Monday, January 30, 2006

Weekend Cookbook challenge- Dal paratha

I have been waiting to participate in the Weekend cookbook challenge hosted by Sara and Alicat because the project involves something that is close to my heart-cookbooks and this month's theme is winter comfort foods. I am an arm-chair cook and I read more recipes than I ever cook. I own almost thirty cookbooks but my most used book is the 'Net' itself. I am glad to be taking part this month.

I grew up in the southern India where there is no winter. Winter brings with it some rare, foggy mornings but thats about it. But a bigger indication that winter is around is the availability of cauliflower, red carrots (also called Delhi carrots) and English peas. Pittsburgh winter was a big surprise (should I say shock?) to me when I came to the US.

Somehow, I always have a craving for parathas in winter. This recipe is from an Indian cookbook 'Roz ka khana' (translates to Everyday Food) by Tarla Dalal I have had for a couple of years.

Dal Paratha (makes 6)

For dough:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
enough water

Knead the above well into a smooth, soft dough. Let rest for 30 min. Divide into six portions.

1/2 cup moong dal, soaked for 20 min
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chili powder
a pinch of asafoetida (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
salt, to taste
1 T finely chopped cilantro

Cook moongdal in 1 cup water and turmeric until very tender and most of the water has been absorbed. Strain the dal and save the water for making the dough. Heat a saute pan. Add 1 tsp oil. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. When cumin changes to a golden brown, add dal, chili powder, salt and garam masala. Saute till mixture dries up completely. Mix in cilantro. Divide into six portions.

To make parathas- Roll out one portion of dough into a small 4-inch disc. Place one portion of filling in center and bring in the corners of the disc and seal tightly. Dust lightly with flour and roll into a circle of 6 inches or so. The rolled paratha will be thicker than the usual chappathi. Cook on a medium-hot tava with some ghee or butter until both sides are golden brown.

I like to make a big batch of parathas and store it for a couple of days. It does not dry out like chappathis and it becomes soft and tasty when nuked.

Along with some yogurt and achaar, it is a great, balanced meal.

Tagged:Weekend cookbook challenge


  1. I own this book too, and had my eye on this recipe! So did you like the result? Did the flavor of the dal come through?
    Thanks for posting about reminds me that I should try this sometime.

  2. Nupur- the flavor of the dal was there. I have also tried this with masoor dal. We liked the flavor very much and the fact that the protein component is already in this. The texture is sort of a savory puran poli. Some of my friends make a quick version by mixing the filling in the dough itself and rolling it out.

  3. I like dal parathas, Mika. I often make them with moong dal just like you mentioned. Good recipe.

  4. I make this by using leftover dal. Comes out really well.

  5. What a lovely photo, Mika - absolutely mouthwatering! I totally identify with what you said about being an "armchair cook" - me too! I cant resist buying lovely colourful cook books, and I get oodles of pleasure just reading through them and looking at the pix... but I like trying recipes from other bloggers.

  6. Thank you for partcipating! The round up can be found here:

    :o) ~Alicat