Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kothu Parottas - A street-smart food!

The memory of those days is still bright in my mind. Madurai, a beautiful evening with orange sky, birds chirping way back to their nests, chime bells from the temple echoing from a distance, and myself in the city center, shopping with my family - This is a very familiar evening for me while growing up. When I am already tired after some extensive walking on the crowded roads, the sight of these road-side eateries tickle my appetite tempting me to munch something immediately. The aroma of the roasted peanuts, fried milagai bajji (Chilli Pakoras), Masala vada, and the ghee smell emerging from hot halwas... hmm, simply sensational! I'm missing them as I write this. Along with these wonderful flavors, my temptation grows when I hear the sound of mincing the parottas on the cast-iron griddles with steel ladles. They do it with a rhythm that catches anyone's attention:) I enjoy both the music and the spicy non-veg flavor when I pass-by them.

Madurai thrives on street-food, and is famous for kothu parottas. They are served in a push-cart or a mini restaurant on the road-side called "Kai endhi bhavans" - the close translation is "a restaurant where you eat holding the plates in your hand". You can't expect padded-seats with glass tables or air-conditioned room here. You may find a couple of benches with some loud film music playing and the food comes served in a plate with banana-leaf on the top. The waiter mostly dressed up in a lungi will come and serve the hot and spicy tomato chutney, followed by coconut chutney and finally the main course of idlis, vadas or pongal. Those thick coconut chutneys are so delicious and the taste still loiters in my mouth.

My favorite time for a street-food used to be after a late night movie on our way home. I've had many dinners like that starting with Kothu parottas and Chalna, sometimes Mutton Chukka for the side and ending with a warm Masala milk! There's something so special in the taste that I can't seem to duplicate no matter what. I miss those good days, but I do make sure that I enjoy this thoroughly whenever I visit my hometown until now. We all sisters go together with our families and give it a blast everytime amidst lots of teasing, chatting, giggling etc. If I am given a choice of eating a Pizza/burger on a fast-food place hanging around with friends and chit-chatting OR to go to an upscale restaurant to have a few bites of fine cuisine in a dim light and a quiet ambiance, I would prefer the first one! I'm not telling that I hate fine cuisine, I love to try different cuisines and in fact, we've already finished exploring all kinds of cuisine in our neighborhood. But still the relaxed atmosphere, the sense of freedom and ofcourse the authentic home-made taste is the speciality and that's what attracts many people to street food.

I knew I can't stop writing about it :) Anyways.. When I first saw the title MBP:Street Food hosted by Sia, I couldn't control my excitement.. What an exhilarating theme! I knew I was going to participate for sure and decided on the recipe right away.. My favorite Kothu Parottas! You all may have come across this recipe online many times, but because this dish is so near and dear to my heart, I couldn't think of picking anything else.. I have seen many versions of this recipes as well, but the version posted at Kribha's (thanks Kribha!) site sounded very authentic and enticing. My dear sister recently made the same version at her home and sent me this mouth-watering picture... Sis, if you are reading this... thanks again!

Ingredients:
  • Parathas - 3 (I use the readymade layered parathas, also called kerala parathas)
  • Eggs - 3
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Garlic - 2 medium pods
  • G.Chillies - 1
  • Onions - 1 medium
  • Tomatoes - 2 medium
  • Any Chicken/mutton masala - 2 tsp (you can substitute with chilli, corriander and cumin powders in equal ratio along with 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder)
  • Fennel seeds powder - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chicken stock - 1/2 cup (Optional)
Procedure:

  • Warm the parathas in microwave and shred them finely. I usually tear them in big pieces and give it a quick run in my food-processor. Comes out perfectly.
  • Grind the ginger, garlic, fennel seeds powder and Black Pepper powder together and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large wide pan and fry the onions, g.chillies.
  • When onions are fried, add the ground paste and fry for 2-3 mins in medium heat.
  • Once you feel the nice aroma, add chopped tomatoes, Chicken masala powder and fry for a few mins. If you are using chicken stock, now is the time to add it.
  • Before the paste becomes completely dry, add the eggs, a little salt and fry the mixture gently.
  • When the eggs are half fried, add the shredded parathas, salt and fry until the eggs are cooked fully and the parathas are well mixed in the egg spice.
  • Finally add a few corriander leaves and mix well.
Serve hot with Chicken/Mutton Chalna.

