Chicken & Lentil Paranthas

“My mum always said
Stuff them well,
Stuff them till the edges
Begin to swell,
Mix and mash
All things around,
Stuff them with things
You just found,
Chop and grind
Taste each bite,
But whatever you do,
Never let them outta sight,
For when you cook
Cook them brown,
All out-of-towners
Will huddle around,
The smell, the aroma
Will drag them down
For a piece of home,
A bite of that brown,
And when they leave
With praises and crowns,
All you’d be left with
Is a grumpy ol’ frown!”
For the dough
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ajwain or carom seeds
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon oil
¾ cup warm water
For the filling
250 gm boneless skinless chicken, cut into very small pieces (or chicken mince)
1 cup yellow lentils (toor or arhar dal), boiled and drained
1 large tomato, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic ginger paste
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon dry mango powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons onions, finely chopped
2 green chilies, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
Make the dough: Mix the ingredients for the dough to make a soft workable dough. It should not be wet. If the water is too much, add some extra flour till the dough stops sticking to the hands and can be rolled. Keep aside for 20-25 minutes.
Make the filling: Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic ginger paste, cumin seeds and onion till the onions begin to brown. Add the tomatoes and all the dry spices, along with ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook till the tomatoes are tender. Add then lentils and cook for another few minutes. Stir in the chicken pieces, along with another ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook on medium flame till the chicken is completely cooked. Open cover, and mash the chicken pieces into smaller sizes. Sauté on high flame till all the liquid has been soaked in. Remove from heat and cool.
Once cooled, chop any remaining chicken pieces finely (if you used boneless chicken instead of mince). Add in the “other” ingredients and mix well. Keep aside.
Put it all together: Make 3 inch rolls from the dough. Flatten in the center to make a cavity. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the chicken mixture and fill the cavity. Pull the dough from the sides to cover and seal the cavity so as to make a bundle with the mixture inside. Flatten and roll out into 6-7 inch rounds using a rolling pin. Do this with all the dough . Should make around 6-8 Paranthas.
Heat a pan. Cook the Paranthas on both sides with a little oil, till they turn slightly brown and crisp. Serve hot with yogurt and pickle. Slightly tedious, but worth the wait!