Just like Bread is a staple breakfast fare for people in the US, many Indian households rely on Parathas for a healthy, nutritious and filling start to the day. However, these flatbreads, generally stuffed with different kinds of ingredients like Paneer, Potatoes, Lentils, Radish, Spinach or any other vegetables, are so versatile that they can be perfect for Lunch or Dinner, whether served with a curry, or with a simple glass of Masala Chai, or even plain Yogurt!
The Hara Bhara Paneer Paratha that you see below, recipe & photo courtesy of Chef In You, is a combination of taste and nutrition. Paneer is a very healthy kind of Indian cheese, similar to ricotta, and it lends a rich yet tasty flavor to any recipe that it goes into. The Paneer and Peas combination is a known favorite, and the finely chopped onions lend a lovely spicy flavor to the Stuffed Paratha. And be sure to check out the kid-friendly tip at the end of this post – its a great way to get some nutrition into their bodies!
Hara Bhara Paneer Paratha
For the Stuffing
2 cups Paneer, grated
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (if using fresh, boil/steam it until soft)
2-3 green chillies, sliced thinly ( or as per taste)
1 small red onion, chopped finely (or grated)
1/2 tsp daniya-jeera powder (coriander-cumin powder)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
salt to taste
For the Paratha (or covering)
1-1/2 cups wheat flour ( plus some for dusting)
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour ( or replace it with wheat flour)
1 tsp ghee (optional. You can use vegetable oil/butter or completely skip)
salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing, Mash it all well so the peas are mashed too, and do not pop out when you roll the parathas.
Mix all the ingredients for the Parathas. Add water, a little at a time and knead the dough till it all comes together. Use some flour for dusting if it becomes too sticky. Cover with a lid or damp cloth and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Now divide the dough into small balls. Do the same with the stuffing, making smaller balls. You can even use a melon scooper instead to just stuff the filling into the parathas. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a small circle. Then out the stuffing in the center. Lift the sides of the rolled dough all around the stuffing, covering it completely. Then take the ball in your hands and roll it to make a smooth ball, and flatten it between your palms.
Take some flour and dust the counter-top. Then gingerly roll the paratha with gentle and even pressure, to make a circle, about 1/4 inch thick, and 5-6 inches in diameter.
You can roll out all Parathas this way, and stack them on a plate, interlined with butter paper (or parchment paper) so they don’t stick to each other.
Now heat a griddle, drizzle some oil on it. Then cook each paratha individually for 2-3 min or until the bottom has browned. Flip it over, drizzle some more ghee on it and cook on the other side. Remove from flame and allow to cool on a plate.
You can serve these Garama-garam Paneer Parathas with some Mint & Cilantro Raita, or any other Indian curry that you like. They also make for a really healthy and filling breakfast, and are perfect nutrition for your kids.
Kid-Friendly Recipe Tip: Layer the Paneer Paratha with some spreadable cream cheese and roll it into a wrap. Or cut each paratha into smaller circles using a cookie-cutter, and layer two cookies, one over the other, with some cheese inside to make Paratha-Cheese sandwiches. Your kids will love the mini sandwiches, and you’ll feel happy about feeding them something healthy!