24 comments:

meeso said...

Mmmmm, I never had this but it sounds VERY good!

Divya Vikram said...

Am already drooling reading ur post..I come from tuticorin famous for parottas..I understand ur excitement reading ur post..Miss them a lot here..I make it the same way..Except that I add tomato ketchup for a bit of tanginess..nice entry

Shankari said...

U have missed Mixed near Meenakshi amman kovil. I first had kothuprota in Madurai and have alwayd had that and then mixed:)

Maheswari said...

Hey..i also made kothu parotta for MBP.Yours looks so delicious...

Uma said...

wow, delicious kothu parota. new recipe for me. nice entry.

Sireesha said...

WOW...delicious and yummy Kothu parothas.Its new foe me...will try definitely....Gr8 entry.....

Cham said...

One of my fav one looks so yummy :)

Jeena said...

Yummmmm! Thes sound and look so good! It sounds like you have had a wonderful childhood, I love the sound of the sun setting and the birds singing. :-)

Shammi said...

Too right... I'll take street food over fancy restaurant foods ANY day! I love kothu parotta too, but I've not had them in Madurai. Just at Saravana Bhavan in Madras :)

Sujatha said...

Hi Meeso - Thanks for your comments.

Hi Divya - Hmm, I have never tried tuticorin parottas.. I will sure try if I happen to go there. Thanks for your great comments..

Shankari - Mixed? Hmm, I've never heard of that.. Is there a Tamil name for that so that I can check with my folks. I would love to try this next time! Thanks for sharing :)

Hi Maheswari, Welcome to my blog! Yeah, Kothu parottas is a fav for many of us.. I saw your version too, looks great!

Sujatha said...

Hi Uma, thanks for your comments :)

Hi Sireesha , Yes..Please do try and let me know how it was.. :)

Hi Cham, Thanks!

Hi Jeena, thanks for your comments :)

Hi shammi, Saravana bhavan sounds good:) I will rry next time when I am in Chennai!

Uma said...

Hi Sujatha,

A suprise for you at my blog. Visit here:

http://teluguruchi.blogspot.com/2008/06/millet-dosa.html

Hope you like it.

Sujatha said...

Thanks dear Uma for passing me the award! I am happy to receive it..

Kalai said...

You are making me hungry!!! Looks delicious! :)

Laavanya said...

I simply love Kothu parotta and yours looks so good! The sound that comes from those road-side stalls is truly tantalizing :)

Devi Priya said...

This is a new recipe for me. Thanks for sharing

Sia said...

thank u sujatha for this delicious entry:)

Sujatha said...

Kalai - Thanks!

Laavanya - Coming from madurai, who wouldn't like kothu parottas and those sounds.. :)

DeviPriya - Thanks for your comments!

Sia - You're welcome, but I should thank you first for coming up with such a lively topic! I enjoyed it thorougly.. :)

Sumi said...

Kothu parotta looks delicious, Brought back my childhood memories.during our summer vacation in our native village, we kids would do all the petty work our parents give us just to gobble up this wonderful dish in the evenings.
nice post.

Sujatha said...

Thats a nice comment, Sumi :) I know, we as kids could do anything to enjoy this treat!

Mrs.SriLekha said...

hi suja
all ur words are cent % true dear! u really remeberedme the days i spent in madurai. all ur words helped me to picturise the scene. wow! those days were nice to live! missing it! ur Parotta recipe is too good!

Mona said...

My mom also used to prepare a dish with shredded dried parathas and we all loved it. Your version is quite different, and sounds delicious. Will sure give it a try.

www.zaiqa.net

Anu said...

Mmmmmm....... Yummy ....
U picture looks so tempting....
I also tried kothu parota but little alterations it came out very well....
Thanku u for ur nice recipe.............

Sujatha said...

Thanks Anu for letting me know! I'm glad you liked it..