The sleigh bells are done ring-ting-ting-a-ling and all you are left with now is that jiggle in your waistline from all those holiday goodies. So what are you to do? Exactly what you do every year this time of the year: resolve to lose weight. And to get you started, I have for you the perfectly low-fat, perfectly nutritious meal: Gobi Parathas with Zucchini Raita.
The time after the holidays is always a little depressing. Suddenly there are no more lazy days with family and friends to look forward to, all the colorful lights and Christmas trees twinkling in windows are gone, and the most wonderful time of the year is a whole year away. But the New Year also brings with it a chance for renewal and as trite as those resolutions seem, we all can’t help but make a few.
My resolution for the year is to go through life at a more conscious pace. As much as I love the idea of taking things slow and absorbing the beauty around me each day, I get caught up, inevitably, in the stresses of day-to-day living. And before I can realize it, some of the best moments I could have grabbed and held on to have passed me by. As have the people I know would have been good friends had I spent a little more time getting to know them, and events that I could have enjoyed far more had I not been busy looking at my watch.
My other resolution is to meet up with all of you more often. The last year was a tough one for me– I went through a difficult time with Lucy’s illness followed by a job change, and as a result Holy Cow! did not get the attention from me that she deserved. This year I intend to remedy that by posting new recipes more frequently.
I wanted to start the New Year also with a little gift for you — a fabulous giveaway of an essential kitchen tool. Read on to get more details about that after the recipe post.
Now on to the Gobi Parathas which are a great way to add the rather unglamorous yet incredibly nutritious cauliflower to your diet. Cauliflower has potent, cancer-fighting properties that it shares with its cruciferous cousins, namely broccoli, cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Collard Greens, and Kale. But it can also be a challenging veggie to cook, because it is rather bland and, if overcooked, it can turn into an unappetizing mush.
For these parathas, I marry the cauliflower with a blend of spices and then envelop it in some crispy whole-wheat dough. And then, just to make it all a little more perfect, I dunk it into some Zucchini Raita made with my tofu yogurt.
The Raita is a little different from your usual raitas — I cook the zucchini into melt-in-the-mouth tenderness before adding to it the tofu yogurt. It is delicious, nutritious, and together with the parathas it makes for a high-protein meal perfect for weight loss.
On to the recipe now. Hope everyone has had a fabulous start to 2013 that will continue forever. Happy New Year, all!
For the dough:
2 cups whole-wheat flour (use durum atta flour if you have this, otherwise regular whole-wheat is fine)
1/2 tsp salt
Place the flour in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix in the salt. With your hand or the dough hook, knead into a soft, pliable, but not sticky dough. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
For the filling:
1/2 large head of cauliflower or 1 small head. Grate the cauliflower in a food processor or by hand into fine shreds.
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp paprika (use cayenne for more heat)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp aamchoor (mango powder), optional
2 tbsp finely minced coriander leaves
2 tbsp finely minced dill
1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat and add the mustard seeds. When they sputter, add the grated ginger, coriander powder, turmeric, and chilli powder.
Mix quickly and then add the grated cauliflower and salt. Stir to mix thoroughly. We are cooking the cauliflower to get as much of the moisture out of it as possible, so do not cover it. Dehydrating the cauliflower will not only make it taste better in the paratha, it will also make it easier to roll the parathas out.
Stir the cauliflower frequently. A good way to tell that the cauliflower is done is when it starts to stick to the bottom of the saucepan. This should take about 15-20 minutes. Don’t let it burn though.
Mix in the dill and coriander and add more salt if needed. Remove from the fire and allow to cool.
To roll out the parathas, divide the dough into 10 pieces.
Take each piece and roll it into a smooth ball in the palms of your hands. Using your fingers, or with a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a round, about 4 inches in diameter.
Now place some filling inside the circle. I like to stuff the parathas as much as I possibly can, to get the most flavor.
Gather the edges and pinch together at the top to seal into a dumpling. Press down the top.
Dust the round with some flour and roll out gently into a 6-7 inch circle. I like my parathas really thin, but traditionally they are rolled out fairly thick. If some filling squeezes out, don’t panic. Just dust with some dry flour.
Heat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet. Place the paratha on the hot skillet. When it turns opaque and small bubbles appear, flip around. At this stage you can spray the parathas with some oil to make them really crispy.
Flip over again and cook both sides until golden-brown spots appear.
Serve piping hot.
4 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp red chilli flakes (or powder)
Salt to taste
1/2 tetra pack of firm tofu blended with 1/2 cup nondairy milk and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and then ground to a coarse powder
Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the red chilli flakes and ginger, stir to mix, then add the zucchini and salt to taste.
Cook the zucchini, stirring frequently, until it is fairly soft.
Turn off the heat and let the zucchini cool. Mix with the tofu yogurt.
Sprinkle the cumin powder and mix. Check salt.
To help you make your parathas, GitaDini, the makers of the awesome Rotito Rolling Board, are offering one of their Rotito Sets to a lucky reader of Holy Cow! See details below on how to enter.
The Rotito rolling board is a huge improvement on the traditional wooden rolling board that I (and most Indian cooks) have been used to. The rustic wooden boards almost always have uneven legs. In my kitchen, each time I made chapatis or parathas, I would have to deal with the board going clack-clack-clack as it danced on the countertop. The Rotito rolling board does away with this problem — it has a circular base that grips the platform beautifully. What’s more, it’s sturdy, looks really cute, and I realized that after I am done rolling and cooking the parathas I can flip over the rolling board and use it as an attractive container to store and serve them (I don’t know if the manufacturers intended this, but I love this feature).
And wait, it gets even better! The set comes with a wooden rolling pin and a neat stainless steel dusting flour container, evocative of those mom and grandmom used, that’s just the right size to dip those parathas into as you roll them out.
To enter the giveaway for the awesome Rotito Rolling Board Set and get started on your parathas, all you have to do is:
1. Share this post on Facebook or Twitter.
2. Leave a message on this post telling me you did so.
I will announce the winner, picked at random, next week.
Please keep in mind that GitaDini can only ship in the United States for now.
Good luck, all!