Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Kabiraji Paratha (Fried bread stuffed with Potatoes and Egg)

Photo and Recipe courtesy: Dr. Debarshi Chatterji

Kabiraji means frying fish or chicken cutlets (thin slices of meat) in a batter of egg. This recipe is however, a different version of Kabiraji. You see, a few weeks ago, I asked Debarshi for some simple Alu Paratha but when he boiled the potatoes, he asked me if I would like to try something new. I said, yes! why not? and hence he came up with this recipe. 

Debarshi prepared Potatoes and Egg Paratha and named it Kabiraji. The preparation is very similar to the French Parathas but the part where we cook the eggs is different so I will recommend you to read the entire recipe before starting.

Also, once you prepare and enjoy the yummy Parathas don’t forget to use the leftover Pur (stuffing) to prepare the yummy Pakoras (fritters).

Ingredients for the Pur (stuffing):
  • Potato –1 big russet potato, cut in half
  • Salt – about 2 pinches for boiling the potatoes + ¼ teaspoon for frying the eggs + about ½ teaspoon for making the Pur
  • Eggs – 3, large
  • Oil – 2-3 teaspoons (for frying the eggs) + 4 tablespoons (for making the Pur)
  • Onion – ½ cup, finely chopped
  • Green Chilies - 2-4
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro – about ½ cup chopped
  • Cumin Powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Red Chili Powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Garam Masala – ½ teaspoon
  • Amchur – ½ teaspoon

Ingredients for the dough:
  • Whole Wheat Flour – 1 cup
  • All Purpose Flour – 1 cup
  • Salt - ½ teaspoon 
  • Oil – 4 tablespoons (to be used while kneading the dough) + plus 2-3 tablespoons for frying the Parathas

Let’s do a little prep:
  • It’s time to take out the pressure cooker. Wash the potato and put it in the pressure cooker with enough water to cover it.
  • Add 2 pinches of Salt in it.
  • Attach the rubber and the whistle on the lid and cover the cooker.
  • Heat the cooker on medium heat and wait for 2-3 whistles.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
  • Once the pressure drops and the lid opens, remove the potato from the cooker and place it in a bowl filled with ice.
  • Allow 5-10 minutes then touch cautiously to check if the potato is cool enough to handle.
  • Peel the potato (carefully certain spots may still be hot).

Let’s fry the eggs:
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2-3 teaspoons of oil in it.
  • Add the eggs in it one by one.
  • When the eggs begin to set, sprinkle the Salt (¼ teaspoon) and gently pull the eggs across the pan with an inverted spatula, forming large soft curds. Continue cooking – pulling, lifting and folding eggs – until it is thickened and no visible liquid egg remains. Do not stir constantly. 
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.

  • Keep the eggs soft, do not over fry them. See the below photo? This is how they should look.
  • Make sure you are not dropping any egg shells in the skillet. If you are having trouble, use a small bowl. Crack each egg into the bowl, check for shell fragments, then pour it into the pan. This is also a great way to make sure that we are not using any rotten eggs.

Directions for kneading the dough:
  • Add the Whole Wheat Flour, All Purpose Flour, Salt and Oil (4 tablespoons) in the bowl.
  • Give them a whir on the lowest speed until well blended.
  • Now we start the kneading, attach the hook and start the mixer on the lowest speed and slowly start adding half a cup of water in the flour. I give it time to knead and form the dough. If the sides are sticking with the bowl too much I switch off the mixer and clean the sides using a spatula.
  • I keep it running until the dough begins to come together adding a tablespoon of water at a time.
  • At this stage it will look dry, normally for 2 cups of flour 1 cup of water will be sufficient so make sure not to add too much water at this stage. Keep running the mixer.
  • Now sometimes the dough turns out a bit stickier, I usually add a little flour and keep kneading it until its smooth and almost non sticky.
  • Remove the hook and cover the bowl. Let the dough rest while we prepare the Pur (stuffing).

  • Use lukewarm water for a smooth soft dough.

Let’s prepare the Pur (Stuffing):
  • Mash the boiled potato and the egg together. You can use your hands to remove any lumps (let it cool down before using your hands).

  • Heat a wok over medium high heat.
  • Add about 4 tablespoons of Oil in it.
  • Add the Cumin Seeds and let them sputter.
  • Add the Onion and Green Chili in the wok and fry them till they are golden brown in color (caramelizing the onion ensures that it mixes well with the mashed potato and egg).
  • Add the mashed Potato and egg in it and mix well.
  • Fry the mixture for a while then start adding the spices (Salt, Cumin Powder, Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala and Amchur). Mix everything well and fry the whole mixture on medium heat for about 15 minutes. 
  • Add the Cilantro, mix well and fry for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Allow the Pur to cool down a bit.
  • The prepared Pur will look like below. Now lets’ fry the Parathas.

Let’s do a little prep:
  • Re-knead the dough for a few seconds. Then divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each part into a log like a thick breadstick. Divide both the logs into 6 equal pieces. 
  • Now these 6 pieces will make 6 Parathas. Take a piece of dough between your palms and roll it into a ball. Put all the other balls of dough back in the bowl and cover it. This will prevent the dough from drying out. This stuffed Paratha will be thicker than the Methi Saag Paratha or Plain Paratha so there should be enough dough in each piece to form a cup so that we can fill the Pur inside it. 

  • Now take a piece of dough and roll it with both your palms. Press the dough roll with both your palms and start flattening the edges, the trick is to keep the edges thin and the center thick. Put about 2 tablespoons of the Pur in the center of this dough cup. 

  • Carefully pull the edges together to close it and make a crown on top, it will look like a garlic head.

  • Press the ball between your palms lightly to flatten it a little like a disc. Do the same with all the dough balls. Fill them up with the Pur and close the edges and flatten them like discs.

  • Dip that disc of dough lightly into the All Purpose Flour. This will give it a smoother texture. Place the disc on the rolling board and start rolling it.
  • I usually spread a little flour whenever the dough starts to stick on the board and roll it into a round shape with even thickness on all sides. 
  • Roll the Parathas very gently so that the stuffing does not break out.
  • It takes some time and experience to measure the stuffing. It may break out or not spread evenly. Have patience, it will still taste good. 

  • Start from the center and roll the rolling pin over the dough using a light but even pressure. Turn the dough over and add more flour whenever necessary. Try to smooth all the edges and maintain an even thickness.

Now let’s fry the Paratha:
  • Heat a big skillet over medium high heat. Transfer the rolled out Paratha to the pan and do this carefully. Lift the Paratha with both hands and place it on the skillet. If it folds while placing, carefully straighten it using a spatula. 
  • After a couple of seconds, you will see bubbles forming on the Paratha. The texture will look dry this means that the underside of the Paratha is now cooked and ready to be flipped. Flip it using a flat spatula and use a brush to apply Oil on the Paratha. Flip it again and let it cook for about 30 seconds. 

  • In the meantime, apply oil on the other side as well and flip it again. The Paratha will start puffing up. If it doesn’t, press onto the Paratha with your spatula on different places for 5-10 seconds.
  • Flip the Paratha back over and press the other side with your spatula for a few seconds.
  • Turn the heat down to medium low.
  • Transfer the cooked Paratha on a plate lined with paper towel or aluminum foil.
  • Serve the Paratha hot with Pickles, Onion Rings and a dollop of butter.

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