When my son was in school, he preferred a “dry” lunch. He completely tried to avoid rice, even though he liked lemon rice/tamarind rice etc because sometimes the box would topple over and Mother Earth would receive it. Very early on, around the time he was in the second standard, he was smart enough to make a lunchbox time table, inspired by his class time table. Turned out to be a great relief and convenient for me, as I could plan ahead and never had to worry about what to make for the lunch box. Worst thing ever! I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say my son made me a more organized Mom and the icing on the cake was the compliments on top of that.
One such favorite lunchbox item was/is the veg roti. Clever, because you can add a load of veggie and make it into a roti–convenient to eat and tasty, too. Some of our favorite combinations are:
- methi-aloo (fenugreek greens and potato)
- chickpeas (boiled and mashed) and onion
All follow the same base process described below and are delicious.
Let me show you . . .
How to make carrot onion roti / carrot onion thepla / veg roti
- 3 Carrots, peeled and grated
- 2 Onion, finely chopped
- One cup finely chopped coriander
- Salt to taste
- Turmeric powder – a quarter teaspoon
- Asafoetida – a quarter teaspoon
- 2 green chilies, finely chopped
- I just add a tablespoon of the coriander chutney we made earlier – very tasty!
- Flour of your choice. I use multi-millet/multigrain flour. You’ll need enough to knead it into a firm dough.
- Oil for cooking
- To make the dough – In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except the flour. Then add the flour and knead it into a firm dough. NO WATER required. You’ll be amazed at how the ingredients generate enough moisture to help you prepare the dough. If it is too dry, consider adding a little yogurt.
- Shape the dough into thick flat discs
- Roll each disc into the shape of your choice – circles/triangles/squares. If you have kids, you may want to create shapes with their playdoh shape cookie cutters to make it more fun!
- Heat a griddle
- Cook each paratha using a little oil and flipping them over until both sides are cooked.
- Serve hot with a little dollop of butter
Best eaten hot. I like a cup of yogurt with it. And some chutney. Or some bhindi ka saalan
- Do not add water while making the dough, or it will become too loose and you’ll end up adding too much flour in the desperation to get it right. Oh yeah, been there done that, ha ha.
- Some people like to saute the veggies, but I prefer to use them raw and mix them with the flour rather than use them as stuffing. Less work.
- You could use chili powder instead of green chilies, but green chilies taste so much better
- You can add cooked chickpeas while making the dough. Yum.
- Besides carrot, you can also make this with mashed potatoes, grated radish, cauliflower, cabbage and fenugreek leaves. Equally healthy and easy to make — same process
- Terrific lunch box item. Children will love it because it is dry, convenient to eat and non-messy. Parents will love it because it is tasty, nutritious and let’s face it–makes great leftovers. Add a fruit to the lunch box to complete the yum-ness.
- Also makes a great breakfast or dinner.