Wild Garlic Butter Parathas

Wild garlic is in season now and abundant in the woods around Galway. Do you have any growing near you? It’s one of my favourite things to forage and it’s long, pointed green leaves, white flowers and garlicky aroma are pretty much unmistakable. But, as with all foraging, please make sure you know what you are picking before you head out! Never pull the plant out by its small bulb, simply pinch off the green leaves and leave plenty for wildlife and biodiversity.

This year I made my usual batch of wild garlic pesto along with dehydrating some and turning it into a powder, blending some with salt and dehydrating it to make wild garlic salt, any flower buds that made their way into my bag were pickled and I blended a few handfuls with a couple of blocks of vegan butter which is absolutely incredible! I have used it in baked potatoes, roasted mushrooms, garlic bread and now this, our new obsession – parathas!

Parathas are laminated Indian flatbreads, flakey, buttery and oh so delicious! Here’s my easy recipe which we eat alongside red lentil dal and Indian pickles. Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think! Liz x

Ingredients (makes 8 parathas)

  • 2 mugs of plain flour plus a little extra for dusting/rolling etc (you can use plain flour, strong bread flour or an authentic atta flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 mug of water (or enough to make a soft dough – different flours have different rates of absorbency so add a little at a time and adjust with more flour/water as needed)
  • Optional extras like a tsp of nigella seeds, cumin seeds, brown mustard seeds, turmeric and black pepper are nice to add if you like
  • butter/wild garlic butter/coconut oil – melted

Method

Start by making your dough. Measure the flour and salt (and optional extra spices – we used nigella seeds this time) into a large bowl and mix to combine.

Add the water and mix into a sticky dough. Then tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead well until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Add more flour/water if needed to get the right consistency. Put the kneaded dough back into the bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel. Let it rest in the fridge so that it is easy to roll out – 30 minutes to an hour is normally sufficient.

Then divide the dough into 8 even balls and roll them out into long oblongs.

Melt your butter/wild garlic butter/coconut oil and brush it all over the surface of the dough.

Then roll up the dough lengthways and coil it into a spiral. This way you have created loads of layers of fat in your dough which will make a flaky, layered flatbread.

Sit the coils on a platter covered with a tea towel ready to roll out. Heat up a frying pan to medium-high and melt a little oil or butter in the pan.

Then roll out the first coil on a lightly floured work surface into a thin, layered flatbread. Swirl the fat around the pan to evenly coat the bottom then add the paratha to the pan. Fry until golden brown and starting to blister then flip and fry the other side.

Keep stacked up on a plate covered with a tea towel. Then warm them up in the pan when you are ready to serve. Tear and eat – scoop up dal, chutneys etc. Enjoy!

Swede, Kale & Coconut Dal with Curried Parsnip Fritters

A page from my illustrated cookbook, available to buy from Green Earth Organics shop here.

Dal and fritters are staples in our house. The dal is especially useful to have in your repertoire for those days when you are low on fresh veg just before your next veg box arrives. And of course bulking out a dal with whatever seasonal veg you have is always a good idea. I like to make it with a tin of coconut some days, usually in winter when the weather calls for something rich and creamy, and with a tin of tomato on other days when I want it lighter and tangy (as in the recipe illustration from my book above).

My fritters are not dissimilar to onion bhajis. Here with curry spices in the gram flour batter they go particularly well with the dal and you can add whatever shredded veg you have around – cauliflower, squash, carrot etc. Fritters also make great sandwich fillers or burger patty alternatives and of course they don’t have to be curry flavoured, add whatever herbs and spices you like to make them your own. I love courgette fritters with fresh herbs in the summer, squash chilli and sage in autumn, celeriac, preserved lemon and parsley…the possibilities are endless.

As always, let us know in the comments or over on our community Facebook group if you make this recipe. We love to see our recipes leave the screen. Don’t forget to share this blog with your friends and family.

Happy cooking! Liz x

Ingredients for the Dal

  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • an onion or leek
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp each: brown mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, fenugreek, salt and chilli flakes or chopped green finger chilli to taste
  • 1 mug red split lentils
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • curry leaves (if you can get them fresh/frozen that’s best, if not dried is fine)
  • 1/2 a swede
  • a few handfuls of kale
  • lemon/lime juice

Ingredients for the Parsnip Fritters

  • 2 mugs of gram flour
  • 2 mugs of water
  • 1 tsp each: salt, pepper, nigella seeds, turmeric, curry leaves and chilli to taste
  • 3 parsnips
  • vegetable oil for frying

Method

Dice the onion or leek and soften it in a large pan on a medium high heat with the oil.

Add the cumin and mustard seeds and stir to toast them until fragrant. Then add the ground turmeric, ginger and fenugreek and stir to briefly toast for just a few seconds.

Add the mug of red lentils and the diced swede and stir to coat them in the spices. Then add the tin of coconut milk and two tins of water to the pan.

Season with salt and pepper and add the curry leaves (if you have them – buy online or at specialist Asian shops) and chilli flakes or chopped green finger chilli to infuse while the lentils and swede cook.

Bring the pot up to boil then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the lentils and swede are cooked through.

Meanwhile get the fritter mix ready. Whisk the gram flour, spices and water together into a smooth batter. Then grate the parsnips and add them to the batter. Stir well to coat all the grated parsnip with the batter.

Heat a frying pan with a generous slick of vegetable oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and fry whatever sized dollops of the fritter mix in the pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown on the outside and cooked through. It’s better to cook them slowly if they are large so that they don’t end up burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. Raw gram flour batter can be a little bitter.

Stir chopped and rinsed kale through the dal about 10 minutes before serving. Serve the dal and fritters in bowls with Indian chutneys and optional rice, popadoms etc.