Diwali is just around the corner and I’m swamped with work all this week and all the way through in the run up to Christmas too. But ever the optimist, I’m also getting the house ready for Diwali and of course making scrumptious meals for family and friends. I really want some parts of the celebration to be easy, saving on time yet delicious. The menu is looking good so far and one of the dishes will most certainly include my previous post of Chicken Curry. I am also making buttery crispy parathas but in all that; making Indian bread might take painstakingly longer than I think. Except the lovely team at Tilda were kind to send over some of their Steamed Basmati Rice for me to try in this dish. As the brand says, ‘By partly steaming uses a gentle yet effective method of cooking our Basmati rice, giving consumers a healthy product which they can “finish off” quickly and conveniently in the microwave or wok.”
‘Chawal ke parathe’ or rice parathas as they are known aren’t made very often in Indian households though they are a delicious addition as a filling to the bread. It is one such filling (apart from Aloo parathas) that is a personal favorite. Flaky, warm rice bread, smeared with a dollop of butter they are perfect savored on their own with some plain yoghurt but even better when you dunk a small piece in your gravy or any indian curry to scoop out the taste of all the spices and the meat. A mouthful of the crisp rice parathas with the spiced curry and succulent chicken or meat is pure joy and one that has to be eaten to share in the experience to the fullest.
You can use leftover rice for this dish too but if you want the rice encased within the parathas to hold its own and still be able to have that grainy look to the filling; using a good quality long grain rice is definitely key.
In a bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter or ghee and enough water to form a soft dough. Knead well for 5-7 minutes until smooth. Wrap in cling film or cover with a damp cloth and rest the dough for 10 minutes.
Heat the steamed basmati rice pack as per instructions and set aside to cool for a bit. In a bowl add the chopped onion, green chilli, cumin seeds and coriander leaves along with the rice. Mix all the filling ingredients well. Rice is glutinous enough to come together without any water. Form little balls and divide into portions for each paratha.
Now divide the dough into equal portions. Flatten the dough ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 6cm disc. Add the rice filling to the disc, pulling the edges together, seal well and flatten.
Heat your flat griddle pan or frying pan. Dip the encased dough in dusting flour and roll out again into a 15cm circle. Add a teaspoon of butter to the pan. Dust off the excess flour from the paratha and place it on the hot pan. Cook for 15 seconds or so until brown speckles appear underneath. Smear the top of the paratha with a little melted butter using the back of your spoon and turn over to cook the other side. Set aside and keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve hot with pickle & some yoghurt or your favorite curry.