Sunday, 3 February 2013

Phulka (oil-less) roti with mild Potato-peas curry and Rajma (spicy red kidney beans curry)

Phulka rotis are relatively easier to make since they require very little raising time and are very healthy as well since they are made with wholewheat. Additionally they are low-calorie too and use no oil. Preschoolers can be involved in the making of it too and makes for quality time with them while they get to see what they are eating. Hopefully, this will lead to healthier eating habits. The mild potato-peas curry is relatively dry and easier for younger children to eat and the slightly spicier Rajma can be great for older children and adults to enjoy with the roti. 

Last night, I had a pleasant surprise from my 3 year old when she said "Mummy, I want roti. I know it is lot of work. I will help." My first thought was, "oh dear, it is your help that I am afraid of". But I was pleasantly surprised at what a great help she really is! She indeed made my job easy that I decided to make 2 side dishes (potato-peas and rajma) to go with the roti :) 

For the roti, you will need,
3 and 1/4 cups of whole-meal flour/Chappathi flour
salt to taste
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp plain yogurt (optional)
1 and 1/4 cup water (more or less).

Mix all the dry ingredients well in a large mixing bowl. Add water and yogurt and make into soft-smooth dough. No need to knead or anything. Cover with damp cloth leave to raise for 20 mins. While the dough is raising, we made the potato-peas...

Quick side dish1: Potato-peas (Aloo-mattar), you will need:
1 med. potato
1/4 onion
1/4 cup garden peas (fresh/frozen/canned)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (roasted is better)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp oil

Cook the potato. You can boil it in water or just stick it in the microwave for 3 mins (like I did). Peel and coarsely chop into bite size chunks. Heat oil in a sauce pan, saute onion until transparent, add peas, potatoes, salt, spices and stir fry in low-med heat until the peas are cooked thoroughly. I used 1/4 tsp black pepper since this dish was mainly for Anjalie. But you may use paprika/ fresh chilies for older children and/or adults.

Time to get back to the roti now: We divided the dough into 12 small balls. and rolled each one into thin circle approx 1/8 inch thickness. Heat a flat griddle on the stove top to Med-high heat. Depending on the thickness of the roti, cook both sides of the roti for 40 secs to 1 min each.

Don't worry if the rotis do not swell like this. It will still be soft. At this point, you can either rub ghee/butter on the rotis or just simply wrap it up in a clean tea towel to keep warm and soft for a healthier low-calorie version.

Now for the spicy version of the side-dish2: Rajma (red kidney beans), you will need:
2 cans red kidney beans drained and washed
3/4 onion chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes (you can use canned tomatoes too)
2 bird eye chillies chopped (optional)
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp coriander powder
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 inches long cinnamon stick
1-2 bay leaves
200 ml water
1 tsp oil
5-6 curry leaves
2 tsp fresh corriander/cilantro leaves chopped
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

Heat oil in a sauce pan, add cumin seeds and allow to splutter. Add onions and fry till translucent, add tomatoes, chillies, ginger-garlic paste and cook for another min until tomatoes are soft. Add the beans, water and all other spices (except curry leaves and coriander leaves) and cook for 6-8 mins until beans is thoroughly cooked. Add more or less water as needed. Mash the beans with the back of the spoon to create a thick gravy and add lemon juice after turning off the stove. Garnish with curry and coriander leaves and remove bay leaves and cinnamon pieces and discard. Serve warm with roti and enjoy!

Notes: Adding plain yogurt can add shelf life to the rotis and is entirely optional.
You can make rajma with dried red-kidney beans instead of canned beans. Just soak over night and pressure cook for 10-12 mins.
Some children who are allergic to tree nuts can also be allergic to red-kidney beans. So please beware.

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