Methi Parantha/paratha or whole flatbread made with fenugreek leaves, garlic and carrom seeds
Living in Dallas has its perks. One of them is that we don’t have to drive 4 hours to get indian groceries and indian produce. Even though we still have to drive 30 minutes for indian groceries (since all the stores are in the suburbs and we stay close to downtown Dallas), it still beats a 4 hour drive.
On our recent trip to the indian store I picked up some fresh fenugreek leaves. I use dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) all the time in my cooking. A tbsp of dried leaves, briefly rubbed between palms and then tossed into a curry gives a lovely flavor to gravies- and that’s why I always use them in my butter chicken and dal makhani recipe.
Fenugreek seeds are another way to get that sweet yet slightly bitter flavor to a dish. When adding seeds to a dish, add them in the beginning and use them sparingly and also make sure not to burn them as then they become very bitter and might spoil the taste of your dish. Using a combination of both- seeds and kasoori methi will give you the best results, especially when making butter chicken.
While I love cooking with fenugreek seeds and dried leaves, when I get my hands on fresh leaves, methi parantha is my favorite way to enjoy this herb. And I found out from my facebook post, a favorite of many others. Its popularity is completely deserved.
Parantha/Paratha is an unleavened indian flatbread made with whole wheat flour. They are not as thick as a naan, but not as thin as a roti- with their thickness lying somewhere in between. There are many variations of parantha. It could be stuffed with vegetables, aloo parantha being a popular stuffed variation or it could be plain. If there is one meal I could eat morning evening and night- it would be paranthas. After all, I am from Punjab, and our paranthas are very dear to us.
Vegetable Rava Uttapam – easy and quick uttapams made with rava or sooji or semolina.
When I was in college in Delhi and staying in the AFWWA hostel, every Tuesday for breakfast we would get Uttapam. I generally never had time to eat breakfast; I was always running late. I would get the Uttapams packed and take it to college to eat later in the day, grabbing my fruit and eating that as breakfast. Even on days when I did have time to eat breakfast, I would make it a point to pack 2 or 3 since my friends had gotten used to them and looked forward to Tuesday Uttapams. I miss college days!
I don’t cook much south indian fare at home, even though I love dosa, idli, sambhar. I am more comfortable with cooking north indian cuisine and stick to that. My idlis are generally made from a packet or are the quick rava idlis I have posted before. The only time I have cooked dosas from a scratch batter is when my friend was kind enough to loan me some of hers. Once I did try fermenting my own batter but it was a huge fail. This was when I had just started cooking about 6 years back, and ever since I have just stuck to eating dosas outside or counting on my south indian friends to make them for me.
One of my favorite Indian breakfasts (besides aloo paratha) is Poha.
Poha is flattened dehusked rice and is an easily digestible form of raw rice. Being quick to cook with, you will find poha as a very popular choice for breakfast in most Indian households. It also makes a healthy snack option, given its nutrition benefits.
Poha is high in iron, rich in fibre and also a healthier option to get your fix of carbs in the morning. And that is why it features on lot of indian tables as a breakfast option.
Even though celiacs should consult with their doctor before eating poha, poha is known to have very low amounts of gluten, making it fit for certain people who are uncomfortable with gluten. Poha is also very good for diabetics as it promotes slow release of sugar into the bloodstream. It also keeps you full for a longer time. (ref: thehealthsite.com)
While I have a great recipe for poha with veggies which I make often (I will definitely share it with you one of these days), today I am sharing this quick and easy poha patties recipe. Poha Patties is great to serve as an evening snack or even for breakfast. It also makes a great addition in your kids’ lunch boxes. You can make variations to the basic recipe I am sharing today by adding boiled peas, or peanuts. Use cilantro or mint leaves if you can’t find curry leaves. Curry leaves and poha can be found in most Indian grocery stores.