These stuffed paratha are a bit different from the ones that come with a filling of spicy potato in as much as they are crispy and contain paneer cheese and green chillies. Paneer is Indian cheese which you can easily get from supermarkets now. It has a very mild, milky taste and doesn’t melt which makes it perfect for cooking with so that it absorbs the flavours around it.
The parathas are made crispy by cooking them with butter/oil. When they’re good and crisp, they are taken out of the pan and put onto kitchen paper and then squashed (while still in the kitchen paper) into a cup shape with your hands, so that the paratha breaks apart to show the cheese.
Serve these paratha with a cup of tea and some yogurt to dip into, to tame the fresh, green heat of the chillies.
Chur Chur Paratha – makes 4 or more smaller ones
250g/1 1/2 cups atta flour OR plain flour OR half and half wholemeal and white plain flour
125ml water (more or less, depending on the flour and what it absorbs)
Big pinch of salt
Put the flour into a large bowl with the salt and gradually mix in the flour until you have a soft, pliable dough. It shouldn’t be hard at all and all of the flour should be absorbed. Knead for a few minutes and then pop in a plastic bag and leave aside to rest for 10 – 30 minutes. You can now safely leave the dough in the fridge for up to five days and make one stuffed paratha at a time. The dough will darken over time, but will taste even better for the time in the fridge.
1 block of paneer, grated
4 green chillies, chopped finely (this depends on your heat level, I use 1 chilli per paratha so I’d use 4 for this, but go as hot as you want)
1tsp salt (to taste)
Mix all of the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl. This can also be safely kept in the fridge until needed.
Pull off a large golf sized ball of dough and roll it into a circle. Divide the filling into 4 and pile one quarter of it onto the rolled out dough. You can see from the photo that it looks as though there is too much filling – but there isn’t!
Bring all of the edges together into the centre to completely cover the filling. To create a little dough bag full of cheese and chilli.
Start to roll out the bag from the top where most of the dough is, making sure to dust underneath with flour to prevent sticking. Don’t use too much pressure or the bag will burst open. Not the end of the world if it does, but it’s best not to.
Turn the paratha over and gently roll the other side.
Keep rolling until you can clearly see the cheese underneath, but not so thin that the cheese starts to pop through. Thicker is best, if you’re worried.
Heat a frying pan over a medium high heat and have some melted butter or oil next to the pan, along with a teaspoon. Don’t grease the pan at all. Lay the thickest side of the paratha onto the pan and leave it to cook for a minute or so until light brown spots appear on the underside. Turn the heat to medium low and then carefully flip it over.
While the other side is cooking drizzle some melted butter on the cooked top and smear it around with the base of the teaspoon until it’s completely covered. Keep checking the bottom of the paratha so that it’s not burning.
Using the edge of your spatula, push into the paratha to make holes in it on both sides to prevent it from puffing up and to increase crispiness.
Flip it over again and drizzle more butter/oil over. Keep on flipping every 30 seconds or so until the paratha is good and crispy on both sides.
Put the paratha on 3 or 4 sheets of kitchen paper or a clean tea towel and then push up with your hands to form a bowl with the paratha. Then kind of twist it around until it starts to break apart.
I add a swirl of harrisa to my yogurt for extra flavour. The best breakfast in the world!