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
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!