This is a winter favourite at home, which is when green peas are in season. I end up making this at least once a week!
There are several different ways that this recipe can be made and each family’s recipe tends to differ as well as each restaurant’s, and this is just my version, not necessarily the most common one.
This is great to have for a late breakfast or brunch along with a cup of masala chai.
The recipe appears long and tedious but actually isn’t and is one of the easier ways of making this paratha. Once you get the hang of it and get your ingredients adjusted to your preference, it is easy-peasy, pun intended!
For the Stuffing:
- Green Peas – 500g
- Green chillies – 3-4 / to taste, slit
- Ginger – 1 tbsp
- Green coriander stems – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
- Coriander Leaves – 1.5 cups, finely chopped
- Ghee/Oil – 2 Tbsp for the Stuffing + as required for cooking the Parathas
- Garam Masala – 1 Tbsp / to taste
- Green Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp – optional
- Jaggery / Sugar -1 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Hing/Asafoetida – 1 tsp
- Bay Leaves – 2-3
- Cloves – 3-4
- Black Pepper – 1 tsp coarsely ground
- Green Cardamom Pods – 5-6, split open
- Black Cardamom Pods – 2, split open
- Cinnamon stick – 5mm, optional
- Cumin seeds – 2 Tbsp
- Fennel seeds / Saunf – 2 tsp
- Coriander seeds – 2 Tbsp, lightly dry roasted and coarsely pounded
- Coriander powder or Dhania Powder or Dhana-Jeera Powder – 1 Tbsp
- Besan / Chickpea flour / Bengal gram Flour – 1-2 Tbsp or more, depending upon how moist your Peas paste is.
For the Dough:
- Wheat flour, some salt and a splash of oil, & water as required for kneading.
- I use only whole wheat flour to keep it healthy, but you can also use Plain Flour /Maida, or a combination of the two.
- You may also use either some yoghurt or some milk, along with water for kneading.
To prepare the stuffing:
- Blend the green peas in a mixer along with the green chillies, ginger, salt & sugar into a paste. Take care to use minimal water. It helps to blend in small portions and then give it a good mix with your hands in the end. Taste and adjust for salt while mixing. Also, we want the paste as dry as possible, which will enable us to use minimum besan or none at all. I find that the besan tends to suppress the taste of the green peas (which I love), so I try to use as less as possible, or none, depending upon how moist the peas are. (In the picture attached, I have used no besan). However, several actually prefer the taste of more besan, so that is personal preference.
- Heat the ghee/oil in a large pan (preferably non-stick) and add the tempering : cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, bay leaves, cloves, green & black cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and saute for a few seconds. It will smell divine.
- Now add the coriander stems and saute for 30 seconds.
- Now add the hing and coriander powder.
- Then add the besan and stir continuously on medium flame, till the besan is not raw anymore and changes colour and starts to separate from the oil. Take great care not to burn it. This step may be omitted if you’ve managed to get a thick stocky dry-ish paste that is not runny. The besan is added mainly for the purpose of drying out the consistency of the paste.
- Now add the garam masala and saute for a few seconds.
- Now add your peas paste and mix well. This takes a bit of effort and patience.
- Once well mixed, allow it to slightly roast for a few minutes on a low or medium flame, gently stirring continuously, until the remnant moisture has evaporated and you are left with a paste as seen in the picture and a little browning here and there.
- Remove from flame and finish with chopped coriander leaves and mix well and keep aside till it cools.
To prepare the dough:
- Knead the flour into a soft pliable dough. Work it nicely till smooth & soft. Finish with a glaze of oil and cover with a moist cloth or cling film or lid and keep aside to rest while your stuffing cools.
- For kneading, I tend to use the water that I add to the mixer jar right in the end after I’m done making the peas paste, to use up the remaining paste stuck in the jar. Why waste it!
For making the parathas:
- Separate your dough into smooth balls and flatten slightly.
- Make balls out of the peas paste. As you do that, you can remove some of the spices used in the tempering like bay leaves or cinnamon which may interfere with rolling out the paratha.
- I like my parathas to be oozing with the stuffing (as you can see in the picture) so I make the stuffing balls larger than my dough balls. But if you are new to rolling parathas /flatbreads, keep the stuffing ball smaller so you don’t end up with a sticky broken mess of a paratha while rolling, as it needs a gentle hand with just the right amount of pressure.
- With a rolling pin, partially roll out the dough ball just enough to be able to wrap up the stuffing ball.
- If you have enough practice rolling, then try to roll in such a way that you put more pressure on the sides and less in the middle to keep the sides thinner and the middle thicker so the stuffing doesn’t crack out of the middle when you roll out the stuffed ball. If you aren’t comfortable doing that no worries, just keep the stuffing smaller and the overall size of the parathas also on the smaller side so there is no difficulty in handling the paratha.
- Make all your stuffed dough balls and keep aside.
- Now heat a griddle. I use a cast iron one. You can also use a non-stick one.
- Gently and carefully, roll out the stuffed dough balls into parathas of your desired size and thickness, using some flour for dusting.
- When the griddle is hot enough, gently place your paratha onto it and let it roast on a low flame for bit. Then flip over carefully and roast the other side on a medium flame till a couple of light brown spots appear on that side. The time it takes will depend upon the thickness and heat of the griddle as well as the thickness of your paratha. You should get a fair idea a couple of parathas later.
- Now smear some oil/ghee on the side facing up and flip over. You may turn the flame to high at this point provided your griddle is not smoking hot already.
- Now lightly press the paratha with a flat spoon as you swivel it around in a slow circle.
- Now smear oil/ghee onto this side too and flip over and do the same.
- Keep an eye on the heat. The griddle should never be so hot that you start getting black spots or the paratha starts sticking. Medium-dark reddish brown spots are what we’re looking for (see pic).
- Keep at it till it is roasted to your preference, adding more oil/ghee if required. Needless to say, more is always yummier in the case of parathas!
- What I use instead of a flat spoon is what is traditionally used, especially in North India, and is this wooden contraption called a “tikra sekni” which is a small flat thick round disc of wood with a wooden handle sticking out. That makes the shallow frying of parathas much easier and more even. But you can do fine without it too, as most do.
- Top with a dollop of butter (optional) and serve hot and crisp with some raita, pickle, tangy tomato chutney, coriander & mint chutney or even ketchup and a nice little salad.
- Many also carry it along for picnics or journeys as it tastes nice cold too, along with some masala chai.