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#WorldFoodDay Meet the Chef: Monica Haldar

As part of our World Food Day Raffle, we’re giving you the chance to win a private cooking masterclass from one of our talented chefs! 

This week is National Curry Week, and what better chef to introduce first, than the amazing Indian food connoisseur Monica Haldar.

A LITTLE ABOUT MONICA

Founder of the critically acclaimed pop up restaurant and cookery school, The Spice Club – Monica has been showcasing authentic and home style Indian cooking to the UK masses. She’s a food writer, recipe creator and host of ‘Monica’s Mashups’, the food show on Tastemade and Amazon Prime.

Monica has now launched SHIKSHAK, an online Indian cooking membership platform!

A RECIPE FROM MONICA

As the colder months slowly creep in, Monica shares her recipe for Spiced Methi (Fenugreek) Parathas. The perfect Indian side that combines spice and carbs, two things to keep you warm.

Equipment

Rolling Pin

Chapati tava/non stick crepe pan/non stick frying pan

INGREDIENTS

To make the dough:

1 cup/130g chapati/wholewheat flour I like to use “chakki” chapati flour which is stoneground

1/4 cup/30g gram/chickpea flour

1 small potato (100g) cooked, peeled & mashed

1/4 red onion very finely diced

2-3 chillies very finely chopped

15 stems fresh fenugreek de-stemmed & chopped (equates to 1cup/30g leaves). If you can’t source, use fresh spinach.

1 small garlic clove grated, optional

1 1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/2 tso coriander powder

1 tsp dried fenugreek/kasuri methi optional

You will also need:

Warm water

Oil

Extra chapati flour in a wide shallow bowl for dusting

Ghee/Butter

Instructions

Place all of the dough ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.

Very gradually add 1/2 cup (115ml) warm water gradually to the bowl, constantly mixing and combining the dough together with your other hand.

You should see the dry flour and vegetables begin to clump together

At this point, you may need to add an extra 1-2 tbsp of water to form the dough. Only add a tiny little bit at a time and gauge how you much extra water you need to by feel – the dough should be soft and slightly tacky but not too sticky. (If you do feel like it has become too wet, you can rescue by adding some dry chapati flour and a pinch of salt).

Very lightly grease your fingers and hand and knead the dough lightly for a minute to create a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, place a little oil on your hand and re-knead the dough until smooth. Divide the dough into 4-5 smooth balls.

Now, place your pan on medium heat. Whilst the pan is heating up, take 1 dough ball and press it into the dry chapati flour on both sides. Shake off any excess.

Place on your work surface and roll out gently until it is 4-5″ in diameter and even in thickness all the way around (about the thickness of £1 piece). Increase the heat of your pan to the maximum setting. Carefully pick up the paratha, web your fingers and flip the paratha from hand to hand to get rid of any excess flour.

Place it on the hot pan for 10-12 seconds. When it changes colour and small bubbles begin to appear, turn it over and cook the other side. Brush oil on this side and flip it over and brush the other side. Cook on each side until you see golden spots all over and it is crispy.

Finish by smearing a teaspoon of ghee or butter. Make the rest of the parathas using the same process.

Notes

Tip: If you can’t source fenugreek, use spinach instead!

Tip: Try to cut you vegetable very finely so when you roll them out, they do not create cracks. If you find the paratha is cracking as you try and roll it out, add a little more chapati flour (and a pinch of salt) to the dough and re-knead.

Tip: If you are not serving the parathas straight away, place on a grill tray. This is better than placing directly on a plate or foil. Otherwise condensation will form and will make your paratha soggy. You can re-heat on the pan later or just eat them at room temperature – they are delicious either way!

 

Can’t get enough of Indian cuisine? For a chance to win a private cooking masterclass with Monica,  enter our World Food day raffle here.

Entry is only £1, you can enter as many times as you like, and your donation contributes to feeding the most vulnerable in these colder months!

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