This indian paratha flatbread is a wonderfully delicious side dish, to be enjoyed at any time.
By Radhika Penagonda
I can say with confidence that with all of its buttery goodness, this will be one of the softer paratha flatbreads you would have ever made. The flavors are clean and ingredients are simple. Roasting intensifies the sweetness of the butternut squash. The recipe calls for no water at all as the roasted squash pulp contains sufficient moisture to bind with the whole wheat flour.
- 1 small organic butternut squash
- 1-1/2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour or Atta + ¼ cup more for dusting
- 1 tbsp kalonji / Nigella seeds (aka black caraway seeds or onion seeds)
- salt to taste
- oil for pan roasting
- baking tray and aluminium foil
- rolling-pin and board (prefer wood, steel or stone)
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Wash, towel dry and cut the butternut squash in half. scrape out the seeds and pith with a spoon or peeler tip.
- Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and place the squash halves face down on the sheet with space in between them. Bake for 30 minutes or until the skin is browned (also juices start running).
- Remove from the oven and wrap the foil to cover to let it cook in its own steam for 10 mins. Unwrap, let cool and scoop out all the pulp into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt and kalonji and mix well. Add whole wheat flour little at a time mixing it with squash pulp until all the flour is incorporated. Add more flour if required until a pliable non-sticky dough is formed. Knead for a couple of mins, cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 15 mins before making parathas. Resting makes the dough absorb all the moisture and become softer.
- If not for roasting, alternatively, either steam the squash halves or cook in just enough boiling water until soft and follow the remaining steps. This method needs more flour as the water content is more. Or, simply stir fry with a drizzle of oil until soft, purée and use.
- Knead the resting dough again for a few mins. Pull a small portion of dough, the size of a small lemon and roll it into a ball. Dust this dough ball with dry flour on both sides and roll out flat into a small circle with a rolling-pin. Fold into quarter, dust and roll out again to a triangle shape. Roast on a heated griddle or ‘tava’ on medium-high heat until brown spots appear on both the sides. Drizzle a few drops of oil on either sides. Remove parathas and keep in a covered container to preserve softness. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Serve hot with a drizzle of ghee with a side of your choice and yogurt on the side.