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Mexican Paratha

As a devout chile-head, hot and spicy ethnic cuisines are where it’s at for me. Much of my cooking ends up morphing into Mexican, Indian, or Thai style dishes by default, even if my intent may have been to do something different. For example, a mild marinara often becomes Fra Diablo by the time I’m done with it.

So when the vegan_cookoff this week called for savory breads, I knew what I had to do. Some time back, I had killed off my sourdough starter after a year of faithful service. Therefore, my sourdough rye hearth loaf was out of the question. And as no little packaged yeasties can compare (and it may have felt like betrayal anyway), I opted for a yeast-free, unleavened flatbread.

Paratha is a fried Indian flatbread often stuffed with veggies and made with healthy whole-wheat flour. One of the more popular incarnations is “aloo paratha” where it is filled with potatoes. My take on the bread challenge is this Mexican Paratha stuffed with black beans.

The dough is merely:

3/4 whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of yellow corn meal
1/2 cup water

Combine these ingredients in a mixing bowl and work into a dough. Lay down a good additional 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour on a work surface and kneed (incorporating the extra flour) until you have a soft, pliable dough. Round into a ball and let rest while preparing the bean stuffing.

Here the recipe leaves the realm of exact measurement. The goal is a spicy black bean mash prepared with a Mexican flair to your tastebuds’ heat sensitivity. Mine went together like this. I soaked a full package of dried black beans overnight, then drained, resubmerged in water, and cooked for 1-1.5 hours. Canned beans would work as well. To 1 cup of the cooked beans, I added finely minced onion, garlic, serrano pepper, cumin, and oregano. Mash together with a fork.

Returning to the rested dough, cut it into fourths and work into smaller balls. Taking one at a time, flatten and roll out until you have an even circle about 10″ in diameter. Use 1-2 tablespoons of the black bean filling for each serving. You will have plenty of beans left over.

Fold the edges of the dough back up to the middle, enclosing the filling, and seal well. Carefully flatten and roll out to reacquire the 10″ circle. The trick here is to keep the beans contained as much as possible. I actually used my hands for both rolling out steps as though I were working with a pizza.

Heat a nonstick pan (12″) to medium. Oil well and fry the bread on the first side until golden brown. Peek every once in a while to see. I believe it was about 3-4 minutes. Spray the top of the bread with oil and flip. Fry until golden brown with black spots similar to a tortilla. You may want to flip again until it’s just right.

Serve with a curry or chutney to highlight the Indian theme or a salsa for the Mexican. As I was having mine for breakfast, I topped with a little sliced banana and soy yogurt dusted with cinnamon. (OK, the other half soon saw some hot sauce. LOL.)

mparantha4 (132k image)

3 Responses to “Mexican Paratha”

  1. t. says:

    LOL! I love how you had half of it with banana (sweet) and half with hot sauce! I think I would have gone with hot sauce straight away but thinking well, if the filling is already savouriy or spicy, the banana and yogurt can be a great idea!

    By the way, compliments for being able to keep the beans inside the bread wrapping! If I were the one cooking, beans would have spilled all over the place and likely the wrap would have just opened in wo halves while in the pan!
    I am horrible at those delicate steps! Just a lot more like a ruthless vegan cook!

  2. Jody says:

    Hey Erin,

    The parantha looks good and the quinoa you made is so creative with the yin yang design.

    I posted the cookie recipe for you today on my blog.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  3. kunsjoi says:

    wowwweeee… mexican paratha.. ingenious!!! indian and mexican food both ruleee!! and so does thai!!

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