Lauki Tofu Paratha

Tofu, always seems as an alien ingredient to me. But, the nutrition benefits of tofu beg for more use in the kitchen. Did you know that a half cup of raw firm tofu packs 10.1 grams of protein, which is double the amount of protein you can get from the same amount of milk or an egg? It has half the amount of protein in the same amount of meat. So, it is by far the best vegetable protein you can get. It is also a very rich source of calcium – a half cup can get you 22 % of your daily value.

But what is tofu? ‘Tofu’ is a Japanese word that means ‘bean curd’. It is the soy version of our very own paneer, and also made like we make paneer, by coagulating soy milk, by adding an acid component like lemon juice, which causes the curds to seperate. Once the curds are seperated from the whey and pressed into a mold. Doesn’t seem to complicated…Hmm, I wonder if I would try making tofu from scratch….that would be interesting.

But first, given that we have tofu on hand, how do you incorporate tofu into daily food? Indian food? I have tried it as a replacement for paneer in curry dishes, but it really just doesn’t fit. I can still eat it though, but I miss the paneer. The most success I have had is by concealing the effects of tofu in the dish, like Scrambled Tofu with Eggs. (I will post the recipe for it very soon). I came across the recipe for ‘Tofu Paratha’ on Show me the Curry, and I arrived at the best way to conceal tofu in a meal – Parathas. Brilliant idea!

I had some lauki or bottle gourd on hand, and I grated it into the dough. It was a very easy recipe to make using the food processor and also very moist, that yielded super flaky parathas. I liked the idea of adding pickle masala to the paratha, so I added pickle itself. I added a tsp of mango thokku to the the paratha, which added a zing to it.

Ingredients:

1 7 oz block of Silken Soft Tofu

1/4 of a medium Lauki(bottle gourd) grated

1/4 cup of cilantro chopped

3 cups of whole wheat flour

1 tsp of mango thokku

1 tsp cumin powder

pinch of turmeric

salt to taste

2 tsp oil, plus extra for brushing on parathas

Method:

Grate the lauki using the food processor. Then switch to the chopping blade and add the tofu, cilantro, cumin, turmeric, mango thokku and salt. Pulse until it becomes a homogenous mixture. Add the whole wheat flour and pulse again until it all comes together into a ball. If needed add more flour. You should not need to add extra water and the moisture from the tofu and the lauki should be enough to make the dough. Get the dough onto a bowl and knead by hand adding a few drops of oil to make a smooth ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 1/2 hour or upto 4 hours. You can make it in advance, wrap it in foil and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the parathas. Take a small golf ball sized dough and roll it into a circle.Use a brush or the tips of your fingers to smear a thin film of oil over the circle. Fold the circle 1/3 of the way over to form a D shape and then fold the other third over it, to form a rectangle. Then fold the two sides, one over the other to form a square.

Roll the square into a sqaure shaped paratha and cook it over medium heat on a griddle or a pan. Flip over and cook the other side. Serve hot with a curry of choice.

Verdict: The parathas were flaky with a tad bit of spice and tang and were incredibly soft. Truly a hit, and to have a food that is healthy and yummy is the perfect combination. I am going to be making these very frequently from now on.

Sending this to the ‘Global Kadai – Tofu’ Event, an event originally by Cilantro

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