Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Malabar Erachi (Mutton) Pathiri (Paratha)

Erachi pathiri is a Northern Kerala (Malabar) dish. This dish has a meat stuffing. You will never rarely find this dish in a restaurant, it is always cooked at home. It is usually made during Ramadan, and also sometimes made a day after a wedding with a variety of other dishes for breakfast to welcome the groom. Mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, all work together preparing a long list of breakfast for the groom and his friends. There is laughter in the kitchen, stories told from childhood, embarrassing situations unraveled, some are kneading the dough, some are slicing the vegetables, batters are being mixed to ferment for the next day, brick ovens are fired up and all this for the love of food, the groom and a building of a new relationship.

Erachi Pathiri is our all time favorite. You can substitute Maida(all purpose flour) for Wheat flour(atta), although the atta version may not be flaky.

This is also a good recipe if you have some mutton pieces left over from a curry. Then all you need to do is sauté some onions and chilies with ginger garlic paste, add the spices, scoop the mutton out from the curry and shred them - the stuffing is ready (you save time cooking the meat separately).

This dish is also lovely if you are going to a picnic and want to pack something from home. The meat, onions and spices give this dish the flavor of a meat curry and the pathiri gives a lovely crispy flaky texture to the dish.

I personally like this dish just as it is. But my husband likes it with a coating of egg, sugar and crushed cardamom pods. As it gives a hint of sweetness to the otherwise spicy filling. This is a true Malabar dish.

The pictures don't have the egg batter. I will update the pictures when I make this next at home with the egg batter.

Ingredients: For the Pathiri
  • 2 cups Maida (you could use atta for a healthy version, or use 1 cup maida and 1 cup atta)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Approximately 1-cup warm water
  • 1 tsp oil

Mix all of the above and knead it to a soft dough. Keep aside wrapped in cling wrap.

For the filling:
  • 2 large onions sliced finely,
  • 3-4 green chilies chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ chili powder
  • 2-3 tsp roasted coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup Mutton cooked and shredded (recipe below)
  • Handful of Coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
Ingerdients for the Mutton:
  • 500gms/1lb Mutton/Beef
  • 1" Ginger and 2-3 big cloves of garlic (ground to a paste)
  • 4-5 Green chilies chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder
  • Few curry leaves
Method for cooking the Meat:

In a pressure cooker, add the mutton with all the other ingredients with 1 1/2 cups of water. Cook the meat for 10 minutes on a high flame and another 15 - 20 minutes on a low flame till it is tender. When the cooker cools down, open it, check the meat if it is tender. If there is gravy(there will most likely be some), keep the lid open and let the gravy evaporate on a high flame. Alternatively you can scoop out the mutton pieces and use the gravy for something else, maybe a soup. Either chop or shred the mutton pieces. You could also make this on heavy bottom pot and cook the meat for an hour till it is tender.

Method for the filling:

Heat oil in a pot and sauté the sliced onions and chilies till translucent.
Add ginger garlic paste, sauté for few minutes till you can get a lovely aroma from the ginger garlic and the caramelized onions. Add the turmeric, chili, fennel and coriander powders sauté for 3-4 minutes; add salt and the shredded mutton. Sauté till the onions, the masala(spice) powders and the mutton are all coated and mixed well. Add the chopped coriander leaves and adjust the seasoning. Keep aside to cool.

To assemble:

Divide the dough to 14-16 lime size balls.
Roll 2 lime size balls to around 6-7 " in diameter.

Spread the stuffing on to one of the rolled discs.

Put the other rolled pathiri on top of the stuffing, press and seal the edges with your fingers.

Next, lift the pressed edge of the pathiri and fold the dough towards the filling. Press and fold the edges of the entire pathiri in this way to make a pretty border.
Heat some oil in a shallow frying pan, fry the pathiri one at time till golden brown on both sides. You could serve it hot as it is or follow the next step.

In a bowl, beat 2 eggs, with 2 tbsps of sugar and cardamom powder(3-4 cardamom pods crushed). Dip the fried pathiri in the egg batter and re-fry the pathiri till the egg is cooked and gets golden brown specs. Serve hot.

This recipe is going for the Roti Mela hosted by Cooking 4 all Seasons.


srivalli said...

Wonderful looking paratha!..thanks for the entry!

lan said...

i never had tried this. having eaten allo parathas i can imagine this being oh so tasty!

Pravs said...

very nice recipe. Love the pics too.

Cham said...

Love the way u fold the paratha like a pie :)

Lubna said...

Amazing!! I made the erachi pathiri and my family loved it!!
When I was studying in Calicut, my Kozhikodan friends used to bring their homemade delicacies, and I used to love erachi and meen pathiris. After all these years, I finally found the recipe and made it.... It came out so well, I am so proud of myself!!

All thanks to you!!

My comfort food network said...

Thank you all for your comments.

Lubna, I am glad that you and your family enjoyed it.
It gives me great pleasure if someone makes my recipe and absolutely loves it...:-))

Anonymous said...

hey ,was just looking thru u re blog.......saw thiscomment abt how pathiri was never seen in a restaurant......wanted totell u that there s this place in calicut called zain s and a also bombay hotel....both these places serve irachi pathiri........

My comfort food network said...

Hey Anonymous,

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

Yes, you are right, Erachi pathiri is served at Zains and Bombay hotel in Calicut. But this is fairly new(maybe in a decade or so). When I meant that you will never find it in a restaurant, I meant that it is quite a unique dish, a dish that is made at homes more often, then found in menu's in a restaurant.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that it is not anywhere near as ubiquitous as puttu or dosas - perhaps, I should replace 'never' with 'rarely'.

For some reason, it's hard to find many restaurants outside Kerala that serve Erachi Pathiri. Maybe it is available in the gulf now, and very little is known about the dish outside Kerala/Malabar.

Still, I would be happy to be proven wrong on this one. So, if you know of any restaurants in the US, do let me know.