Saturday, 27 July 2013

Sweet Parothas, stuffed with dates and walnuts

I’ve been dreaming about sweet parothas forever, always throwing in new imaginary ingredients until I decided it’s time to try these out.  Flavours here include coffee, dates, walnuts and a hint of chocolate.  Oh, such a decadent taste, yet not that bad nutritionally speaking.

I have other notions for sweet parothas in my head, but I got this particular idea from a temptress at Cobs Bread.  I’d only gone in to buy sensible dinner rolls, but after offering me a slice of their coffee and date loaf, she then proceeded to wink as she slipped in several free slices with the dinner rolls I needed.  If I didn’t cook, I would have been a slave to her desires, going in to buy more and more loaves until the franchised company made billions.  

Instead, I’ve recreated the flavours, with an addition of my own, and created this recipe.

Cinnamon goes into the dough.
The dough
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup coffee
a bit of extra water
a bit of extra flour for rolling out 

The filling
½ cup walnuts
6 medjool dates  or 1 cup hydrated cooking dates
2 tablespoons coarsely grated unsweetened bakers chocolate
1 tablespoon melted ghee (clarified butter)
pinch of coarse salt

ghee for roasting the parothas

Begin with the dough.  Mix the flour, cinnamon and salt, and slowly pour in the coffee, stirring with your clean hand.  I had a scant cup of coffee, and needed more liquid.  I added a bit more, till the dough was moist enough to gather into a ball, but not really sticky. 
Coffee for the dough's liquid!
Depending on your flour and humidity levels, more or less liquid is required, so add the liquid very slowly, to get the right consistency.  Knead it till it’s elastic, (just a few minutes) and set it aside.  Already it smells amazing!

For the filling, put the walnuts into a sturdy bag.  I wash out old plastic ziplocks, and used one of these.  It won’t be any good after this trick, so I don’t mind using an old used beat up bag. 

Using a heavy rolling pin, bop the walnuts steadily until they’re mostly broken up, then roll them out till they are all in small pieces and even powder.  Pour into a bowl, then pit and dice the dates.  I used table ready medjool dates, but if you hydrated cooking dates beforehand, that would be okay. 
The pointy chocolate chips were too hard to roll out.

The dates will clump up into a sticky mess, but add the ghee and chocolate, and gently stir the mix with a spoon and fork, pulling the dates apart. 

Getting back to the dough, break it apart into six pieces.  Using extra flour, roll each piece into a ball, then as you roll them out, slightly flatten with the palm of your hand.  

Roll out to about five inches in diameter.  Drop a tablespoon or two of filling into the centre, pinch up the dough, and roll out again.  I had used chocolate chips, which I regretted, as they interfered with the dough, popping through and creating holes. 
But you will be smarter, using just grated chocolate so that you can make your parothas as thin as possible.  Don’t worry about it being unsweetened, the dates will adjust the flavours well.  If you’re a crazy sweet tooth, go ahead and use sweetened chocolate.

Have your griddle on middle heat.  (Every stove and every griddle is different, so be prepared to adjust the heat.)  When it’s hot, put down the first parotha.  

I go ahead and start rolling out the next, but I have the rhythm.  You may need a partner for this.  Watch the parotha, and when the colour shifts slightly, flip it over.  Spread a tiny amount of ghee over it with the back of a spoon, or a brush.  Check the underside, and when it’s golden with a few spots, flip again, and brush a bit more ghee over it.  Remove from heat and place on a pretty plate.

Continue on till all the parothas are made.  I served these with a glass of plain milk.  They’d also be gorgeous with coffee.  These make a luxurious breakfast or snack.  The walnuts and whole wheat up the protein factor, and dates are healthy in moderation.  Unsweetened dark chocolate is high in anti-oxidants.  I won’t make any health claims for the ghee, although some Ayurvedic types do.  

One of these days I’ll get cracking on one of my other ideas for sweet parothas, but perhaps you could send me some brilliant ideas for fillings?  What about my homemade Seville marmalade with almonds? Oh my oh my…

Beautiful Granddaughter's already taken a bite.


  1. Hi, Stumbled upon your blog. Being an India living in US who likes to experiment with different cuisines, fusions...I am amazed to see yours...
    Could not stop myself from leaving a comment when I saw the sweet paratha with dates. Especially, using coffee for the dough..thats just brilliant!
    Keep creating... :)
    ~ Shweta

  2. Thanks Shweta, actually I got the flavour combo from Shalini, at Baketitude. She's an Indian who's completely reinvented cinnamon buns, and I took her flavours back to the chappattie. Lots of cross cultural stuff going on!

  3. The dates and walnuts came from the bread store, but the coffee, walnuts, cinnamon and chocolate are Shalini's!