Aloo Paratha / Flatbread Stuffed with Spiced Potatoes
I watched my friend K make some really scrumptious Aloo Parathas when she had us over for dinner the other day, and I just couldn’t get past this week without trying them out myself at home. I’ve always been a big fan of stuffed parathas, but there was something that held me back when it came to making them on my own. I being a hard core Mallu and all, with minimal experience in making Indian breads thought it was beyond me to keep the stuffing inside while I rolled out the dough. So, when I saw K , facilely flatten out the stuffed balls and later when the parathas hissed and billowed into big swollen puffs on the flame, my lifelong intimidation disappeared and I couldn’t wait to get to my kitchen and do some show and tell
Very much unlike me, K loves to slow dance in the kitchen. She finds cooking at a slow pace therapeutic. And that day, this worked perfectly for me.. It gave me ample time to make mental notes while watching her cook in spite of being busy in an intense, persisting gossip session. Thanks for letting me plonk my base on your counter top while you did all the cooking, K. You are the best ;).
You can spice up the stuffing any which way you want. Some like to add garam masala, others add chaat masala and some sauté the onions with the spices until they are cooked, before mixing it into the potatoes. I did mine simple with spring onions, cilantro, cumin and amchoor (dried mango powder). Go ahead, modify and alter it to your tastes. There is no right or wrong.
Making the stuffing as dry as possible allows you to roll out the parathas evenly thin and keeps the stuffing from breaking out. For this, ensure the potatoes are thoroughly cooked but not soggy.
The below recipe makes around 5 – 6 medium sized parathas.
|For the dough
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 – 3/4 cup water (sufficient to knead the flour together)
salt to taste
|For the stuffing
2 large potatoes thoroughly cooked
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tsp green chili finely chopped
4 -5 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango)
1/4 cup onions finely chopped
1/2 tsp grated ginger
pinch of crushed ajwain
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
Knead the flour with salt and water together to make a soft non sticky dough.
Cover and set aside.
Peel and mash the cooked potatoes, using a grater ensures there are no lumps.
Mix onions, chilies, cilantro, cumin, amchoor and salt to the mashed potatoes.
Divide the dough and potato mixture into 6 equal parts each. I like my parathas with lots of stuffing so, I used stuffing, twice the size of the dough.
Roll out the dough into small circles, place a ball of stuffing in the center of each circle of dough, gather the edges of the dough together and seal with a twist on top. Press down the protruding bit and let them be for a minute or two.
Pat the stuffed balls with dry flour before beginning to roll them out.
Keeping the seal on top, gently press down the ball with your fingers.
When they are as flat as your fingers could get them to be, use a rolling pin and gently roll out the paratha to the thickness you desire. I like mine very thin.
Heat a skillet on high.
Place the paratha over the skillet.
When the paratha begins to puff up on the edges turn it over.
When the paratha billows into a big balloon apply 1/2 – 1 tsp of ghee to the surface and turn over.
Press down using a spatula and apply ghee similarly on this side too.
Take off the flame when cooked thoroughly on both sides.
Serve hot with, curd, pickles or butter.
Cool completely in the open if you want to box them for later.
Tags: Potatoes, Wheat Flour