memories - of hot parathas just off the stove top with a light smearing of ghee on top on cold winter mornings. The term "Cold" is relative to the country and its inmates, but ask any Indian and this paratha will typically remind him/her of winter in India. Oh yes, we do have winters dint u know that ;)?
I still remember how overjoyed I was, when I first came to the US. Not for reasons like - better lifestyle, less pollution, new surroundings( and other yada yada that people usually tell) but for the climate. I did not sweat even under the scorching sun and that to me spoke volumes. Coming from a place with the hottest and humid'est(!) climate, I didn't really know of winter (in its truest form) but as I said, I have fondest memories of my mother making these for me during the "winter holidays" in Delhi. So, when I spotted these fresh Daikon radishes at my Farmer's market the other day, I could not help buying some with a smile.
I tend to go a bit (OK, a lot!) overboard with the greens in this flatbread, but I am biased towards any greens. But keep in mind that these are peppery - both the radish and the greens. If you have tasted fresh radishes, you will now what I mean. I insist on the word "fresh" 'cos until then I didn't think them as peppery or sharp. So, tread in gently before being as generous with the radish greens as my recipe states since both together can be quite a bit for some (Refer tip 3).These are warming and spicy with a peppery bite to them which are softened by the covering and some butter. Perfect for winters as a Breakfast/brunch (traditionally) or enjoy any time you wish.
my kitchen notes
Prep Time: 30 min to 1 hour
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 4 people
Yield: Around 12-15 parathas depending upon the size and thickness
For the Dough
- 2 cups Atta (Chapathi/Wheat flour)
- 1 tsp Onion seed (Kalonji)
- 1/4 cup fat free Greek Yogurt, see Tips
- 1 tsp Ghee, see Tips
- Salt to taste
For the Filling
- 2 cups grated Daikon Radish, tightly packed
- 1 cup Radish Greens, tightly packed, see Tips
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1-2 Green Chilies, thinly sliced (optional), see Tips
- Salt to taste
1. Greek Yogurt: I tend to use fat free Greek yogurt for not only adding softness to the paratha, but mainly for adding some protein. You can use regular yogurt or instead just use water to make it vegan.
2. Ghee : I add this for enhancing the flavor, but you can simply use Oil (for a vegan option) or simply skip it if counting calories.
3. Radish Greens:Adding radish greens tends to give an even further peppery taste to the paratha along with grated radish. I love the greens and flavor hence tend to add 1 cup which might not be favorable to many since the parathas will have a profound peppery bite to them. If not sure of how you will measure up to it, start with adding 1/4 cup greens and increase gradually.
4. Chilies: I haven't added anything to this recipe since we don't take the heat. If you don't have the chilies, you can also use 1-2 tsp of chili powder.
Add 1 generous tsp of salt to the grated radish, mix and set aside to marinate for about 30 minutes. DISCLAIMER: The house SMELLS! Make sure to wrap it up with a plastic wrap if you are "sensitive" ;).
Using a cheesecloth (or just plain hands)
squeeze out as much water as you can muster (and some). I retain this water to knead the dough.
You might be surprised at the amount of water that these radishes retain.
Add the flour and onion seed in a large bowl to make the dough.
I usually taste the radish water to see if it has enough saltiness. If not, I tend to add a pinch of salt to the flour before kneading the dough. Add the ghee and yogurt. Then add the radish water (as required).
Knead it well along with Ghee and yogurt (if using). Add more water if needed until
it becomes a pliable dough.
Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside for about 10-15 minutes.
While that's resting, lets finish with the filling. Dry toast the grated radish in a skillet for few minutes. I do this since along with radish greens, using them without sauteing would make it too sharp. Cooking mellows down the bite. But you can use them right away without cooking if you prefer that way (and esp. if you are not using the greens)
Add the turmeric and saute some more. Its optional to use the spice, but I am a turmeric junkie:). Set aside.
In the same skillet, add the radish greens (Make sure to read the tip 3 before adding the greens)
and saute until wilted - about 2-3 minutes.
Mix these along with grated radish in a bowl. You can do a quick taste test to see if it needs a wee bit salt.
Pinch a piece of dough and roll it out into a small circle. Place a little bit of the filling inside.
Bring the ends together and pinch it on top.
Press it lightly with your palm
and roll it out gently with a rolling pin. The size and thickness depends upon your preference. Its OK if a little filling peeks out - it adds to the flavor when cooking in the skillet.
Heat a skillet on med-high flame (I re-use the same pan. I am lazy!) and add the flatbread to it. Drizzle some oil around the paratha and cook for 2-3 minutes or until browned in the bottom.
Turn the other side and cook. You don't need to add additional oil again, but hey I sure am not going to stop you if you want to ;). Repeat for rest of the dough.
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