HAPPY MAKAR SANKRANTI
“Let food be your medicine” is an excellent piece of advice, one that we all should abide by. Winters truly are the times for indulgence and when one is able to indulge in foods that not just please your taste buds but also do you good by protecting you against cold, cough and flu, you know you are in a win win situation. Gur ka parantha is one of those dishes. I was introduced to gur ka parantha by my late Nani (maternal grandmother). As kids we used to religiously visit her during every summer vacation but as we grew older, the pressures of high school and college ensured that we spent lesser and lesser time with her. So once during my college winter break I decided to visit her for a short time. She always had this thing in her mind whenever any of her grand kids visited her, that they should not fall sick or injure themselves while on their holiday with her. She would always feel that we kids should go back to our homes safe and sound, just as we had arrived. And it so happened that I managed to catch a nasty cold on that visit to her. She was all worked up and instead of taking me to the doctor, made gur ka parantha for me. She fed me with the parantha twice that day. The gur was so helpful in arresting the cold that the next day I had no runny or stuffy nose. I was amazed at the healing quality of gur. She had simply used the grated jaggery for using as a filling for the flatbread. I have tried to amp the health value and enhance the taste of her recipe by adding spices and nuts to it. You can swap nuts with sesame seeds if you are allergic to nuts.
Gur is made and used extensively across north India during winter season. Swap it with sugar in your Kheer or Cake or Chutney. I developed taste of jaggery pretty late in life but once I did, there has been no looking back.
1½ C Aata (Whole Meal/ Wheat Flour) plus extra for rolling
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Ghee or Oil
½ C plus a few tbsp Water
½ C grated Gur (Jaggery)
½ C Shredded Dry Coconut (Khopa)
1/3 C slivered Almonds (or you can crush the almonds and use them)
1 tsp Cardamom Powder
2 tsp Fennel Seeds
2 tbsp Chhuhara / Dried Dates (optional) finely chopped
In a plate or thali, mix turmeric with flour. Add the oil and mix with hands. Now using water, a little at a time, make medium soft dough. Keep it aside for 20 minutes.
Gently mix together the grated jaggery, almonds, cardamom powder, fennel seeds and chhuhara using a fork or spoon. (do not use hands to mix as the warmth of hands will melt jaggery and the mixture will be turn lumpy)
Make six equal sized balls of the dough and keep aside. Place the tawa or griddle on heat.
Using a rolling pin and flour, roll one ball to four inch size disc. Scoop in the filling and bring the edges together. Seal the edges and flatten it over the dough. Dust it in flour and roll it again, using a little flour to prevent it from sticking. Roll to six inch size disc/ parantha.
Transfer the parantha to the tawa and cook on medium heat. Flip the parantha once the top begins to change colour. Flip again when you see the parantha rising at places or when the bottom begins to turn light brown in colour. Apply oil and flip to fry it. Keep rotating the parantha to prevent it from burning. Remove from heat and apply ghee. Serve hot.
Roll and cook the rest of the balls in the similar fashion and serve hot.
Note: Once you are handling the parantha on heat, be very careful as the melting hot jaggery is capable of giving a nasty burn.
Note: Feel free to alter the amount of ingredients to suit your taste.
Yield: 6 Parathas
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