Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Arugula Flower Rotis

Life is about give and take. In the world of Indian flatbreads, a chapathi is light and soft but not substantial on its own. When one fills these little balls of dough and pan fries them, you get parathas. Parathas have the wheaty goodness of chapathis and are more substantial but lack their fluffiness. Give and take, I say.

In my mind, this fluffiness is worth loosing if the filling is tasty enough. The gold standard in my house is aloo paratha (starch filled starch.) For my cousin, the best paratha is mooli (radish). Fillings have their own algorithm of give and take--they should have a presence but not overwhelm all other vegetable accompaniments.

A couple of our vegetable purveyors at the farmers market have arugula flowers. They are sold plant and all in little baggies. Like broccoli flowers and watercress flowers, arugula flowers have but a small fraction of the piquancy of their foliage. For me, their strength lies in their delicate aesthetic features. Their pale grey veination upon a barely yellow ground gives them a fairy-wing-like quality. In fact, I purchased them on the basis of their look.

So many sites say arugula flowers are fantastic in salad, but we decided to make arugula chapatis and parathas. For the former, we placed the flowers into the dough and rolled then thin. We rolled these very thin. They looked like hand-made flower impregnated paper.

Arugula Paratha

For the latter, we filled the dough with potato and the flowers, pan-fried them, and topped them with butter. The flower chapathis were fluffy, but the flowers imparted color not flavor. The parathas were basically aloo parathas. (In the future, I would have paired the bread with chickpeas and arugula chutney.)

Arugula Paratha

These parathas and this post are my entry into Weekend Herb Blogging started by Kalyn and run by Sweetnicks.

Potato and Arugula Flower Parathas

To make dough, mix in a shallow, flat bowl or pan:
1 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Drop by drop add warm water until you get a sticky bread-like dough

Cover and set aside.

To make the stuffing, boil, peel, and mash:
1 large potatoes

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 t cumin/coriander powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoons fresh arugula flowers

In the palm of your hand, create small balls, flatten them, and then fill with a small amount of the filling. Gather up all the dough and then roll it out.
Arugula Paratha


Anonymous said...

I have never seen Arugula flowers at the farmer's market, probably because I never thought to look for them... I'm curious, did you find them at a vegetable stand or a flower stand? have you ever cooked with them before?

Jayne said...

We grow arugula in the garden every year, but we've never left them to flower. Now I want to - those are so pretty!

Heather said...

I just snipped all the flowers off ym bolted mustard greens, and was going to use them for something. Rotis are a pretty idea (I was gonna do fritters).

Anonymous said...

You can eat those? They're so pretty!

Anonymous said...

Those blossoms are uniquely beautiful. Just another thing to love about the farmer's market...

Kalyn Denny said...

Very interesting post! I've never seen arugula flowers at our farmer's market but they definitely look pretty.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for introducing me to arugula flowers. I had never heard of them. They are so delicate and beautiful. Delicious looking post too!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea to include in roti! I must try. Thanks for sharing...