Since my childhood revolved around the Northern part of India,I was exposed to primarily North Indian,Punjabi and Bengali cuisines while the South Indian cuisine (the culture I belong to) was relegated to an occasional luxury the prime menu for lunch and dinner was Roti,subzi,dal and rice unlike rice,Sambar and coconut based vegetables which is so exclusive to South India!I loved each one of the Northern cuisines and was especially besotted by the variety of Parathas they had.
A Paratha means a kind of bread which is yeast free,kneaded with oil and spices,rolled out like a flatbread,stuffed with a filling (anywhere from mashed vegetables,seasoned lentil flour,cottage cheese or plain herbs)and cooked on a griddle with a spoonful of oil till golden brown spots form on both the sides.The Capital of India New Delhi has a complete street dedicated to Parathas in the very busy Chandni Chowk area called Parathe wali Gali ,(Gali means a narrow street).
THE EVOLUTION OF READYMADE AATA (WHEAT FLOUR)
In my childhood I saw my parents and grandparents struggle with procuring whole wheat flour for making Indian breads like Rotis and Parathas.Wheat grains would be bought by the kilo and carefully sorted to pick out any stray stones (they were minuscule but when ground with the wheat had power to loosen your teeth(or a single tooth if the stone wanted to be a little kind) while eating!Then they were kept in the hot sun for 1 – 2 days and carefully poured into a big cloth bag which was then lugged to the flour mill.
There were miniature flour mills then (called Atta Chakki) as the millers bought or rented out individual shops and kept the milling machines inside and the ruckus could be heard 20 feet away.They took the bag of carefully prepared wheat and ground it to a fine flour which was then refilled in the bag and handed over to us.The person who collected the bag again puffed and panted as they lugged the bag back home.This was the story behind the people having their daily bread for almost 35 years after Indian Independence!
Then came the home Atta Chakki where there was a 2 feet machine which reduced not only wheat but also masalas like red chillies,turmeric and raw mango to superfine powders but not everybody could afford it and it quickly went out of stock.After that came a revolution when companies decided that the population had suffered enough and came up with a novel idea!They procured wheat grains by the quintals,cleaned them,ground them into the softest wheat flour possible and started selling them!This was such a welcome change that there was no looking back!Everyone wanted readymade wheat flour and everyone embraced the change with as much relief as a farmer gets when he sees black rain clouds hovering over his fields!Gradually more brands came up and in a decade’s time only the best brands ruled the market.The people knew how to diffentiate between the best and the “not so good” and the latter brands were chucked out!
As the years passed and sedentary life became the norm with people getting diseases like Diabetes,Hypertension and Gluten Intolerance,the companies came up with Multigrain flours which were an amalgamation of fibre rich ingredients which benefitted the above mentioned patients and also promoted a healthier lifestyle.ITC Limited which is an Indian Conglomerate headquartered in the Capital city of the State of West Bengal – Kolkata began manufacturing an absolute wow multigrain flour under the name – Aashirvaad. They have plain wheat flours as well which are equally high in quality but their multigrain flour surpasses in quality and the ingredients added to it on the basis of quality and taste!
Paratha made with Multigrain Wheat Flour (look at the lovely colour)!
Aashirvaad Aata with Multigrains has the following ingredients :
- Wheat Flour made of quality Wheat grains
- Soya Flour
- Channa Flour (chickpea flour)
- Oat Flour
- Maize Flour
- Psyllium Husk – which is so beneficial for people with colic,constipation,irritable bowel syndrome and gluten intolerance.
Courtesy Food Bloggers’ Association of India (FBAI) I was given a hamper of Aashirvaad Aata with Multigrains which is one of the best flours found in the Indian market.I was already using the product and was happy and surprised to get a lovely hamper containing quality ITC products.Here is a snap of the beautifully packaged hamper :
In the hamper were :
2 1kg packs of Aashirvaad Aata with Multigrains
1 Aashirvaad Ready Meals Dal Tadka
1 Paneer Malai Ready to Serve from Kitchens of India which is also a brand of ITC
Pleased to receive this I made the very first blogpost for ITC which I wish to share with everyone.I made Pudina Laccha Paratha which was too delicious for words.Laccha Paratha is commonly made with maida(all purpose flour) and cannot be had by diabetics or people suffer from disorders of the gut.This paratha incorporates Aashirvaad Multigrain Aata in a delicious avatar which can be had without any inconvinience.I served it with the Paneer Malai!
Pudina Laccha Paratha…
People who suffer from colic diseases and disorders of the gut must consult their doctor before having any kind of flour!It will serve as a second opinion and prevent unseen issues.
Adapted from a Sanjeev Kapoor Recipe
Preparation Time : 1 hour
Makes : 6 Laccha Parathas
2 cups of Aashirvaad Aata with Multigrains
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
2 tbsp Oil plus 1/2 cup
1 cup Mint Leaves
1 tbsp chaat masala powder
1/4 cup butter
Prepare the mint powder :
Take 3/4 cup of Mint Leaves in a pan and dry roast till they crisp up.It would take 8 – 10 minutes.If the noise changes to a crackling sound of dry leaves the leaves are done.Cool to room temperature and put them in a coffee/dry grinder.Add the chaat masala and whizz to a fine powder.Keep aside.
Knead the dough :
Chop the remaining 1/4 cup Mint leaves very finely.Add Aashirvaad Aata with Multigrains in a large bowl or a parrat and add salt,carom seeds and oil.Mix well and add enough water to bind to a semi-tight dough.After kneading take some oin on your fingers and pat the dough so that the Oil coats the dough evenly.Keep aside covered for 30 minutes.
Take out the butter on a plate or bowl and soften it till you start making the Parathas.
Make the Parathas :
Place a tava (griddle) on medium heat.Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and make balls.Flatten them as well.Sprinkle the countertop with 1 tbsp Aashirvaad Aata with Multigrains.Take a ball and roll into a roundel roughly 7 inches in diameter.With a brush or the back of a spoon,apply the softened butter on the roundel.
Then make into a fan shape by pleating the roundel (like a sari) on one side then the other till it forms a long pleated roll.Start folding from one end and roll back into a beautiful rose shaped ball.Flatten it and roll into a roundel again where you will see the layers where the spirals formed while you made the fan.
Place the roundel on the tava and cook for 1 minute till you see golden brown spots form on the cooking side.Turn it over and spoon 1 tbsp oil on top while letting the other side cook.Flip it again and add 1 tbsp oil after which you will cook both sides till lovely and deep golden brown.Remove to a plate.
Make all the Parathas this way.
Serve the Parathas :
While serving butter one side of theParathas.Sprinkle the prepared Mint Leaves – Chaat Masala on top and spread so that the powder sticks to the Parathas.Serve warm with any chutney,yogurt,pickle or like I did with Paneer Malai Ready to Serve by ITC!
Stay healthy,stay happy!
Served with Paneer Malai Ready to Serve by ITC