Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Square Paratha

Asalam Alaikum,

After roti, another important bread is paratha. It is often eaten for nashta(breakfast) with chai(tea). In our house we usually have square paratha because it takes less time to make than a round paratha(saving time is important when cooking breakfast for 11!). Usually I make breakfast for the house because everyone says my paratha are "Zabardast"!

Many of the steps to make roti are the same steps you follow for paratha, and the only additional tools you will need are a small bowl of cooking oil, and a spoon. We will start our paratha from step 10 of making roti-

Step 1(of paratha)-
Spread one spoonful of oil on your paratha, don't get closer than one inch to the edge as it can get messy.

Step 2-fold the bottom up by one third.
Step 2-Fold the top down by one third
Step 3-Fold in the left side
Step 4-Fold in the right side
Step 5-Using the tips of your fingers, flatten the paratha out a little.
Step 6-Dip it into your extra plate of flour to prevent sticking
Step 7- Roll it out to about 8-9 inches across
Step 8- When it has changed color and gotten a bit brown and lost most of its doughy look, flip.
Step 9-Spread one spoon of oil on the top side, then flip again and do the side to the other side
Step 10-Continue fliping your paratha and rotating it a little to make sure it cooks evenly, when both side look a little like this it is finished.
Step 11-Put your paratha into your Rumal(breadcloth) and fold over the corners to keep it warm while you make the rest.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bread...Roti

Asalam Alaikum,
One of the most important things of almost all Pakistani meals is the bread.
Step 1-Here are the tools that you would need to make roti-

Starting in the top left and going clockwise-a large bowl, a plate with extra flour for dusting, a tawa(like a cast iron skillet), a chimta(tongs), a chukla(like a raised cutting board), a bailen(rolling pin), and a rumal(bread cloth). You will also need two cups of atta(wheat flour), and 3/4 cup of water. It is better to use a gas stove if you are lucky enough to have one, but if you don't then its not a big deal.

Step 2 is to make the dough, put the atta and the water in the bowl and use your hands to mix.

Step 3 Knead until you get a somewhat stiff dough, it shouldn't be very dry but it shouldn't stick to your hands either.

Step 4-Divide the dough into six balls, take one in one hand and using the tips of our other finger, push the edges of the ball towards the center-

Step 5-now with the same hand hold your hand in the shape of a C move it in a circular motion. Both of these steps are important to help make a nice round shape in your bread.
Step 6-Next roll your ball in the extra flour,
Step 7-And use your hands to flatten it a bit-
Step 8-Put your dough on your chukla(board), and using your rolling pin flatten it out to about 4-5 inches across-
Step 9-If it seems like it might stick to your board you should dip it in your extra plate of flour-
Step 10-and then continue rolling until it is about 8-9 inches across.
Step 11-Pick the round up carefully and then flip it from right hand to left hand and back a few times-

This serves two purposes, one to knock off any extra flour and to to widen the circle a bit(sort of like when the pizza guys flip the dough in the movies!)

Step 12-After that you flip the dough onto your pre-heated tawa-
And if there are any wrinkles then just flatten them a bit.
Step 13-On a medium heat the bread will darken (and it won't look doughy) in about a minute, then use your chimta to flip your bread over.
On the other side your bread should look like this-
Give the second side about the same cooking time as the first side then comes a bit of a tricky part.
Step 14-Move you tawa to the side of the flame and using your chimta hold the bread over the flame. Don't leave it in one place, rotate the bread so theat the flame touches all parts of the bread. The bread should have turned mostly white with small charred spots, but with no dark dough spots. If you are using an electric stove you will skip this last step and instead use a small clean folded kitchen towel to press on the bread to help get it to cook evenly(gets rid of the dark spots that take a bit longer to cook)
Step 15-Now your bread is finished, put it inside your rumal(bread cloth, if you don't have one a clean dishtowel would work). Then fold the corners over your bread to keep it warm while you cook the rest.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Welcome to my Kitchen ..kush amdeed mere kitchen men

Asalam Alaikum,
I am an American, and my husband is Pakistani, when I was first married I wanted to cook real Pakistani food for him, so I turned to the internet. I found many recipes, but many had no picture or were not explained in enough detail for me. The first time that I made Aloo Paratha(like a flat bread with a potato filling) they turned out an inch thick, four inches wide and with almost no taste. Darling man that he is, he didn't laugh(much) and instead encouraged me to try again. Three years later I have learned a lot, mostly from my Jaytani(BILs Wife) and my Nund(my SIL). It is much easier to learn in person than just a printed recipe, so InshAllah what I hope to do on this blog is to show/explain each step as if I were standing with you in your kitchen.

Welcome, Kush Amdeed,
Allah Hafiz