Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Bangladeshi Breakfast, Part 2

মোঘলাই পরোটা
Mughlai Porota 

Mughlai porota with an egg, red chilli & spring onion
filling, with a Sriracha dip on the side

I've been contemplating pancakes, mango milk and stick toffee pudding recently. However, my last two recipe posts were sweets too, and hence this savoury interlude. The Bangladeshi iteration of mughlai porota, for those who don't know, is a fried flatbread filled with egg or mincemeat. These porotas are commonly sold from road side shops in Dhaka. In my grandma's family, they feature heavily in our rotating menu of tea-time street food snacks. My mom also served them for breakfast when I was younger, in a bid to get me to eat eggs. I personally prefer these porotas for breakfast rather than tea, especially when I want something heavier as part of a brunch menu. Eggs are always a morning thing for me. 

The mincemeat version of the mughlai porota has been much less common in my life. My family rarely made it, and it's not often sold in our Dhaka neighbourhood due to the prohibitive price of meat. I've never personally made it either, and the recipe below is purely for the egg version of mughlai porota. I've also recommended shallow as opposed to deep-frying the porota. This is mostly because I can't imagine deep-frying foods I regularly eat. Do note it makes a difference - deep-fried mughlai porota comes out flakier and fluffier, and so deep-fry if you wish. Reading back over the instructions, I realise how complicated the rolling and folding may seem to a first-timer, so I'll be updating this post with more photos as soon as possible. 

  • 100.00 g plain flour
  • 45.00 ml lukewarm water
  • 1.00 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1.00 medium egg
  • 1.00 red chilli
  • 1.00 spring onion
  • Salt, to taste

  • Prepare the dough first, so that it can be left to prove while the other ingredients are prepared
  • Place the flour in a bowl, and add the lukewarm water in small amounts, kneading to form dough
  • Add salt and the vegetable oil, and mix in thoroughly. The dough should bounce, but not be wet enough to stick to hands and fingers. Add a little flour at a time (even beyond the 100.00 g if necessary) to achieve this consistency
  • Once the desired consistency has been achieved, set the dough aside and prepare the egg
  • Crack open the egg into a small bowl, and beat with a little salt
  • Slice the red chilli and spring onion, and mix in with the egg
  • Sprinkle plain flour onto a flat surface where the porota can be rolled out (I use a board measuring 45cm by 35cm). Equally, rub some flour onto a rolling pin
  • Place the dough on the prepared surface, and sprinkle some more flour onto the dough itself 
  • Using the rolling pin, roll out a rectangular porota. Flip the porota over often to preventing sticking, and sprinkle flour onto the surface facing up each time
  • All this extra flour is to ensure the dough doesn't end up sticking to the rolling surface or pin. Having to then un-stick the dough often tears the porota 
  • The finished porota should be about 3 mm thick, and I usually end up with a 40cm by 35 cm porota on my board
  • Once the porota is rolled out, pour enough vegetable oil onto a frying pan to cover the surface, and turn on the heat to medium-high
  • Pour the prepared egg onto the middle of the rolled out porota. Ensure that the surface is completely flat or the egg will run. With a teaspoon, spread the egg out a little, making sure that the chilli and spring onion are evenly spaced
  • Once satisfied, pull each corner of the porota and fold into the centre like an envelope, creating a square-ish parcel that covers the egg within
  • Using a large spatula, carefully transfer the raw folded porota to the frying pan
  • Fry on this side for a couple of minutes, before flipping over and frying on the other side for another couple of minutes
  • Keep flipping and frying porota on each side until the surfaces reach a golden-brown hue
  • Once done, transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil 
  • Serve while warm, sliced into bite-size pieces, and accompany with other dishes if desired

Additional Info:
The traditional filling is of course chilli and onion rather than spring onion, but I wanted to give my plate a little bit of red-and-green colouring. Experiment with whatever else comes to fancy - in my next attempts I intend to incorporate cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms (i.e. my favourite omelette fillings!). I don't think dry spices will really work given the short cooking times here, but fresh herbs are another definite option to try. 

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