My favourite thing about winters (and life in general!) is the food- delicacies made from seasonal fruits and vegetables, which are made more special due to their short availability, so I try my best to make the maximum number of dishes during the period they are available.
Green peas is one such seasonal vegetable found abundantly throughout North India during winters. People enjoy a vast variety of pea delicacies- Matar ke parathe, Nimona, Matar paneer, Matar poori/kachori, Matar pulao and phara. Phara are basically pea filled rice dough dumplings. Highly nutritious and healthy, it is a popular breakfast choice.
I remember my mother making phara everytime I was home from college for the winter vacations. Till date they are the best I’ve ever had. She would get up early to prepare it just so we could have it for the breakfast.
She would grind the peas on sil- batta oil(a type of mortar pestle made from special rock), knead the rice flour and made the phara on a chullah by the dozen ( my siblings loved them as much as I did!) She wouldn’t tire cooking and we wouldn’t tire eating 😉
300 gms rice flour
1/2 kg green peas
3-4 green chillies
8-10 peeled garlic cloves
1/2 inch ginger
A pinch of asafoetida
1 tbsp refined or olive oil
Salt to taste
Lukewarm water for kneading
- Take the flour in a bowl and knead the dough with lukewarm water.
- Grind the peas with the rest of the ingredients with 1 tsp water (otherwise filling becomes runny).
- Divide the dough into equal portions and make small balls. Apply some oil on the both palm and flatten the dough and make small circles.
- Place the filling at the centre of the circle and give the shape of pharas by slightly pressing the middle portion. Make rest of all.
- Heat 1/4 tbsp oil in a non-stick pot and put the dumplings filling-side on the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle some water on the sides of the pot and cover the lid on low flame.
- After 5 minutes, flip them and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot with green chutney.