For most of us vegetarians, finding protein rich meat substitutes is always a dilemma. While lentils and dals do serve their purpose, a cup or two everyday just is not enough to supplement the 56 gm and 46 gm requirement for most men and women, respectively. For instance, 1 cup of toor dal (serving 4 cups of dal after cooking, and a regular cup size being 250 ml) has a protein content of about 45 gm. You do the math! Other protein sources such as milk (1/2 cup of 2% dairy milk contains 5.1 gms of protein) and eggs (one 3 oz egg contains 6 grams) fall really short on the protein scale. By comparison, 1/2 a cup of raw tofu (soybean curd) contains 10.1 gms of protein. Apart from that, it is lower in calories, fat and cholesterol as well. And lot much healthier than paneer, which most indians relish! Rather bland in taste, it does need a bit of creativity and perking up with spices and seasonings to make it edible for most people. Plus it’s a great milk substitute for people suffering from lactose intolerance.
Sadly, my family has an aversion towards tofu. The mere mention of it in the past has made me mourn the premature demise of a healthy dish. Not much of a fan of it myself, but wanting to incorporate it’s use in my cooking, I was determined to find a way to make something delicious out of it. Recently, a friend of mine told me that she made paranthas with tofu. I had heard about tofu paranthas before, but never actually tried making it due to my fear of wasting my hard labor. That weekend, I went to the global food market nearby and bought a slab of silken tofu. The result was an unbelievably easy delectable and delicious parantha. The kids were tricked into thinking it was their favorite paneer parantha (even though the texture was not the same), and they cleared up their plates without a fuss!
- 1 lb slab – silken tofu
- 3 cups whole wheat flour (plus some extra to help with rolling)
- 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped green chillies
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 tsp chaat masala (I used MDH chunky chaat masala)
- 3 tsp salt (or to taste)
- ghee, refined oil or cooking spray for shallow frying
Unwrap the tofu and crumble it in a mixing bowl. Add all the ingredients except oil, and knead into a soft dough. The moisture in the tofu is sufficient to incorporate all the flour together. Adding water will only make the dough impossible to work with! The dough should be soft. Rub a little oil on the dough, cover and leave aside for about 30 minutes.
Now take golf ball size portions and roll them out over a flat surface, using a little flour to help with the rolling. Each parantha should be about 7 inches in diameter. Heat a tawa and roast the parantha on both sides before applying ghee, oil or spray. Serve hot with pickles, salad and raita.
PS: I was unable to use the entire amount of dough in one day, so I merely stored the left over dough in the fridge and made more paranthas the following evening.