Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chawal ka Paratha- Reliving Childhood.

I have been told that kids should learn to eat everything. And that offering them with a choice is spoiling them for life. But believe me, if catering to foodie likes and dislikes is spoiling, then I was a thoroughly spoilt brat as a kid! And I changed when I grew up (not all, but quite a bit!)….

For many of my growing up years, I refused to eat roti. Eaten the traditional way, it got my hands dirty, food got under my fingernails, and I complained about smelly food fingers after lunch at school. I’d only eat whatever I could with a spoon. That pretty much made rice or sandwiches the only option for school. I wasn’t ready to even consider anything else. Then one day, my mom packed my school lunch with stuffed parathas, filled with rice – with the reasoning that she was still giving me rice - and I got a new food to love for life!

Recently, a post in another food forum reminded me of these innovative stuffed parathas from my childhood. This is why I thought of trying them out on my daughters. Needless to say, Anya loved them; Baby P wouldn't commit to her like (or dislike), and I gobbled up this forgotten and rediscovered, all-time favorite as soon as it came off the stove! The good thing about these parathas is that they are an easy and refreshing option to use up your leftover rice- in any form. Just make these parathas, and with dahi, you have a full meal in minutes! 

(Flatbread stuffed with seasoned rice)

For the filling:
Boiled rice (I used long grained Basmati) 1/2 cup
Roasted cumin powder 1tsp
Salt 1tsp
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp

Optional (to taste):
Amchoor powder
Garam Masala
Green chillies chopped
Cilathro chopped
Grated ginger.

Dough for paratha as you make it, or see here

Oil to shallow fry the parathas.

To make the filling:
  1. Mix all the ingredients listed under the filling and optional tabs. mix well, slightly mash the rice with the back of a spoon.
  • My kids prefer spice to be mild, so you may have to adjust the seasonings and spices to your taste.
To make the paratha:
  1. Make parathas as you normally would and stuff them with 1 - 1.5 Tbsp of rice filling. 
  2. Shallow fry your parathas with oil.
  3. Serve hot with pickles and dahi!
  • If you need instructions on rolling and filling these parathas, follow this link to a previous post on Gobhi ka paratha.
My two cents: In my mind (and a lot of it is based on my own upbringing), food should be savored and enjoyed. I could never force my kids to eat something they totally despise. I like to see them gather around the family meal, and get excited with what they are served. I cajole, and reprimand like any other mom; but mostly I just provide them with a “happier” option so long as they “at least taste what they don’t like”. More often than not, I have seen a favorite dish carry a not-so-well-liked side along with it. Paneer dishes make carrots or leafy vegetables disappear in our plates, without the tears. Some of the lentils they don’t like with roti can be made more palatable when rice is an option- after they finish their roti though! And of course- sneakiness comes with being in the mom territory. I hide, and blend without guilt, in a hope that one day they will grow up; and grow out of this pickiness. Till then, my job is to nourish their bodies with love and food they actually like. To me, it’s all worth it when they come back and say “if you make me eat Spinach, can I get a chawal ka paratha to go with it, please? “ Nothing wrong in obliging, methinks! :-)

And my mom's chawal-ka-paratha is one more thing that has been tried and approved by two generations now!! This recipe is linked to Come join Us for Breakfast event at Cooking 4 all seasons