Finally getting around to updating this recipe on the blog. I tried this recipe on a dear dear friend Anuja’s, recommendation and loved the fresh flavour it brought to my paranthas. A few pointers before you try this recipe. This is not meant to be radically different from YOUR way of seasoning the parantha filling. If you @ me in your comments cooing “Oh but I do it this exact way all the time! ” with an implied “There is nothing new here!” then well, I am sincerely delighted for you ( no sarcasm here ) but FAIR warning, I am going to ignore your comment. You might as well stop reading further right now, right away. I don’t mean to claim that this is the best seasoning in the world, nor is it revolutionary. I liked something and I am sharing this for the interest of people who showed interest and who were up for trying out something new for fun, not for people who want to make it a competition about whose masala is better. It is only for folks who are curious. You might already be using 80% of the ingredients I mention here. With that out of way, I will get to the good things. I added this to a potato stir fry I made and it tasted excellent, a fresh flavour to my good, but always tasting the same Aloo ki Sabzi. I have a gut feeling, it will taste great on roasted veggies too. I have tried to recreate/reverse engineer this using the list of ingredients I read on the pack of a store-bought Parantha Masala from MDH. I haven’t used all the ingredients mentioned on the pack though, because I like to use things like ginger garlic in its fresh form. I will share more of my experiments with it on Instagram! Cheers!
Ingredients for the masala: ( makes about 1/2 measuring cup or little less )
- 3 tbsp – whole coriander seeds/sabut dhania,
- 1 tbsp – cumin seeds/jeera,
- 1 tsp – whole peppercorns/kali mirch
- 4-5 nos – dried red chillies ( mild/hot as per your preference), OR mild/hot chilli powder as per your preference, use whole chillies or chilli flakes if possible, the bits of chilli adds a texture to the masala),
- 2-3 nos. cloves,
- 1 piece of mace,
- 1 tbsp – Anardana, ( optional but highly recommended),
- 1 tbsp – Kasoori Methi/dried methi,
- 1 tsp – Ajwain/carrom seeds,
- 2 tsp – Amchoor / dry mango powder,
- 1 tsp – black salt, ( A MUST )
- 1 tsp – iodised salt,
- 1/4th tsp – hing/asafoetida,
- 1/4th tsp – dry ginger powder, (Optional, I skipped this, I prefer fresh ginger, use fresh ginger while making the paranthas instead, mentioning it because it was one of the ingredients on the packet of masala I saw and refered to as a reference)
- 1/4th tsp – garlic powder ( I skipped this , I prefer fresh garlic ),
Method to make the Seasoning:
Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, red chillies, cloves and mace in a pan. Once they are crisp and aromatic ( the essential oils in the spices are released better if the roasting is done on a low even heat ), take the pan off the heat, and add the ajwain/carrom seeds, Kasoori Methi and Anardana, and toss around in the pan for a minute, roasting in residual heat so that it doesn’t burn. Let it cool down. In a dry grinder jar, add the remaining dry spice powders and grind it in short pulses/burst to retain a slightly coarse texture to the powder, especially, the bits of coriander and anardana lend a before texture to the parantha filling. A part of the charm of the Dhaba style paranthas lies in this coarse texture of spices, in my opinion.
To make the Parantha Stuffing:
Add it to mashed potatoes/paneer along with your usual fresh seasoning. I add one small finely chopped onion, a generous handful of chopped coriander leaves, one finely chopped chilly and fresh ginger garlic ( grated or pounded) and sometimes a little mint. Add about 2 and 1/2 tsp of the spice powder for 200 gms of grated paneer or 3 medium sized mashed potatoes. Add more if you feel it is mild, 2.5 tsp usually works for me. Sometimes, when I am feeling extra fancy, I add the spices ( whole as well as the powder ) to warm ( NOT smoking hot ) oil before adding it to the mash. Check salt/chilli powder to taste.