Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Moglai Porota

The quintessential Bangla pronunciation of 'Mughlai Paratha'. I've no idea if the Mughals had anything to do with the actual dish -- perhaps they did and perhaps they didn't -- but the Bengali employs 'Mughlai' or 'Moglai' not to imply historical antecedent, but a certain deeply satisfying aristrocratic luxuriousness. "I had a moglai bath', one might say, to indicate a rich, extended, sensuous cleansing experience, in which all the works were brought out and every step of the whole nine yards thoroughly taken. Following this linguistic vein to its logical conclusion, moglai paratha is the last word in the upward mobility of parathas. It is what the modest aloo and gobi and muli parathas aspire to, and the daalpuris and peas kochuri wish they were... but aren't.

In short, a proper moglai paratha is a pocket of dough, filled with cooked minced meat, dipped in a thick milk-and-egg batter, and deep-fried. What it does to your heart might be a point of concern, but what it does to your tastebuds is pure magic.

Minced meat, cooked with onions, chopped green chilies and spices (recipe follows)
Kneaded maida (flour)
Eggs+whole milk
Chopped onions and green chilies (optional)

First, Beat the egg and milk well with a touch of salt and pepper, till frothy.


Now make a nice stretchy dough with a little sunflower/canola oil, some sugar, a pinch of salt, and warm water. Divide them into little discs of about four to five cm in diameter. Rub your chaki (rolling surface) with a little dry flour or oil, and roll out each disc. Don't roll it out too thin -- keep so it's just above being translucently stretched (say about half a cm thickness). Ladle a little cooked minced meat into the middle.

Don't stint on the meat, but be careful not to overstuff or the thing will come apart in hot oil. Now brush it lightly with the egg-and-milk batter, and sprinkle chopped onions and green chilies if you like.

Fold the sides over the meaty centre, so it looks like a rough quadrangle. Wet a finger and run it along the inside of the folds, sealing the flour surfaced.

Dip each sealed paratha into the egg batter, and deep-fry in sunflower or canola oil. Normally, they'll come out looking like the first paratha here. For the last paratha I made, however, I was still left with a good amount of egg batter, so I decided to pour it on top of the frying paratha to see what would happen.

Experiments are the bane of domestic cooking. This is my considered opinion.

Battered and Fried.

 The 'normal' moglai porota.

 Extra batter on paratha.

Deliciousness happened, like a slightly peppery omeletter layered on top of a flavoured minced-meat pocket. But be warned: egg+milk absorbs oil like nobody's business. Eat this enhanced version at your own risk!


Dea-chan said...

Looks mighty tasty! Next time I have some leftover meat, I'll have to give this a try.

saptarshi said...

Taste ektu enhance korte hole fry in a mix of dalda and tel. Also add chopped ginger and some crushed peanuts. Mutton keema shob theke bhalo. Kintu quantity chhobi te ektu beshi lagchhe.

saptarshi said...

Also, the egg batter goes inside the paratha, like a pouch. It is not batter fried. Although I bet this one will taste as good. :)

Rimi said...

No. At our place, this version is cooked by dipping a pocket of keema in batter (mutton keema, you're right, kintu far too expensive aajkal).

The egg-batter-inside version is fried differently. The paratha is put on the tawa, then batter poured on it, and the sides quickly folded in on itself, reshaping the paratha right on the tawa while frying. It gets messy and risky when involving keema in it too. This is easier, and results are more certain.

Jodio I think I'll try the keema-batter fried-on-tawa thing when I get a Sunday free. Tui ota korte parish?

saptarshi said...

I don't know. Because I have seen quite a few people make it (and I am talking of say Das Cabin, or say parar roll-er dokan). What they do is they roll out the dough fairly thin using their hands (you know how deft they are). Now they mix the egg, salt, green chillies, ginger chopped, peanuts, keema (cooked), etc then pour it in the middle of the rolled out porota. Then they fold it like you have shown. It is very delicate because the runny eggs will want to run out. They seal the folds using water like we do with singara. Then they shallow fry it on a flat tawa. Adding little bits of dalda at a time and pressing and turning the porota until it's done. In fact, I have never eaten a Moglai porota that has egg outside. Is that how you have seen it done? Kothaye?

Rimi said...

Amader aek attiyor barite. Aekmatro onar baritei keema diye moglai porota hoy -- in every other branch of the family, home-made moglai porota leaves out the keema and only uses egg batter, and on our immediate family (ma, mashira, didu, my mother's two mashis), the batter is not even sealed in before frying. A thinly rolled out round paratha is put on a *very* well-greased tawa, the batter quickly poured in the middle of the paraths, spread all over it using a khunti, then deftly folded into a triangle -- all this on the flames, with every chance of the frying side of the paratha charring.

But it never chars. And the shape holds perfectly. And the batter inside is cooked to perfection. It's magic.

Rimi said...

Also, Saptarshi, I think you missed the part of the recipe where I brush the keema with egg-batter. This is my way of compensating for not being able to handle a ladleful of batter inside the folded paratha.

Try the egg-dipped one. It's like moglai-porota-meets-kobiraji. It's very, very good.

Also, I like your profile picture.

panu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
panu said...

Amar barir kache satyanarayan e keema diye moglai hoy, with egg inside. they serve it with this amazing aloor torkari, which is one short of decadent. Aar tui barite chole ay amar, toke Moglai with keema ar dim inside khawai.