1 medium cauliflower, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh hot green chile
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
6 to 8 tablespoon ghee
Dough: Prepare the whole-wheat dough in the following fashion: In a small bowl,
combine the whole-wheat flour and 1/4 cup of the ghee. With your fingertips rub
the flour and fat together until they look like flakes of coarse meal. Pour 1 cup
of water over the mixture all at once, knead together vigorously, and gather the
dough into a compact ball. If the dough crumbles, add up to 2 cups more water, 1/4
cup at a time, until the particles adhere. On a lightly floured surface, knead the
dough by folding it end to end, then pressing it down and pushing it forward several
times with the heel of your hand. Repeat for 7 or 8 minutes, until the dough is
smooth and elastic. Again gather it into a ball. Place the dough in a bowl, drape
a kitchen towel over the top, and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30
minutes before rolling it.
Cauliflower Filling: Meanwhile, in a heavy 10 to 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons
of ghee over high heat until a drop of water flicked into it splutters instantly.
Stir in the ginger and garlic, then the onions. Lower the heat to moderate and,
stirring constantly, fry the mixture for 7 or 8 minutes, until the onions are soft
and golden brown. Watch carefully for any sign of burning and regulate the heat
accordingly. Stir in the turmeric, red pepper, cauliflower, chili, cumin and salt.
Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and cook for 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower
is tender but still slightly resistant to the bite.
To make the parathas, divide the cauliflower mixture into 9 equal portions. Divide
the dough also into 9 portions and drape a dampened kitchen towel over them to keep
the dough moist. One at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll a ball of dough
into a round about 5 inches in diameter. Place a portion of the filling mixture
in the center of the round and fold the edges over it, pressing them together to
enclose the filling securely. Pat the filled paratha flat with your hands, then
gently roll it again to make a round about 5 inches in diameter. As you shape and
fill the parathas, set them aside, covered with a dampened kitchen towel to keep
them from drying out.
Heat an ungreased 10- to 12-inch skillet with a nonstick finish or a well-seasoned
cast-iron skillet or griddle until it is hot enough for a drop of water flicked
into it to splutter instantly. Place one of the parathas in the pan and, moving
it about constantly with your fingers or the edge of a metal spatula, cook for a
minute or so. With a wide spatula, turn the paratha over and brush about a teaspoon
of the ghee on the top. Cook for 2 minutes, then turn it over, spread with another
teaspoon of ghee and cook for I minute. Turning frequently, continue to cook until
the paratha is brown on both sides.
Serve the parathas warm, as a mealtime bread. They are traditionally accompanied
by plain yoghurt or any rayta.
Makes nine 5-inch breads.
Parathas may be cooked ahead and reheated in a hot
ungreased skillet for a minute or so on each side.