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A Tempting Fusion of Cuisines and the Birth of Gajar-Chhena Paratha With Its Recipe and Nutritional Value

Updated on June 15, 2020
Abhipsa Biswal profile image

Abhipsa likes to share her recipes and she loves her traditional cuisine.

Indian cuisine is the fusion of various geographies, cultures, traditions, and religions. It not only connects people belonging to different states but also joins the people of other countries to the richness of its taste, texture, and colors.


While the origin of some of the recipes can be traced to the villages termed as the 'heart' of the country, some others came to the plates through the history of spice trade and colonialism.


A day, in India, is incomplete without a scrumptious meal followed by a sweet dessert. The meal consists of rice and flour as the staple food; healthy vegetable curries with a mix of spices to add flavor and a bowl of curd or pickle as the side dish of the plate. The dessert often consists of a luscious cup of 'kheer', 'gulab jamun', etc.







I love Indian food - it's my favourite cuisine. I love the mixture of spices and the subtle flavours. It's really erotic; the spices are so sensuous.

— Joe Perry

Let's have a look at one such famous dish in India subcontinent made of wheat flour, 'paratha'.

Gajar- Chhena paratha served with curd
Gajar- Chhena paratha served with curd

Blend of Carrot (Gajar) and Paratha in India

Originated in present-day Iran, carrots are elegant with its bright orange color and are rich in nutrients. It makes its way from havij polo (Persian dish) to Qabuli Pulao in Afghanistan and from there to gajar halwa and gajar paratha in India.


The stuffing of the gajar inside buttery paratha makes the meal a full-fledged yummy dish.


In this recipe, I have added cottage cheese with gajar as the stuffing to make it more healthy and wholesome.


Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 55 min
Yields: Serves 3-4 people, 12 nos of paratha

Measuring vessels: 1 teaspoon (tsp), 1 tablespoon (tbsp), 1 cup (350 ml)

Measuring utensils
Measuring utensils

Ingredients

For making cottage cheese or chhena:

  • 500 milliliters milk
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

For making gajar masala:

  • 1 tablespoon refined oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (adrak), mashed
  • 2 nos green chili, chopped
  • 3 medium size carrot, grated
  • as per taste salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, optional

For paratha:

  • 2.5 cups wheat flour, for 12 medium parathas
  • as per taste salt
  • 1 tablespoon refined oil, for kneading
  • as per needed water
Ingredients
Ingredients
Spices used for stuffing
Spices used for stuffing

Instructions

1) For making chhena:

i. Heat milk in a saucepan on medium flame. Stir it occasionally.

Milk boiling on medium flame
Milk boiling on medium flame

ii. Once it boils and a thin layer forms, reduce the flame to low and stir it.

Formation of milk skin
Formation of milk skin

iii. Put 1 tbsp of vinegar while stirring continuously. The milk starts to curdle. Add 1 tbsp more and keep stirring it.

iv. Turn off the flame.

Addition of vinegar
Addition of vinegar
Curdling of milk
Curdling of milk

v. You will notice water separating while curdling the milk.

Formation of chhena and whey
Formation of chhena and whey

vi. Take a sieve and separate the whey from cheese.

vii. Keep it aside.

Separation of whey from cottage cheese
Separation of whey from cottage cheese

2) For kneading dough of paratha:

i. Take a bowl and put flour, salt and 1 tbsp oil in it.

Oil and salt added to flour
Oil and salt added to flour

ii. Mix the oil with the flour evenly for 1 minute.

iii. Add water in small amounts and knead the flour.

Kneading of dough
Kneading of dough

iv. Repeat step iii until you get a soft dough.

Soft dough
Soft dough

v. Cover the bowl and keep it aside for 10-20 minutes as it will make the dough more fluffy and soft.

Covering the  dough with a plate
Covering the dough with a plate

3) For making gajar masala:

i. Heat a kadhai or wok and add 1 tbsp of oil.

ii. When the oil heats, add cumin seeds and keep the flame in low.

iii. Add ginger. Sauté for 1 minute, and then add green chili.

