Paratha is a bread made with vegetable filling. Traditionally, paratha is made with potato filling and pan fried using oil or ghee. I make the paratha by not using oil or ghee while cooking. After it is done cooking on the pan, I spread a little ghee on top of it. You can make them using various stuffing like spinach, radish, kale etc. If you have left over veggies in the fridge, you can chop them fine, add the masala and spices indicated in the recipe below. I learnt this from my friend in Minneapolis, who is Punjabi. She makes some of the best parathas. You can also freeze them before or after cooking them. It tastes really good with yoghurt and chutneys. Sometimes, I eat it with Creme Fraiche and it taste really good. It is quite healthy too, especially, if you are not cooking by pan frying in oil or ghee.
I had been debating whether to post this recipe without an accompanying video. The reason is if you are not used to rolling out dough, you might look at the recipe and feel intimidated. Actually the recipe is quite straightforward to make. The trick is to roll out the dough by not applying too much pressure and also spreading flour during the rolling process. I have added photos of the various steps that will help you in making a paratha. It will take a few tries but it is well worth the effort.
Chapati flour is traditionally used to make parathas. If you do not have an Indian store or do not want to order it online, you can use equal parts of white wheat flour and all-purpose flour as a good substitute. Also, after you knead the dough, let the dough sit for 10-15 minutes.
Once you have prepared the dough and potato or any other filling, you can follow the steps in the pic below. Go clockwise starting with the left image where you have separated out the filling and dough into balls.
While cooking, the paratha will puff up. That is normal. Just be careful while flipping as the steam might burn your hands. Make sure a few brown spots have appeared on the side facing the pan before flipping to cook on the other side.
Also, use a kitchen towel to press lightly on the sides to cook it after you have flipped the paratha and it has cooked for a minute or two after flipping. If the paratha does not puff up, you can still use the kitchen towel to press it lightly over the paratha and turning it in half circles as you press it.
Aloo Paratha (Potato Stuffed Flat Bread)
It is traditionally eaten with yoghurt and chutney. It goes really good even with Creme Fraiche if you so prefer.
1 1/2 cup cchappati flour
3/4 cup white wheat flour and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed (approximately 2 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 serrano green chili, chopped fine
(use 2 green chili for slightly spicy flavor)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
2 tablespoons coriander powder
(Please use Indian coriander powder)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon chives
1 teaspoon garam masala (optional but makes a better tasting paratha)
(if you prefer home made, see recipe for garam masala)
Combine the dought ingredients in a bowl and knead well. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest of 10-15 minutes
Combine the ingredients for potato filling. Divide the potato filling into 7-8 balls. The potato balls should be bigger than the dough balls.
Re-knead the dough again for preparing it to roll. If the dough feels sticky, add a little flour at a time and knead. Divide the dough into 7-8 balls. Dip the dough balls in the flour container so that they are covered with flour. Dust the excess flour off. This helps the dough not to stick to each other while you are rolling each dough ball.
Roll each dough ball with a pin into 2 inch circles. Make sure to spread some flour on the board before rolling the dough ball. Place the pototo ball onto the center of the circle and seal the end of the dough by covering the potato ball. Continue rolling the rest of the dough balls and sealing the potato balls.
Heat a cast iron pan on medium heat.
The next step is to roll the stuffed balls into 6-8 inch circles. Make sure to use flour while you roll the stuffed dough balls otherwise it will stick to the rolling surface and the rolling pin.
Place the rolled paratha on the pan and let it heat until it gets a few brown spots – approximately 1-2 minutes. Flip the paratha and let it cook on the other side until brown spots start appearing. You might notice that the paratha might start to puff up. Take a dish towel, and start pressing on the paratha lightly on the sides till it is cooked through. Each paratha will cook in approximately 5-6 minutes or so. See pictures for help on the whole process.
Makes 7-8 parathas