Wednesday, January 30, 2008

JFI - Onions

Onions are amongst my all-time favourite veggies. I can't imagine a meal without onions in some form, and the ten days of Dussehra when mom used to cook sans onions and garlic were a form of purgatory. I bung them into almost anything except dessert and who knows, someday I might be tempted to create some form of dessert using onions.

What is interesting is the variants that abound, from chives to spring onions to leeks to half a dozen variants of onions that I know of, including plain white ones which I use to make this soup or red onions for the famous French Onion Soup or Hyderabadi Dahi Vadas which stars another favourite root veg - garlic. Each variant has a special use - from spring onions which we use for Jhunka to roast or baked leeks which taste fabulous with a cheesy sauce and a bread-crumb topping to sambar onions used for (you guessed it) sambar which taste fabulous with idlis. There are also some yummy onion chutneys around, notably the one served by Sagar Ratna, the South Indian fast-food chain in Delhi.

So when faced with the JFI theme for February, I was in a quandary as to what I could make that would be special enough, and then I remembered our winter special of Rajasthani Parathas. These are delicious parathas with onions as one of the key ingredients. You can make the stuffing and store it ahead of time and just pull it out whenever the mood strikes. We usually have these parathas with plain old dahi or Tzatziki, and that's more than enough to complement them.

Rajasthani Parathas
1-2 cups besan (chickpea flour)
3-4 onions, chopped really fine
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander powder
2-3 tsp chilli powder ( to taste)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp veg oil
Wheat flour
1 tbsp oil
Pinch of salt
Water for kneading

Oil for cooking the parathas

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok. Add the cumin and coriander. When toasted, add in the onions and slowly fry them on mid-high heat until they are crisp. Keep aside. in the same wok, put in the besan and roast until it gives off that nice, warm smell. Mix the besan with the onions, chilli powder and salt and store it in a dry jar until you are making the parathas.

Knead the Paratha dough - it should be smooth and not stick to the fingers. Roll out a roughly 6-7 inch diameter paratha and put a heaped tbsp or two of the filling. Fold the paratha over the filling and roll it out again. The parathas should be about 2 mm thick.

Cook on a tawa/ cast iron griddle with a bit of oil until the parathas are a warm beige colour with brown spots on both sides. They will be crisp, like papad. Enjoy hot with dahi and retire for a well-earned nap!

(Photos will follow)


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Mona said...

Hi! These parathas sound yummy, never had an of these kind.. Will sure give it a try. Thnx for sharing !!

Pelicano said...

These sound absolutely delicious; I have never heard of such a filling using besan in this manner, but, knowing my paratha-passion, I am sure that I will be trying these soon enough! Thanks for sharing.

Aparna said...

This paratha is new to me. Sounds like a paratha and khanda besan in one. Will definitely try this one.
Btw, what is Tzatziki?

bird's eye view said...

Mona, these are fabulous for the winter and as food to carry along while traveling. Do let me know how they turn out.

Pelicano, I got the recipe from my BFF who's from Rajasthan. Hope you enjoy them - I will post up a picture sometime today.

Aparna, what's a khanda-besan? Tzatziki is a greek dip typically made of chopped cucumber in garlic-infused hung curds. My recipe is somewhere on my blogsite - in a post called one dish meals.

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

Adding besan to the paratha filling sounds new to me... Will certainly try it out sometime. Thanx!

MrsPresley said...

these look delicious!

i just joined the DB this month too, just checking out everyone else's blogs, wanted to say hello :)

bird's eye view said...


You're welcome and I look forward to trying out the menaskai - it looked so delicious.

Mrs. Presley,

Do try these - they're yummy. BTW, doesn't the DB challenge for Feb sound really challenging? I'm good with cakes and cookies but have never tried bread - have you?