About this dish
Paranthas are Indian flatbreads that are either stuffed, layered or have some spices, vegetables, lentils or herbs kneaded into the dough. In this recipe, we use the same techniques used to prepare methi (fenugreek leaves) paranthas but with a local twist. We found it quite challenging to find fresh methi leaves here in Berlin so we decided to make paranthas with Bärlauch. Also known as Wild Garlic, Bärlauch is a wild relative of chives and is native to Europe and parts of Asia. Picking this wild herb in the woods is a popular activity among Germans during early spring (between April and May) that even has its own name - Bärlauchsammeln. The most popular things to do with Bärlauch is to make pesto but we decided to experiment and give this herb an Indian twist with these Bärlauch Paranthas. Think is these as India's delicious answer to the popular chive pancakes.
You can of course make these Paranthas with any herb you like, methi (fenugreek leaves) are the most traditional, but you can also follow the same procedure and wilt spinach leaves, coriander or any other tender leafy greens. In addition to the herbs, we also use dal to bring together the dough for these paranthas. Back home my mother often made paranthas with leftover dal which results in a softer, tastier and more nutritious parantha. In case you don't have leftover dal in your fridge, in our video, we show you how you can make a small portion just for making these paranthas.
These paranthas are delicious and certainly much easier to make than stuffed paranthas. Once you've got the hang of making these you can experiment with different dals and vegetables to make your own variations. When served with plain yoghurt and achaar, they make a perfect brunch.
- 200g* wild garlic (or any other herb)
- 200g + approx. 80g for kneading and rolling aata or 1050 wheat flour
- 65g or 1/3 cup | 280g cooked masoor dal
- 60g or 1 small red onion
- 1-2 green chillies (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ajwain
- 1 tsp or 4g salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp + 2 tbsp more for folding and cooking ghee or butter
Dal - If you don't have leftover dal then wash 1/3 cup of masoor dal till the water runs clear and soak for 30 minutes. Drain the soaking liquid and boil the dal with 1 cup of water for 20 minutes or till it's soft and cooked through. Set aside to cool.
Greens - Add your Bärlauch (or whatever herb you're using) to a kadhai or deep pot with a lid and wilt the leaves on low heat till they reduce in size. Don't overcook the greens. Set aside to cool. Once cooled squeeze out the excess liquids from the greens and chop them finely.
Vegetables - Finely chop the onions and de-seed and chop the green chilies
- In a large bowl, add the aata, salt, ajwain and ghee. Rub the ghee into the dough with your fingers and mix well till everything is combined.
- Then add the vegetables and greens and mix them till they are well incorporated into the dough. Finally add the dal and knead the dough till it roughly comes together.
- Then cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set the dough aside to autolyse for 15 minutes. This will help the flour to absorb the liquids from the dal and will make it easier to work the dough later on.
- Move the dough to a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes adding more flour as needed till the dough is soft but no longer sticky. Rest the dough for another 10-15 minutes.
- Form the dough into 8 roughly equal sized balls.
- Take one dough ball and press it down into a disc, then dip the disc in flour to ensure that it's well coated on both sides.
- Roll the dough ball into a disc adding more flour to the work surface if needed.
- Apply a thin layer of ghee to half of the disc and then fold in half. Then apply another thin layer of ghee to a quarter of the disc and fold in half again so you have a triangular shaped piece of dough.
- Dip the triangular dough in flour so it's well floured on both sides and roll it out evenly into a triangle of less than 1/2 cm thickness.
- Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls to roll our 8 paranthas.
- Head a pan (ideally cast iron) on medium-high heat (no need to oil the pan). Dust off the excess flour from the parantha and add it to the hot pan.
- Flip after 30-seconds to a minute once the surface starts to brown and blister. Then apply a thin layer of ghee to the cooked side of the parantha.
- Flip again and apply ghee to the other side. One final flip and the parantha should be brown on both sides and slightly crispy.
You are going to cook each side of the parantha twice - first without ghee and then after applying a thin later of ghee to the parantha. Don't add ghee to the pan directly.
- Keep the cooked paranthas warm between some kitchen towels while you prepare the rest of the paranthas. This also keeps them from drying out and becoming hard.
Enjoy the paranthas when they are warm together with some yoghurt and your favourite achaar.
*Bärlauch: We have used Wild Garlic as the main herb in this recipe but this isn't conventional by any means, so feel free to switch it up and use any other herby green that you like such as fenugreek leaves, coriander, dill or even spinach. You can follow the same process of wilting the herbs and adding them to the parantha though as mentioned above.