A well stocked spice rack never ceases to open up a world of opportunity when cooking. My fiancée is particularly good at mixing together the many complex Indian spices, and we often cook out of Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking, which we inherited from her parents. I’ve made naan before but otherwise had not ventured out into the delicious world of Indian flatbreads. There are so many options, but I went with one stuffed with herbs and potatoes, hard to go wrong!
When we made beef vindaloo a few weeks ago I saw it as an opportunity to finally try something new. Parathas are stuffed flatbreads, typically made with whole wheat flour. These took a bit longer to make than I was expecting, mostly because you have to repeat every step 10 (or 12 depending on how many you make) times and cook. That being said, the end product was warm, flaky, and had an incredible aromatic smell that definitely made it worth the work!
When rolling out the dough I was a bit concerned about how it would hold up once stuffed with potatoes. I have several well documented problems with filling spilling through holes in the dough and was worried that the whole wheat dough might tear.
Well, turns out I had nothing to worry about. The dough was pliable and wrapped nicely around the potato & herb filling. It was just me at home while I was making these so I had a harder time taking pictures at every step in the process. I describe the prep work in the recipe but if you are interested in more pictures I suggest checking out this blog post.
I was interested to find out that aloo paratha is a popular breakfast bread in India. Given the warm potatoes stuffed inside it makes sense, I of course just typically don’t associate spices like coriander and cumin with the early morning.
Whether you make these for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, enjoy!
Aloo Paratha (Makes 10-12)
- 4 medium potatoes (about 4 oz each)
- 1/2 t red pepper flakes
- 1 t cumin, ground
- 1 t coriander, ground
- 1 t salt
- 2 C whole wheat flour
- 1 C AP flour
- 1 C water
Boil or bake potatoes until tender and then peel and mash. Add salt, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes and mix in. Set aside in a bowl.
In a bowl mix together flour and water until a rough dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4-5 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Place back in bowl and cover, letting stand for 30 minutes.
Following the resting period divide the dough into 10-12 pieces of equal size, depending on how large you would like your final parathas to be. Flatten each piece of dough into a disc and use a rolling pin to roll out to a circle, about 4-5 inches in diameter.
Pack together about 2 tablespoons of filling and place in the center of each piece of dough. Fold the edges of the dough over the top of the filling to create a seal and press down lightly to flatten the dough. Repeat until you have stuffed all pieces of dough.
On a floured surface use a rolling pin to flatten and roll out each piece of dough into a circle, about 7-8 inches in diameter.
Cook each paratha in a well oiled cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 45 seconds to a minute. To save some time you can roll out additional parathas while waiting for some to cook.
Recipe adapted from Julie Sahni in Classic Indian Cooking