Of all the numerous culinary impressions I have formed while growing up, one particular dish that has always stood out has been this fluffy yet crunchy, simple yet with-an-impressionable-bite - "Indian-egg stuffed-flour tortillas". These evoke such strong and beautiful memories of all the Wednesday evenings (I will elaborate in a second the relevance) growing up that when I made this I literally got transported to my very happy place. Its really that simple to be in your happy place..Easy isn’t it?
Well here’s a confession - as much blessed as I am to have grown up with my wonderful siblings – I am equally if not more delighted to have grown up with this unique culinary combination formed out of a desire to ease the process of eating an omelet and a “roti” separately, which leads to the birth of this piece of magic called the Mughlai paratha or more phonetically correct “Moghlai Paratta” in Odia. The story goes back to our usual “non-vegetarian” days (the selected days of a week all of us were allowed to have non –veg due to religious restrictions), Wednesday was just the perfect break in the middle of a humdrum week with classes and homework. That was the day all of us kids were allowed to make demands of our Ma as to what we yearned to eat and gladly for all us, most of the times we would all vote for “Moghlai Paratta”. As I look back, I get really amazed by my Ma’s ability to innovate, learn and execute such recipes which I am sure she never grew up eating. And to our absolute pleasure, there were a lot of those.
It’s quite fascinating how a simple combination of paratha and eggs with a few aromatic herbs and spices to bridge their gap, can provide a semblance of "royal" times. Honestly speaking I won’t be able to date out the origins of this “royal” dish but as far my memory goes- I remember savoring it ever since my taste buds had the slightest ability to discern complexly pleasant delicacies. So if I had to describe this in a few words – it had to be fluffy, incredible flavorful, cheese-free distant cousin of Mexican delicacy “quesadilla”- elevated to a different plane by simple additions of onions, chillies, and of course the real star of this dish – some fragrant mint leaves.
Simple Indian flatbread a.k.a paratha stuffed with an egg mixture made aromatic with fragrant mint, red bell peppers, spring onions and spicy chillies. Savored just by itself or along side a flavorful chilli garlic yogurt dip, it is fit to serve a king - albeit a modern & health conscious one ;).
Ingredients: (For one paratha)
1 Uncooked Flour Tortilla/ Paratha
(Use the cooked flour tortillas if you don’t the ones I did)
For the filling:
- 1 no. Egg
- 1 T chopped spring onions (Use regular onions, it works fine too)
- ½ tsp finely chopped chillies
- 1 T finely chopped red bell pepper
- ½ T Finely chopped mint
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of black pepper
- Oil to shallow fry the parathas (quantity can be adjusted as per requirement)
- In a small bowl, break the egg and whisk it with all the ingredients for the filling (Finely chopped - onions, bell pepper, mint, salt and pepper)
- Place a flat griddle (tava) over medium heat. Once its hot, place the tortilla (or a maida roti- see below) on the dry tava (no oil added yet) and semi-cook it till just lightly done on both sides (~ 1 min)
- Once the tortilla is semi-cooked on both sides, pour the egg mixture on the tortilla and fold it lightly to form a semi-circle.
- At this point, add 1 T oil on the sides and over medium low heat, cover the griddle and let it cook (~ 1 min). Turn the paratha to the other side and let it cook for another minute covered.
- Uncover the paratha and lightly press to make sure the egg is cooked through. If it oozes out, the paratha still needs to be cooked a little bit more.
- Tip: I sliced the paratha in half on the tava itself to make it cook more evenly.
- Once done, serve the paratha with any chutney and make sure to savor it without any disturbance ;)
Some handy notes:
- These tortillas (Mexican culinary term for a flat bread like our roti) can be made easily at home.Just that I was not industrious enough to go through the kneading-rolling part, so I chose the easy route. Those of you who would prefer to make it from scratch, go straight ahead and make maida (all-purpose flour rotis. To my surprise, this easy route tasted as good as the fresh one and a great time saver.
- Cooking time for these parathas will vary depending on the size of the rotis, heat used etc etc. but just make sure to cook it thoroughly so that the eggs are cooked straight through.
Well really that’s all to it but the flavor is so utterly divine that I wonder how simple things can quite literally provide the greatest pleasures. I served these with a simple Chilli garlic curd dip with fresh cilantro and well, it was perfect.
~ Chili garlic yogurt dip~
In 1/2 C smoothly mixed yogurt, mix in 1T chili garlic paste (easily available in any Asian market-the red variety) alongwith 1/4 tsp very finely minced garlic and 1T chopped cilantro. Adjust it for salt and a pinch of sugar. There you go- an easy dip ready to go.
Hope these have convinced you to make these for your kids and gift them with some very precious memories to cherish for ever.
Here's to the eternal bond between food & memories.