Erin got me the book “Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking” for Christmas this year, and this interesting bread is the first recipe that I’ve made out of it. It is called Hara Paratha, Collard/Kale Bread. It’s a fried bread that is similar to roti in consistency. It has a spicy flavour and, of course, an exciting green colour. It uses fenugreek which is a spice that’s been in my cupboard for a while, but I hadn’t figured out how to use it. Now I know that it is an Indian spice made from dry menthi. I have been temped to purchase menthi from one of my local green grocers, because it always looks so fresh and appealing.
Do you ever do that? Buy mysterious produce from ethnic grocers just to take it home and see what you can do with it? I sure do..
Here’s how you make the bread:
- 1-1/2 c. whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 c. firmly packed blanched collard or kale greens
- 1/4 c. loosely packed coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp. dry fenugreek leaves (kassori methi, optional)
- 4 hot green chilis or 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
- 1/2 c. warm water
- 1/2 c. light vegetable oil
Put the flour, greens, coriander, fenugreek, chilis, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process, pulsing nine to ten times, and then letting the machine run for 30 seconds. Then, with the machine running, gradually add the water through the feed tube just until the mixture forms a ball, and then process for 30 sec. more to knead the dough. Alternately, hand mince and kneed the dough.
By hand, kneed 2 tsp. oil into the dough. Shape it into an 8″ cylinder and cut into 8 equal pieces.
Shape a piece of dough into a ball and roll into a 5″ round, dusting often with flour to prevent sticking. Brush the top lightly with oil to within 1/2″ of the edge and fold the round in half. Brush the top of the semicircle with oil and fold in half again. Dusting often with flour, rotate the bread and gently roll from the center toward the points until the sides are 6 inches long. Repeat for the remaining dough. Do not stack the breads.
Heat a cast iron griddle over medium-high heat. Place one bread in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until the underside is lightly speckled. Brush some oil onto the uncooked side, and flip, cooking for 1-1/2 min. more. Brush the second side with oil, flip once more, and fry for another 1-1/2 min. Repeat for the remaining breads.
For the soup, I adapted Erin’s Calo Verde, using home-made vegetable stock and a couple cloves of minced garlic in lieu of sausage.