Kolkata Street Food Special: Bengali Moglai Porota or Mughlai Parantha
As the name suggests, this is another culinary gem from the kitchen of Mughal khansamas. During the period of Muslim rule, the Bengali cuisine, mainly the Dhakai cuisine got immensely inspired and influenced by it. It was during this time when rich and decadent dishes like Biryani, Chaap, Massallam, Rezala, etc. became popular among the Bengali noble class. It is believed that Moglai Porota or Mughlai Parantha also gained its prominence during this period.
Later during British rule, when Kolkata got introduced to the ‘Tiffin’ culture, this Moglai Porota quickly got its acceptance as a snack food. It was popularly found at the ‘Cabins’, pronounced as “kay-been“. Cabin restaurants were very popular in the 60s and 70s when family dining saw its surge among middle class Bengali bhodroloks. Here, the entire dining space would be compartmentalized to form mini booths so as to give each table its privacy. This allowed the ladies of the families to come out and have dinner in semi-public set-up.
This Moglai Porota gained its prominence in the Cabin Menus as crispy pastry sheets were filled with mildly spicy minced meat filling. It would be devoured with a side of cup of Gorom Cha aka Tea. This recipe of Mughlai Porota is, I would say, adapted from the original recipe which is often deep-fried. I have roasted the Paranthas on a non-stick cookware with a drizzle of oil, thus effectively cutting down the oil intake. Also, I find folding the paranthas in a triangle is much easier than a square. Let’s take a look at the recipe:
Popular Kolkata Street Food, this Moglai Porota recipe is an adapted version that is suited for home cooking. So, if you are looking for Snack recipes, then this Mughlai Paratha recipe is a wonderful option.
- 2 cups Maida or All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Salt
- Water to knead the dough
- 500 gms Mutton Kheema
- 2 Onions Large, Finely Chopped
- 8-10 Garlic Cloves Finely Chopped
- 2 inches Ginger Finely Chopped
- Salt to Taste
- 4 tbsp Mustard Oil For preparing the Kheema FIlling
- 1 tbsp Red Chili Powder
- Eggs 1 Egg per Paratha
Mix the 2 types of Flour with Salt before adding the Ghee and rubbing it in till it becomes smooth and there are no lumps left.
Now, start kneading the dough by adding water gradually. Once it is soft and supple, keep it covered and allow it to rest.
Take a Pressure Cooker and heat Mustard Oil in it. Add finely chopped Onions, Ginger and Garlic. Saute for five minutes on medium heat.
Add the minced meat and season it with salt. Stir it nicely till everything is mixed.
While frying, add Red Chili Powder and mix it well. At this stage, add a cup full of water and close the lid of the cooker.
Allow it to whistle 4-5 times on high heat before turning the heat off. Let it rest till the steam is out completely.
While the Pressure Cooker cools on its own, start making the paratha sheets.
This recipe will easily yield 10-12 Paranthas which should be sufficient for 4-5 people of vigorous appetite.
Pinch out a dough ball of Golf Ball size and flatten them with a rolling pin a slightly floured surface. Dry roast them on a skillet and keep them aside in a casserole.
Prepare all the Parantha sheets in this manner.
Once the Pressure Cooker cools off, open the lid and turn the heat on again. This time, reduce the water, if any, so that the filling has very little or no moisture in it.
Once the filling is dry and cooked, take it off the heat and allow it to cool.
Heat a skillet, preferably one which is concave in the center. This would allow you to wrap the porota in a much easier way.
While the skillet heats up, whisk an egg in a bowl with some chopped Onion and Green Chilies. Season it as per your taste with Salt & Pepper.
Drizzle some oil on the skillet and place a Paratha sheet on it. Keep the heat on low. Pour in the whisked egg in the center and spread it slightly towards the edges.
Take a heaped spoonful of Kheema stuffing and place it in the centre of the Egg spread.
Now, lift the edges of the Porota sheet and bring it towards center, folding it like an envelope.
Do, it in an overlapping fashion in a triangular shape so as to seal the egg mix and kheema stuffing inside.
Once the egg starts to set, turn the parantha over and fry. Once the parantha turns golden-brown and crispy, take it off the heat.
Repeat this for the rest of the paranthas. It is a gift of labour and patience as the heat has to be kept on low so as to allow the egg set in, without burning the parantha sheet outside.
Serve it with a side of Mint-Coriander Chutney or Ketchup.