Beets are one of my favorite foods. This is probably TMI, but I once ate so many beets that my pee turned pink for three days and I had to call the doctor because I legit thought I was dying. I still eat that many beets occasionally, but at least I now know what the side effects of over-indulgence on beets is!
These paratha will not turn your pee, or anything else pink. The color of the beet is muted enough with the added flour to keep you safe on that front. They are addicting though, and I seriously doubt you’ll be able to eat just one! The moisture from the beet keeps them from drying out, and they stay soft and pliable even hours after you’ve wrapped them. (Wrap them tightly in tinfoil to keep them fresh the longest!)
Lots of people, (my husband included) take exception to the earthier notes of beets. I personally love that flavor, but in the interest of keeping these universally acceptable, I first roasted the beet, which mutes some of it’s stronger notes, and then mixed it with a variety of spices to bring out even more flavor in these paratha. The spices, coupled with the whole wheat flour, makes these guys absolutely delicious, even on their own.
Since the dough for these will stay relatively wet, I found that it work best when rolling them out to dunk the flattened circle of dough into flour, thoroughly covering it, before starting to roll. This keeps it from sticking to the counter, and also helps the dough roll out evenly. Feel free to add more flour as you roll if it’s needed, but make sure to brush off any excess flour before cooking them, as the flour will burn and make your paratha look and taste burnt.
Also on the topic of rolling them out: I HIGHLY recommend putting a piece of parchment or wax paper down if you have white or off-white colored counter tops! Beets are notorious for changing the color of everything they touch! Including you! I always wear gloves too while mixing these up, just so it doesn’t look like I was part of a ‘Dexter’ episode! After you’ve gotten them thoroughly mixed, the color doesn’t bleed out as easily, so you should be safe to handle them.
While these are cooking if bubbles appear on the surface just lightly press down on them with your spatula. The bubbles actually help tenderize the paratha even more, and add the delicious layers that tear apart and give the paratha their signature look. Once they are done cooking fold them in half once and tuck into some tinfoil. They will stay hot and soft for about an hour, and even once they have cooled they will stay soft for another several hours when wrapped this way.
What other flavors of paratha should I try? I saw someone doing these with pumpkin (or maybe butternut squash – I don’t remember!) on pinterest. I don’t know how authentic that is, but it sure sounds yummy!
- 1 medium Beet (about 4oz)
- 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour, Sifted
- 1 tsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
- 1 dried Red Thai Chili
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp amchoor (mango powder) opt.
- 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
- Water, as needed
- Oil, for brushing
Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash the beet, wrap in aluminum foil, and roast until fork tender, 35 - 45 minutes.
Let beet cool completely before continuing. Once beet is cool puree it to a smooth consistency in a food processor.
Add the rest of the ingredients except for water and oil to the food processor and combine, the dough should be somewhat dry and shaggy. Add water as necessary until dough comes together and is soft, but not overly sticky.
Turn dough out onto a floured counter and knead until it's smooth and soft. Continue to knead until until dough springs back when gently pressed with finger. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Using the palm of your hand roll the dough balls against the counter, cupping them gently to make them round. Pinch the bottoms shut and set aside for another 10 minutes, covered with the damp towel.
Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high. Working with one paratha at a time roll it out into an even circle. (Best way to do this is to roll once, turn the paratha roll again, give it another quarter turn and so on).
Place in the skillet and cook for 20 - 30 seconds until bubbles start to appear and a few light brown spots show up and the side that is down. Flip the paratha over, brush the top side with oil, and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Flip one more time, brush with oil again, and allow to finish cooking through, 20 - 30 seconds.
Repeat with remaining dough balls. Serve hot.