Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dal Bhara Porota (Dal Stuffed Parathas)

Dal Bhara Porota (Dal Stuffed Parathas)

Today is a dark and gloomy day, the moment I entered office I felt damp coldness all over, it almost felt like I’m living in a cave for awhile. All I could think of was my Tiffin, I was looking for that comfortable and familiar aroma of home food.My Didu, my mother and all my aunts would make their own garam masala and add it to their recipes in specified proportions, and that would make all the difference to even the basic of meals. Everyday in my Tiffin I would find all kinds of food to match my mood and my ma’s budget. ... today I tried that similar trick. I tried a quick, easy, cheap and delicious meal, the perfect antidote for a depressive day like this, and I wanted to savour it before sharing with anyone... I realize, though, that I bartered quick meals with comfort food or maybe I’m not that big a foodie as I though I am. For today my comfort food lying quietly in my tiffin is -- stuffed chapattis, which I plan to team it up with hot coffee. Somehow, the dal and roti in all its avatars is comfort food for me…for bongs its usually dal –bhat aar alu bhate which works like magic, but talk of breakfast and you ought to have a quick fix version --so this is it for me, and the best part is, I make it with all the leftover dal with some dried condiments and herbs added.

The thought of comfort food was swirling in my mind since yesterday, after I finished about two stories from the book Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, where most of the stories revolve round the subtle nuances or relationships but as the story evolves, you can feel a faint mention of bong aromas, sometimes in the form of luchis , sometimes is alu bhaja or cutlets, their abhorrence towards anything English claiming its bland or more as an attempt to clutch on to the bong cultural remnants in faraway land. The protagonists of the stories carry a whiff of the Bong pride which seems to stand upright even in the in mad Howrah station rush. The stories touch the chord somewhere; I think it would for all Bengalis as it does to me.

Getting back to where I started, I would like to share this comfort breakfast recipe made from leftover Dal (or any cooked vegetable you might fancy).

Dal Stuffed Porotas


11/2 cups leftover Dal (assuming its salted and seasoned with whatever you fancy)
2 cups Flour
1cup Milk (to knead the flour)
½ tsp Garam Masala
2-3 sprigs fresh coriander/mint /parsley
1tsp Ajwain
1 pinch Amchur powder
Salt to taste

What i did:Knead the four as you would do for roti, with milk and water and salt to desire. Make it soft and pliable. To turn the Dal into a dough filing, by drying the Dal in slow fire, adding salt and chillies to taste, add coriander and garam masala and ajwain in the end. The filling should be dry enough to stuff inside the roti dough.

Now pluck small balls from the roti dough and fill it lemon sized Dal stuffing, and roll out neatly so that the filing does not spill out.

Now roast the rotis on a flat pan. Turn once done.its tastier if you add some ghee and fry , like you would do ti a paratha, but its just as good without it.

Eat it with aam chatni or pickle, top it with butter. I used Amul.It rocks!

PS : For Kids, you can roll it up with some aam chatni in the centre, and its acts as a wholesome snack, with carbohydrates, proteins, and goodness of a fruit trapped inside.
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