Monday, January 13, 2014

Radish/Mooli Paratha

Okay, never ever use bare hands to handle the radish in this recipe. Ever! I made this after so long that I forget and ended up having redness and itching on the back of my hand for about an hour. The itching has reduced, thanks to the coconut oil but the redness still persists. Anyways, getting back to the post.

Another one of my favorites. Parathas are generally loved but stuffed parathas make me feel like I am eating something healthier. Despite their foul smell, these parathas are so delicious that they can hardly be avoided.

Radish is an edible root vegetable. Baby  radish are used in salads raw. In South India, they are added to sambar and in North India, made into parathas. In Mexico, they have a special radish festival wherein carvings on radish are displayed at common spots.

Radish juice is considered to have cleansing powers and is good for the kidney. Some also believe that it helps fight cancer. Adding to all those benefits, this recipe ensures to make maximum use of this veggie, so do try it.

Preparation time : 40 minutes - depends on what method is chosen to extract the radish juice
Cooking time  : 2 minutes per paratha

Ingredients:
For the stuffing:

  1. Radish - 2 medium sized
  2. Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
  3. Kasuri methi - 1 tsp
  4. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  5. Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Amchoor/Dry Mango powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Oil - 1 tbsp
  8. Salt to taste
For the dough:
  1. Whole wheat flour - I usually take enough to make a smooth dough with the extracted radish juice. So start with a little and add as you go.
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Oil - 1 tbsp
  4. Radish juice - extracted when making the above stuffing. You can use plain water as well.
How I made it :
  1. Wash and scrape the radish.
  2. Grate the radish. A medium sized grater will do.
  3. Now, extract the juice from the grated radish. You could either use a muslin cloth or wear a food grade glove and squeeze handfuls of radish. Retain this juice. Remember that the more juice you remove, the better. The drier the filling/stuffing, the easier it will be to roll out the paratha.
  4. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp oil.
  5. Put in the cumin seeds.
  6. Once they start to change colour, add the kasuri methi.
  7. In 30 seconds, put in the red chilli powder. 
  8. Before the red chilli powder starts to burn put in the turmeric powder, grated juiced radish and salt to taste.
  9. Fry till the radish goes as dry and all the masalas are well mixed. 
  10. Now add the mango powder. Mix well and let the stuffing cool. Taste and make adjustments to your taste. 
  11. While the stuffing cools, made the whole wheat dough. Mix the flour, salt, oil and radish juice to make a nice smooth soft dough. The dough when pressed with a finger should kind of bounce back. Make sure it is not too watery/sticky as that will make it harder to roll out. Start with a little flour and keep adding as you go as it is not possible to give an exact measurement. The amount of radish juice will differ based on size, freshness and effectiveness of juicing method used. 
  12. Now, split the dough into small balls.
  13. Roll each ball out into a disc of about 5mm thick.
  14. Place a sufficient amount of stuffing, proportional to the size of the disc in the centre.
  15. Pull the ends together as can be seen in the collage above. 
  16. Apply some dry flour and roll out into a thin disc. Don't worry if the dough comes apart. You can always patch it up with some dry flour. Just ensure that you have the filling spread evenly around and the thickness of the paratha/disc is uniform throughout. 
  17. Repeat for all the balls made in step 12, provided there is enough filling. Else use this dough to make simple plain parathas.
  18. Heat a tawa/flat pan. 
  19. One at a time, place the rolled out parathas on the hot pan. Once you see that there are small air pockets forming, apply some oil/ghee and then turn. Lower the heat and let this cook for about a minute or until maillard reaction kicks in and there are enough brown spots. Apply pressure with the means of a flat ladle to help uniform cooking of all areas of the paratha. Turn, increase heat. Apply more oil/ghee if desired. Cook till maillard reactions cause brown spots- about 40 seconds.
Serve hot with curd/pickle/papad.

Tips:
  • If you do get redness and itching from handling the radish, apply coconut oil and wave your hand up and about in the air, even if people think that you are crazy. Breathe! It will subside and all will be well.
  • Make the stuffing as dry as possible to enable easy rolling.
  • Make the chapati dough as smooth and non-sticky to enable easy rolling.
Trivia :
  • Maillard reactions, named after a scientist, are those reactions which cause the browning of food. These occur at temperatures of 120 degree C. It is these maillard reactions that provide that awesome taste to food. Yes, some food have their own flavour but it is this which enhances that flavour as well as the aromas that our nose detect. It is basically a chemical reaction of carbohydrates and proteins in amino acids which releases many sub compounds. These sub compounds are very volatile and escape easily into the air.