Remember the brown rice, the gai-lan and the lentils I cooked a few days ago? Well, so last evening I got this bright idea of utilizing all these leftovers and transforming them into something outstanding.
So I took a few cups of wheat flour in a big mixing bowl and yep, I am sure that you smart readers know exactly where I was going with this. I added the leftover gai-lan, the lentils as well as the brown rice into that flour and mixed it all up. Also added a teaspoon of ajwain seeds and some EVOO. Kneaded the dough with some extra water until nice and smooth. And done! The parantha (also spelled paratha) dough was ready!
A parantha is a flat bread made in India. The most popular kind of parantha is aaloo ka parantha, i.e. flat bread stuffed with mashed potato. It is simply superb! But paranthas can be made with pretty much everything. They can even be made with minced meat. Wikipedia spells it as Paratha and has a decent explanation, if you want to know more..........
I like to add ajwain seeds to parantha dough because I like the slight bitter taste and the aroma it imparts. It is almost like thyme, just a tad bit more pungent, maybe...... anyway, supposedly very good for digestion.
I got my pan heating and made individual dough balls, about 1-2 inches in diameter and rolled them out, one by one, into 6-8 inch diameter "pizza bases" (didn't know how else to put this in words). Cooked them one by one. It is a very tedious job, especially if you are not used to doing this on a regular basis, as with anything. Also, could be messy with all that dough, dry flour (to prevent the kneaded dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the base) and the oil. It could be frustrating too at times, especially if the paranthas end up looking like maps rather than perfect circles! But one has to be patient. And hey, it is all worth it in the end!
The paranthas were a hit with my family. We had them with some peas and Indian cottage cheese on the side. These can be eaten with plain yogurt too. Plain old tomato ketchup will work too.
I was successful in transforming leftovers, that otherwise would have probably ended up in the garbage disposal, into something outstanding and delicious. Mission accomplished!