Cumin seeds, ginger and green chili added to oil
Cumin seeds, ginger and green chili added to oil

iv. Add the grated carrots and salt.

Salt added to carrot on wok
Salt added to carrot on wok

v. Cover the wok for 3-4 minutes. Open the lid and stir it.

vi. Cover it again for 4-5 minutes.

Wok covered with a plate
Wok covered with a plate

vii. Open the cover and add dry mango powder, red chili powder, and coriander powder.

Spices added to the carrot stuffing
Spices added to the carrot stuffing

viii. Mix the masalas and add chhena to it. Mix them and keep aside for 10-15 minutes for cooling.

Cottage cheese added to the stuffing
Cottage cheese added to the stuffing
Gajar-chhena stuffing
Gajar-chhena stuffing

4) For making paratha:

i. Open the cover of the bowl and knead it once again.

Kneading the dough after removing cover
Kneading the dough after removing cover

ii. Divide the dough into equal size balls and cover it to keep them moist.

iii. Take one ball and roll it with your palms to make it smooth. Then press it using fingers.

Medium sized ball made from dough
Medium sized ball made from dough
Pressing the ball
Pressing the ball

iv. Start rolling the ball after dipping it on dry flour.

Rolling the ball using rolling pin
Rolling the ball using rolling pin

v. Keep it a little thick so that it holds the stuffing nicely.

vi. Grease little oil on the front side of the flatbread.

Oil greased on the roti
Oil greased on the roti

vii. Add the stuffing at the center and start making pleats by joining the sides.

viii. Join the pleats at the center and press it.

Stuffing put in the center
Stuffing put in the center
Pressing sides of the paratha
Pressing sides of the paratha
Making pleats
Making pleats
Pleats centered at middle
Pleats centered at middle
Pressing the stuffed ball
Pressing the stuffed ball

ix. Add flour and roll it.

Rolling the paratha
Rolling the paratha
Paratha ready to toast
Paratha ready to toast

5) For toasting the paratha:

i. Heat a pan on high flame.

ii. Put the paratha on it. After 1 minute flip it.

Toasting the paratha on pan
Toasting the paratha on pan

iii. Grease oil on both the sides and toast it on high flame until it turns golden brown color.

Oil applied on the paratha
Oil applied on the paratha

6) Serving:

Add little cubes of butter on paratha and serve it hot with curd, raita, pickle, or any sauce of your taste.

Delicious Gajar-Chhena paratha served with butter and curd
Delicious Gajar-Chhena paratha served with butter and curd

TIPS

  • If the dough gets sticky, try adding flour in a small amount and kneading it again.
  • Do not forget to cover the dough with a lid or moist cloth while rolling parathas as it retains the moisture in it.
  • You can make it healthier by not adding butter or oil while toasting it on the pan.
  • It can be made tastier by adding 1 cup of refined flour (maida) with 1.5 cups of wheat flour. But maida is not good for health as it increases the bad cholesterol in our body.
  • For the people with allergy from cottage cheese or dairy products, they can only add carrot as the stuffing inside the parathas.

Nutritional Value

  • Carrot, the main ingredient of the recipe is rich in Vitamin A and potassium. It is good for diabetic patients as it has a low glycemic index. It improves vision as well.
  • Cottage cheese or chhena is an excellent source of protein and calcium. It can be consumed daily for weight loss and is also beneficial for people with diabetes and cholesterol.
  • The yellowish water or whey that is strained while making cottage cheese is highly beneficial to improve immunity and prevent diseases like cancer. It also prevents heart attacks and promotes digestion.
  • Fiber is the major nutrient that we can get from wheat flour which aids in digestion as well.

Conclusion

Indian food may seem to be unhealthy for a lot of people. But if fresh vegetables along with whole spices and healthy ingredients are used for cooking, the dish proves to be a nutrient package. With lip-smacking taste and appealing colors, the food attracts everyone from every corner of the world.


So try cooking mouth-watering parathas and please let me know your views about Indian cuisine.

© 2020 Abhipsa Biswal

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