There is no story behind this one, just a wickedly awesome recipe. We are apparently all out of words today. A dozen drafts have been written and summarily dismissed, and in the process this recipe has been languishing in the drafts folder for decades. Something as stellar as this paratha deserves a better write up, but maybe something with so much going for it can speak for itself.
I can't spin a yarn to save my life, but I can vouch for the utter harmony of the sweet peas and freshly scraped coconut merging with some hot green chilies, the lovely green hue intensified by the earthy coriander leaves and the pleasure of dipping a hot, butter-browned paratha in some cold, sweet dahi (yogurt) with the malai* strands intact. So, on to just one of the recipes that was sure to have launched some pot bellies in the household.
Green peas paratha
Green peas, 2 cups
Shredded Coconut, 1/2 cup
Green chillies, adjust according to the level of desired heat, chopped superfine
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Heat some oil in a kadai, add the shallot and fry it for a minute or so till it softens. Add the peas, ginger and cook till the peas go soft too. If you are using fresh peas, this might take longer than the frozen ones. Pull it off the heat, mix in the masalas and grind everything together. Do not add any water. Its ok if a couple of peas remain whole. Wring all the liquid out of the coconut and add it to the ground mixture. Throw in the coriander leaves and call it a day.
Well, actually no, make little stuffing balls, or not. If the stuffing is too loose, your parathas will be difficult to roll out. You could add in some mashed potato or paneer to remedy that.
Roll out your usual paratha dough and proceed to make parathas just so.
* It still mystifies me that many people find malai yucky, I, for one, used to scrape it of the bottom of the pan after my mom finished her nigthly ritual of boiling the milk one final time. I scoop it up and dunk it in my tea, spread it on a fresh roti with some sugar, and am generally just happy to eat it by the spoonfuls. If you have never had malai dahi, you just don't know what you are missing!
PS. On an unrelated note:
This post by Varsha really made me sad. Bloggers are a tightly knit community, food bloggers even more so. Who else but our fellow blogger would understand our insane desire to recreate easily acquired restaurant food at home, the painstaking effort that goes into clicking dinner while the the hungry husband/wife grumbles, the joy and fulfillment of an afternoon spend in the kitchen. We read each other, give feedback, offer tips and generally behave like a civilized, loving family. Accusations of plagiarism create serious rifts in this community. When it comes to food, its tricky to prove the accusation unless there is a direct word-to-word lift of the entire content. Surely, I'm not the first one to bake a cake, so my recipe of a cake would be, needless to say, filched from a cookbook, magazine, cooking show, an aunt or something. What makes it different would be an ingredient I added, which again could be an idea that many others have had as well, or it could be a completely copied recipe with my experience of making it. Where do we draw the line between inspired and outright copyright infringement? For anybody, with a little common sense, this line is clear. Original recipes are far and few in between, if you have one, by all means, protect it but don't claim anyone else posting about curry is bloody copying you! While the temptation to jump up and point fingers at anything vaguely resembling our intellectual property is understandably huge, lets just reign ourselves in, gets factual evidence and until then peacefully co-exist, shall we?
I have read Varsha's blog for a while now. She comes across as an enthusiastic and prolific blogger, with a tremendous portfolio of time-tested recipes. There is always a little story before the recipe, how it came her through her grandmother etc. She hardly ever claims to have invented the recipe so in my book the vitriol against her is simply uncalled for. Judging from the tone and number of comments on her blog, I'm not the only one who thinks so. My two paise.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
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