Palak Parantha with Papu in the kitchen
First day in India, breakfast time. I remember clearly the moment in which I opened the menu and tried to understand what I could eat for breakfast.
The main questions were three:
- What is this?
- Is it sweet or salty?
- The most frightening: is it spicy?
The waiter of the hotel didn’t speak English; he only moved the head in the typical Indian style that I wasnâ€™t able to translate at that time.
So I closed the eyes and pointed my finger on the menu.
Parantha with curd. â€œOk, letâ€™s try!â€, I said to myself.
Something like a thicker â€œpiadinaâ€ but with vegetables in the flour appeared under my nose. I liked it very much but soon I understood that itâ€™s not possible eating it everyday for breakfast: it is fried and quite heavy!
Actually, Papu (who is a very wise chef) cooks Parantha on Sunday or as brunch when Guru-ji has a long journey to travel and eats before leaving. This is a wise way to eat paranthaâ€¦
There are many kinds of parantha: Aloo, Gobi, Palak. That means: Parantha with Potato, with Cauliflowers, with Spinach. Of course you can have Mix vegetables Parantha.
Papu showed me how to cook Palak Parantha: the lightest one.
1 small handful fresh coriander
200 gr flour
1 pinch salt
1 pinch chili
1 pinch cumin
4 tsp oil
- Clean and wash the spinach and put in a pan to boil.
- Cut the onions in small pieces.
- Wash the coriander and chop it with a knife.
- When the spinach are ready, take them off from the hot water and squeeze them in order to eliminate all the water.
- When they’re quite dry, chop them into the mixer until they become a cream.
- In a big bowl put the flavor: salt, chili, cumin and mix them.
- Add onions, fresh coriander, the spinach cream, one spoon of oil and water.
- Stir with great energy, until you obtain a big green ball with all the ingredients well mixed.
- Take a small â€œballâ€of pasta (about 5 cm of diameter) and using the rolling pin,Â spread it.
- Fold it in half and again in half andÂ spread itÂ again with the rolling pin.
- Warm two spoons of oil in a small pan. When it is hot, cook Parantha 3 minutes for each side.
Now you can enjoy your palak Parantha with a little of curd!
Of course you can try the other kinds of Parantha using other vegetables.
You can dunk Parantha inside curd, as we usually do with the cookies in tea, milk, or with coffee. I know that this is a weird comparison for those of us who are fans of the sweet breakfast (as Italian people). Butâ€¦ I love the salty tastes, even in the breakfast!
I know that itâ€™s very difficult cooking this before going to work in a normal day. But I thought that I would like to do as Papu: on Sunday, when I havenâ€™t to run, when life is slower, when the breakfast can be bigger than usual, when I have more time to enjoy life.
I will eat my Parantha in my kitchen, sit at my table. I will close the eyes and I hope that my Parantha will bring me back in the Desert of Rajajasthan, in the Ashramâ€™s white walls, in the Jasnathâ€™s temple, in the Ashramâ€™s kitchen.
I hope strongly.
At Shri Jasnath Ashram, guests can spend time in our kitchen, learning cooking techniques and recipes from Papu. Shri Jasnath Asan is offering Yoga Lifestyle Workshops throughout the year where you can experience the magic of life in Rajasthan and learn to make healthy vegetarian meals from the local traditional cuisine. Yoga Lifestyle Workshop
Luisa Gardin graduated from Shri Jasnath Asanâ€™s Rajasthan Hatha Yoga Institute 200 Hour course in October 2015 as a certified yoga teacher. In her hometown of Turin, Italy she is an occupational therapist, and a self-proclaimed garden-foodie â€œseeking ways of bringing the ashram cooking to her friends and family.â€