Mughlai Keema Paratha is an authentic Indian stuffed flat bread which has survived the last few centuries. How thrilling it feels to have such a royal dish in your plate which was splendidly served as a side dish to none other than the Mughal kings in the bygone era! Yes, this is the Mughlai Keema Paratha, which is stuffed with spicy mutton keema (minced meat of a male goat) filling, topped with whisked eggs, marinated onions and freshly chopped chillies. The exact recipe is lost in time, but a group of cooks at that time restored this recipe and passed them over to the next generations, with a few changes to suit the appetite of the present age. Due to their efforts of the preservation of the recipe, we can taste one of the finest parathas ever made. Kudos to the unsung heroes of the Mughal kitchen!
Mughlai cuisine is distinctively aromatic, each dish having its special spices in right amounts, perfected in the imperial kitchens of the Mughal empire. The taste varies from mild to spicy.
This royal paratha is neither found easily in the restaurant menus, nor is it extremely famous in all the states of India itself, except in West Bengal and its neighbours. Worthwhile to say, in West Bengal, this paratha is a part of the Bengali street food now and is relished equally among all classes of people! One can also see the beautiful display of these parathas, among hundreds of others, in the street-food counters in the by-lanes of the famous, one-of-its-kind parathe-wali gali in old Delhi.
People in olden days used to make huge Mughlais in jumbo griddles or tawas. They used a lot of ghee, extra mutton-mince stuffing and some “secret” spices other than what is now known for the recipe. These days, neither we have the robust appetite like the Mughals, nor do we have all those spices which they used.
So the new-generation Mughlai paratha, very close to the ones which the Mughal kings used to eat, minus some of the “extinct” spices, is here for you. Although it is a little tricky and it takes time to perfect the shape of the paratha, but believe me, it is worth the effort! So go ahead and see for yourself. The shape can be triangular or square (but the latter one being more famous). I chose to show you the triangular Mughlai paratha here. Let me tell you that the whisked eggs and marinated onions in the recipe are essential; otherwise, it is not a Mughlai paratha. The recipe does not have an “original” vegetarian version, but you can always experiment with crumbled paneer (cottage cheese) or soyabean nuggets in place of the miced meat if you are an eggitarian.
Mughlai Keema Paratha
Ingredients (for two parathas):
- All-purpose flour: 1 cup
- Wheat flour: ½ cup
- Eggs: 4
- Milk: ¼ cup
- Mutton mince: 250 g
- Turmeric (divided): 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder (divided): 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds: ¾ tsp
- Cinnamon: 2 one-inch sticks
- Bay leaves: 2
- Cardamoms: 2
- Cloves: 4
- Black peppercorns: 5
- Coriander powder: 1 tsp
- Cumin powder: 1 tsp
- Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
- Lime juice: 1 tbsp
- Green/red chillies (chopped finely): 2
- Onion (chopped finely): ¾ cup
- Oil (divided): 3 tbsp
- Ghee: 4 tbsp
- Salt (divided): 2 tsp
- Water (for kneading): ¼ cup
Method of preparation:
Marinate the finely chopped onions with ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp chilli powder. Leave aside for 10 min.
Knead the all-purpose flour and wheat flour, together with ½ tsp salt, 1 tbsp hot oil, water and milk, till a soft, non-sticky dough is made. If it feels sticky, add a little all-purpose flour and knead again. Keep the dough aside for 5 min.
For making the minced meat stuffing, heat the griddle and add 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, add the whole bay leaves, cumin seeds and the whole spices. Let them change their colour to light brown. Now add the meat (marinated with ½ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp chilli powder for 20 min) and the coriander and cumin powders and sauté on a medium flame for 5 min.
Add the garam masala powder and sauté for 10 more min. Switch off the gas and add the lime juice and mix well. This forms the meat stuffing.
After 5 min, take out a palm-sized ball from the main dough and roll it into a big, thin circle: the thinner, the better! This is the paratha base.
Heat another griddle and add 2 tbsp ghee. Let it smoke. Now slide the paratha slowly into this, so that the edges do not fold. The heat should be medium.
Now flip the paratha after 1 min, lower the flame and add 3 tbsp of the cooked minced meat stuffing. Spread a little, but don’t spread till the circumference. Add two eggs (whisked with ¼ tsp salt) on this meat and spread till the circumference.
Add half each of the marinated onions and chillies and spread over again. Importantly, the ingredients of the stuffing should be quickly added to the paratha one after the other, otherwise the paratha base will become crisp, making it hard for you to give a triangular (or square) shape afterwards.
After 1 min, fold the circular paratha from three directions in order to get a triangular shape (four directions for a square), pressing each fold for 5 sec, so that the fold gets sealed with the (still raw) egg underneath.
Increase the flame at this stage to medium for 2 min and then revert back to a low flame. Low flame is important, so that the egg gets cooked to perfection and the paratha is super-crisp! After 7 min, flip the whole paratha very carefully using two spoons, one placed above and the other below.
Continue cooking at low flame for 5 min. Now increase the flame to medium for 2 min, pressing the paratha softly from the top. Reduce the flame again and continue to cook for 5 more min, pressing the paratha down with the kitchen spoon. This is can be served with chutney, pickle, yogurt or simple tomato-chilli sauce!
On a different note, it is award time again for Cosmopolitan Currymania! This time, Wan Maznah from Cooking-Varieties has awarded me with seven lovely and motivating awards! She has awarded me with the awards with numbers 2, 3, 4 7, 8, 10 and 11. Maznah’s blog has a tempting collection of recipes and I strongly recommend my readers to visit her beautiful blog for the same. A BIG thank you, dear Maznah!
I shall be rolling these awards over to 15 deserving bloggers. So wait and watch. May be you are the next!