Gobi Paratha (Whole Wheat & Cauliflower Flatbread)

Every once in a while (especially after I am back after a break) I ask the followers on my Facebook page what kind of recipe they would like to see next on the blog. Among the options they had, 'breakfast' drew in the maximum number of votes. As expected, it was also a category I hadn't posted in for ages. It is also one of my favourite categories but since I was on a standard diet breakfast for a few months to help reduce my post delivery weight gain, I hadn't been experimenting a lot with new breakfast recipes. Why 'months' for a diet you may wonder. Well, I don't believe in crash dieting at all and the fancy/fad diets are not for me. I believe in eating everything in moderation and yeah, healthy as much as possible. But being a big foodie and one that tries out a ton of recipes it is hard to go on a completely strict diet. This is something that I have now overcome and can bring my mind to eat in reduced portions as exercise is hard to come by. Anyway, before I bore you with my diet stories I must come to this recipe. Since I still am a diehard breakfast person I was looking for recipes to make use of the cauliflower that I had in my fridge for over a week. I randomly found it in the collection of recipes by Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi and since I have lately started enjoying his recipes and tips I decided to give this one a try. 

The ingredients seemed all too simple so it wasn't a hard decision to try it out. However, I noticed that unlike other recipes, this one called for grated and lightly steamed cauliflower instead of a mushy paste. Another ingredient was the coriander seeds that are lightly fried in oil - they impart such a wonderful flavour to the parathas. The filling that was prepared was delicious too! I enjoyed munching on some before stuffing it into the dough. 

I have many fond memories of eating fresh, piping hot parathas with dollops of ghee at the company owned guest house when I used to visit Bangalore on work many years ago. The cook there would dole out endless stuffed parathas which we (my colleagues and I) would stuff ourselves with. They were so delicious that we never realised how many we had eaten until we could stuff ourselves no more. The calories too, went unnoticed until much later when they showed up on our waistlines! Anyway, it is something we never regretted then and even to this day I believe that good, wholesome food can never be said no to no matter how rich and calorie dense they may look - especially if you indulge in them occasionally! 

I do hope you try these parathas and enjoy them too - just as immensely as we did!

Gobi Paratha (Whole Wheat & Cauliflower Flatbread)
Prep time: 15-20 mins | Cook time: 10-12 mins | Yield 8-9 medium sized parathas

For the dough

For the filling:
1. To make the dough, place the flour in a wide based bowl and add the oil and salt. Rub the mixture together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then add water part by part and mix until you are able to form a dough. Knead using the heel of your palm until you get a soft, pliable dough. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and keep aside for 15-20 mins or until required.
2. Break the cauliflower into large florets and soak them in plenty of water to which vinegar & salt has been added. Keep aside for 15-20 mins and then discard the water, rinse a couple of times.
3. Holding the stems of the florets firmly, grate the florets finely using a cheese grater. We need just the upper portion of the cauliflowers and not the stems. Don't throw away the stems - you can use them to flavour soups or saute them into a side dish
4. To make the filling, heat ghee or oil in a wide based kadhai/frying pan and toss in the coriander seeds and carom seeds/ajwain. Fry on a low heat for a few seconds till they turn aromatic.
5. Next, add the chopped ginger and the grated cauliflower and mix well. Toss in the powders - turmeric, red chilli powder, amchur powder and salt to taste and mix everything well on a medium heat - do not overcook the cauliflower.
6. Add the chopped coriander and mint and mix and remove from heat. Let the mixture cool for a bit so that you can work with the filling easily.
7. Now pinch out lemon sized balls out of the prepared dough. Flatten each ball in the center of your palm until slightly big and place the prepared filling (about 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons) in the center leaving a space along all sides. Pull the sides together to form a bundle and press the open ends together until there is no opening left for the filling to spill out.
8. Place the dough ball on a clean working surface dusted with a little flour and roll it evenly into a paratha. Make sure that the edges are evenly rolled. While rolling, the filling may break out of the surface of the dough which is ok as it will taste good when fried.
9. You can fry the parathas as and how you roll them or make them all at once and place them on a plate separated by plastic sheets so that they don't stick to each other - choose a method that you are comfortable with.
10. Heat a flat skillet/tawa on a medium high heat and fry the parathas till golden on both sides.
11. Serve hot with ghee, curds (yogurt) or pickles.

1. To steam the cauliflower just place the florets in a steamer (or idli steamer) and steam for 7-8 minutes or until the cauliflower is al dente (90% cooked but not mushy). Steaming time may vary depending the size of the florets.
2. The addition of coriander seeds adds a charm to the paratha. I loved the flavour so I strongly recommend you to add them. 

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