Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Grated Radish Beetroot Paneer Spicy Paratha

I had lamented this fact many times before. The lack of quality libraries in small towns in India. It is still the same today in my hometown. Even in bigger cities having a quality library used to be a hit or miss unless you had access to the USIS or the British Council. Do let me know if things have changed and the library situation has improved. Well I was lucky to have access to a school library which had plenty of books and that is where I read through all of Perry Mason's books. They are not as popular here in the US as they were back in India in those days. Or maybe I am just showing my age.

Summer holidays were another matter altogether books could not be borrowed from the school library. Lucky me I had uncles who read a lot of English fiction. They went to colleges in Madras or Bangalore and had access to book stores or used book stores that sold these books I guess and looks like my grandfather financed their reading habit knowingly or unknowingly.

It was from among their collections that I chanced upon Ayn Rand and her 2 tomes Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged. It was a day of great joy like chancing upon a treasure trove. At about a 1000 and odd pages it gave me several days of reading pleasure. I doubt that I would have read that many pages of drivel now. Those days with a lot of time on hand and little else to do reading was the primary mode of time pass.

I am glad I was not old enough or mature enough to think or take ideas presented as guiding moral principles. Even in my most wildest dreams I would never have imagined that some people would take her words to be philosophy and that it would dictate their policy in the inner reaches of the US government. One of her admirers was Fed Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Selfishness and Self interest as guiding philosophy and to most right wing politicians she is a hero. They are plenty of material on her in the web if you are interested in reading more about her. No doubt she is a very fascinating personality.

Where did I suddenly pick up Ayn Rand to talk about? It was this article - Is capitalism moral? in the Outlook section of Washington Post. If you are a news junkie like by all means read this article.

Moving to the recipe,

Radish is one of those vegetables I buy even though I am not very fond of it. Reason being it is perfect in sambhar and stays fresh for a long time especially the red round ones we buy from the Amish market. Invariably after a few months even the sight of the radish is unbearable. I stop and then they start again later having forgotten. The difference this time I was intent on trying to make stuffed parathas. Once grated and the water squeezed out they become about half in mass so grate twice of what you would normally want. Once sauteed they shrunk a little bit more and I needed aa bit more so used some grated paneer in the mix and the paneer was what made it a big hit.

Grated Radish Beetroot Paneer Spicy Paratha Ingredients
    For the stuffing
  1. 2 cups of grated radish and beets and let sit for about 10-15 minutes
  2. 1/2 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
  3. 1 cup of grated paneer
  4. 6 green chilies seeds removed and chopped very fine
  5. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  6. 1 tsp coriander powder
  7. 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  8. salt to taste
  9. For the Dough
  10. 4-5 cups of whole wheat flour
  11. 1/2 tbsp of yogurt
  12. 1/2 tsp of salt
  13. water as required
  14. Combine the above ingredients for the dough and mix it with water as required to form a stiff but pliable dough, cover and set aside.
  1. Combine the beets, radish and ginger and with the palm of your hands squeeze out as much water as possible.
  2. In a wide mouthed pan add a bit of oil and saute the radish mixture and green chilies till it cooks a bit.
  3. Add all the powders and salt and combine them well.
  4. Add the paneer give a good mix and turn off the heat. Let cool.
  5. Make small lime sized balls and set aside.
  6. Take a slightly larger portion of the dough and flatten it out with your hand to form a cup shape, place the filling inside the cup and bring the edges around to cover the filler. Check this link for a better idea.
  7. Dust some flour over the rolling board and roll into a circular shape careful not to let the filling spill out.
  8. Heat a griddle and when hot place the rolled paratha on top and cook on both sides applying oil on each side till brown spots appear.
Serve with any raita of choice.


  1. Love that stuffing part, wat an excellent and healthy stuffing..beautiful parathas.

  2. We had books at home, in both languages. My gran used to read a lot of Bengali fiction translated into Telugu as well as original Telugu writings and I read many of them. We had a circulating library - box on a cycle - and we used to borrow magazines rather than buy them. Ah Indo, I haven't thought of it in a long time. We used to have two bookstores too, big ones. Later on, there was a lending library. Now we have neither in that town. The bookstores died out about 15-10 years ago and the lending library looks like a textbook place now. I don't know where children do their reading or if they do any. But people, children, in my town have changed. I'm even surprised these places I mentioned made it to the 2000s.

    1. Sra, there was no dearth of Tamil books and stores which sold them. I had a few authors I liked reading. But English was another matter altogether, first they were not available. When we made trips to Madras Higginbothoms was like a paradise and later on Landmark came about.

    2. I meant English and Telugu both, both were available in these bookstores and lending library, in fact, one bookstore was only English! Now, there's only one bookstore and they only carry literary and ideological books in Telugu besides a few common interest ones.

  3. The only library I had access to in Hyderabad was our school library and that was plenty for me. I went through my share of Enid Blyton's Famous 5, Mallory towers, Secret 7 and then Three Investigators, Hard boys and of course Nancy Drew. When I had to share a unique thing about me for an office guessing game, I mentioned my dream was to have complete Enid Blyton collection. Hardly anyone in my department knew who that was! :( :(

    One of my uncles loved Perry Mason and I got to borrow his books (recently found some at the library here and the series on Netflix!). Otherwise it was second hand book stores for the summer holidays. That's how I got Ayn Rand and you are right, the size would have scared me now. But then it was fascinating and I still have my underlined-bookmarked version of it...haha.

    I just got back from the market with some of these little radishes. My experience is same as yours on this one. I use it mainly for sambar or salad, will try them in paratha's soon. I'm not looking forward to grating them though :-|

    1. I read some of the Enid Blyton books through a lending library run by Lions Club but as they all do eventually closed. I still managed to read most of those books.

      You know what the red radishes are not that hard to grate. I have made twice already. Do it in front of the TV :)

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  5. As a kid I dug into my uncle's personal library similar to you :) that was a lot of fun, but he mainly hosted all the Marathi novels (old and new) - so I grew up reading a lot of Marathi books. Then during college days was when had an access to a good student library hosting decent english collection - though i must say i read nothing more than some very feeble fictions all those years..

    it is remarkable you read adn enjoyed Atlas Shrugged at that early age - it's a book I read recently and found it extremely thought-provoking.


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