Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mums Lachha Parantha and KitchenAid-Baking

The story of what would've been and my tryst with KitchenAidInd couldn't have ended more painfully.
If you move your eyes to the right you'll see my badge of honor. The KitchenAidInd Pro Baker Top50 home baker. I was supposed to be at the regional bake offs in Delhi, but due to reasons beyond my control, I couldn't.

Any ways ,I'm proud to have come so far.And as my dad always says "Tomorrow is another day". 
So maybe...
But while this adorned my mums kitchen worktop ,we tried making dough. And Lachha Parathas.

Our own desi atta. 
I have lazy fingers that still depend on my 17 year old Singer Food Processor. I can only use it to knead dough or chop..nothing else. She is yellowed and scarred with age but, she is "Ye old faithful". 
And I have no intention of replacing her.
So since mum doesn't quite believe that machines can knead dough better than our nimble fingers ,this was too good to let go off.
So sweet child volunteered to knead the dough and clean up and we volunteered to eat .
The Lachha Parantha.

The top  is crisp and the middle is all soft and yummy because of the ghee.

Lachha Parantha is synonymous with North Indian food. 
Crisp and flaky and sweet and loaded with ghee ,it is perfect with Maa di Dal or Dal Makhni ,or with any veggie or salan for that matter. 
And my mum makes the best.

For approximately 8-10

Mum's Laccha Paratha Dough and KitchenAid...

you need

4 cups whole wheat flour or atta

1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vegetable oil or ghee or clarified butter
water to knead the dough

Place the dough hook on your stand mixer ( or the dough hook of your food processor).

Place the whole wheat flour ,salt and vegetable oil or its substitute in the bowl.

With the lid on slowly start the machine and gradually pour the water to get a firm dough. 
Those with no dietary restrictions or those who are slave to their taste buds ,please feel free to add some more ghee.
The dough must be pliable, almost like Play Doh.

Watch the video for a better feel.

Allow the dough to rest.

In the meanwhile, heat your oven or electric tandoor or gas tandoor to the highest.  

An oven will give you approx 250°C and the gas and electric tandoor will take you higher.
A pizza oven is great too.
You want high heat.
PS in a clay tandoor the temperature goes up to almost 450°C.

Needless to say ,heat is of the importance. 

For the

Lachha Paratha

you need

Rested dough

Clarified butter or desi ghee
2 tsp Ajwain or bishops weed seeds
2 tsp mint leaf powder or dried mint leaves
1 tsp salt
Whole wheat flour to roll

Divide the dough into 8-10 golf ball size balls.

Since we have been rolling rotis and Paratha s since forever...we know.
Coat one ball in flour and dust some on your work top.
Roll out firmly but gently to about 6 inch  diameter.
Apply about half tsp of the ghee all over the roti.
Fold the dough in half to get a semi circle. 
Coat this semi circle with some more ghee.
Now sprinkle on a few pinches of flour over the ghee.

This ensures that your layers wills separate out giving you flaky flaky parathas.
Place the semi circle on your palm and begin folding it in like a corkscrew. 
Check out this video.
My mum is rolling out the Paratha .
Once the tandoor is hot place the Paratha on the tray.
Allow it to bake a'll begin to hear the sizzling of tje ghee..
Turn the Paratha over with a pair of tongs and allow the other side yo brown too.
Once done ,you'll be smelling the sweet aroma  of  atta cooking. Its nothing like bread. Its better. 
Place the Parantha on a plate and spread some ghee and watch it melt.
Now if your heart is full of love and your fingers can handle the heat , scrunch or crush the roti.
The layers open up.

They say...that when the ghee seeps to soak the last bite of the roti and all the layers have opened up to form've truly cooked with love.
As only a mum can.

Option 1
Lun Ajwain da Paratha

Lun is a little used punjabi/dogri word that refers to salt.

Ajwain or the seeds of bishops weed and salt are an excellent antidote to tummy problems.
So if you want to try this humble roti..

After you have slathered the rolled roti with ghee ,sprinkle salt and Ajwain seeds all over.

Fold and screw like a corkscrew like the Lachha Paratha. 

Option 2
Pudine ka Paratha

Another classic.
Once you have rolled out and layered the ghee sprinkle the mint leaf powder and a little salt.
Fold and screw like a corkscrew like the Lachha Paratha. 

If you have neither a tandoor nor a super heating oven,you can make the same rotis on a tawa or a fry pan .

There are many types of rotis you can make with the same technique. Your imagination and my guidance will take you there.

In the meanwhile ,perfect this technique and we'll get back for more.
This roti is served with dal and is always soul satisfying.
Try this.

So what are you baking today???

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Stepping Stones and Career Choices Belling the CAT

There are career options and there are career options.
And then there are some more.
Managers are not just the elite of the work force, they are the ones who ensure a smooth running of all operations.
Whether its a corporation or a conglomeration. 
Good managers have to acquire the art of making problems extremely interesting and their solutions so constructive that their solutions are attractive to all .
Some skills are inborn and some need to be acquired and learnt.
And of course ,some are gained with experience.
And to have that experience you need an MBA.

Focusing on your goals is important. But even more important is having a goal,without which you would be shooting well sharpened ,valuable arrows in the dark.
No, you wouldn't want to do that right?
So once you decide what you want to achieve in life-that may be as vague as money, power, fame, beauty,a solid fan following ...whatever, the next step is to acquire the most concrete means to achieve those desires.
Of course,you need to push yourself to the point of no return...and tremendous pain-you do know that there is no gain without pain.
So excel in your studies ,and try your best to take admission in a good programme in college.
After all well begun is half done.
Start prepping for your CAT exams well in time. Maybe from your second or even your first year of college. It doesnt matter what subject you choose to graduate in-you'll never be at a disadvantage. If you are an engineer, you may have to work harder than your pals who are commerce or economics graduate. But at the end of the day...Its all about the faith you have in yourself.
Faith CAN move mountains.
Keep researching for CAT exam tips and keep abreast with the current affairs.
Register with websites to guide you about all the news about the CMAT entrance exams too. 
You must keep your grades up for graduation too,your MBA will not look too good with a low university ranking.
Make sure you are well groomed and confident, only a confident person has the ability to achieve his/her dreams.
Log on to websites like to ensure you have all dates and details right.
Once you are well equipped, and well prepared ,nothing can be a barrier between you and your success. You will "Bell the CAT".

Keep reaching higher and cross all the stones that prevent you from rising.
Shine on and all the best!


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