I start this post with a heavy heart. I initiated the Muslim Food Blogger Challenge three years ago with this post. The declaration of the challenge was met with a lot of enthusiasm. With some mini breaks in between, we managed to keep up the challenge going. However, with priorities changing and dwindling participation, I had to take a call to end this series. Of course, it may revive back in case anybody is ready to take it up in the group, but knowing that times are tough and blogging is always the last priority, I felt it was a better time to give this challenge a halt, rather than waiting for it to demise on its own. 🙂
Just like all our previous anniversary challenges, we would be repeating all the themes done for the past one year. Below were the themes and the posts I had done this year:
December 2018 was cooking from Iran and I made this simple Shirazi Salad.
In January, we cooked from the blog Afelia’s Kitchen and I tried the Spicy Oven Baked Chicken.
Pomegranate Tea is what I made in February when we had to cook using pomegranate as an ingredient.
In March, we celebrated our mother’s cooking and I chose to post the Kadumaanga.
We made some healthy bites for the children in the month of April and I made these Chewy Granola Bars.
May was when Ramadan started. The theme was “soup” and I made the Chicken Vermicelli Soup.
After taking a break in June, we did some drinks for July, and I posted this simple yet interesting Cucumber Milkshake.
We took a break again in August and September, and did “Sandwiches” as theme in October. I did the Nutella French Toast.
Since it is a repeat this month, I chose to make something that we love of my umma’s. When we were younger, she used to make the fluffy Kerala porottas. Mind it, those porottas take too much of time and effort. But then they disappear in full speed too… hehe… Once, during her stitching classes, she learned about the easier version of the porotta and then started making it. Umma loves anything easy, and I am sure I get that trait from her. 😀 Once she got the hang of this one, plus when she noticed that we could also help her make it, she would rope us all in to make the porotta, so that it is not only her slogging in the kitchen, plus work would finish off easily too.
It was years later, I realized that these were actually Lachha Parathas that are made in the northern part of India, especially Punjab. Unlike the Kerala porottas where a lot of resting and hard work goes into making it the delicious stuff it becomes, this counterpart is much easier to make and of course, paratha being paratha is still loved and eaten enthusiastically. It took me a while to master the way umma makes it. For me, my main issue is the consistency of the dough. It tends to get hard. So the main thing is to add enough water that you have a supple dough, that would stretch when you bail it, but not too much water that you get a mess, nor too less water that you have brick-like parathas.
Another case is adding oil to the dough. Umma would add the oil before the water and knead all in. I noticed that I had the tendency of rubbing the oil in and hence I get flaky parathas that break. I realized it was better for me to knead in the oil and that works best if you have a problem like me. Hehe… Umma makes these with just wholewheat flour, with very little maida, but I do half and half, because the end result tastes much better then. It is a very straight forward recipe – no eggs, no yogurt or milk, or any extra ingredients. But once you get the correct proportion of the water to be added, you will be sorted out. Also resting the dough is very important. 30 minutes is bare minimum, but the more the better.
The process of making this is quite easy. I have posted a step-by-step above for understanding. You pleat the stretched dough like a saree and roll it into its shape. Even after doing this process, resting is recommended. We finish off the steps and allow it to rest till all are ready to have dinner. Of course, parathas taste the best when served hot, so most of the time umma or I are in the kitchen doing it fresh and serving. I prefer toasting the parathas in ghee, though there are many who use vanaspati or vegetable ghee. It may give a more authentic taste but we have given it up ages ago. Enjoy it hot with any side of your choice, even a simple dal for a delicious meal. Seen in the background is the Quick Chicken Fry but we love these absolutely with some Kozhi Chukka. If you are among those who love dunk their paratha into curry, then nothing like the naadan Beef Curry, but my preference would this simple Chicken Shorba! Off to this recipe…
- 1½ cup wholewheat flour
- 1½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- Lukewarm water for kneading
- 2 tbsp oil
- Whisk the flours and salt together. Add water little by little and bring the dough together to make a non-sticky dough. Add flour if the water increases. The dough should not stick to your hand, yet should be soft with enough water.
- Drizzle the oil and knead till the oil gets incorporate into the dough. Initially it would be squishy but gradually the oil would get in. Keep kneading till it looks all well done and stretchy. Allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes, covered with a cloth on top.
- Divide the dough into 10 balls. Keep some oil and flour in a container. On a clean surface, rub oil. Roll out one ball as thinly as possible - it doesn't matter if it get torn, it is fine.
- Rub a little oil and sprinkle some flour. Fold from one side and plait till you get a stretch - just like you would do a saree. Roll into a round and press at the bottom. Keep onto a greased plate. Repeat till all are done.
- Cover with a cloth and allow to rest for another 30 minutes.
- At the time of making, heat a frying pan with a drizzle of ghee. Bail one ball at a time, thin or thin as per preference. Cook both sides on medium flame, drizzling ghee as required till well done.
- Take onto the surface and beat the sides to soften it and pull out the layers.
- Enjoy it warm with a curry of choice or just with yogurt and pickle.