Aloo paratha: Indian flatbread made with whole wheat flour, and stuffed with mashed and spiced potatoes.
Harsha is here for holidays and we thought a quintessentially Indian recipe should be posted soon. What better than aloo paratha?
The recipe is a common one except that I add a little besan (chickpea flour) to the whole wheat flour as this gives the paratha a sturdier structure and imparts a robust flavour. I like to add onions but it can be omitted.
Recipe: Aloo paratha – Potato stuffed Indian flatbread
For the covering
Wholewheat flour, coarse stoneground preferably (Chakki atta) – 2.5 cups
Chickpea flour (Besan) – 1/2 cup
Salt (I use rocksalt) – 1 tsp. OR to taste
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp. (optional)
Any neutral tasting oil (I use sunflower oil) – 2 tsp.
Water to knead (About 200ml)
For the filling
Potatoes, quartered – 5, medium sized
Red onion, finely chopped – 1, small
Green chilli, chopped – 1 OR to taste
Coriander, finely chopped – 10-15 stems
Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 tsp.
A generous pinch of ground black pepper
Place the dry ingredients and oil in a bowl and stir to distribute spices and flour uniformly.
Add oil water, a ladle or two at a time to knead into a soft, pliable, non-sticky dough.
If needed use oil sparingly (just a dash or 1/2 tsp.) to gather the dough towards the end. Cover and set aside while making the filing.
Steam potatoes till done, about 15 minutes. You can boil or pressure cook but steaming ensures that the potatoes do not have excess moisture, hence recommended. Baking works well too.
Meanwhile chop a small red onion, green chilli and coriander, and place in a bowl.
Peel the potatoes and add to the onion mixture.
Add the spices (roasted cumin powder, salt and pepper) and mash well with a fork while the potatoes are still hot. Use your hands or a spoon to bring the mix together, if needed.
To make the parathas
Place a tawa, skillet or pan to heat. Bring to medium heat. Once hot, lower the heat.
Pinch enough dough to form a ball that is about 2 inches sphere. Shape it into a cup with your fingers as shown in the video, keeping the bottom thicker than the edges.
Place about 2 tbsp. of the filling into the cup and gather the edges as shown in the video to seal with the dough.
Flatten between your palms and pat over dry whole wheat flour. Roll into a roti about 6-7 inches in diameter.
Baste with oil and flip carefully after half a minute (this depends on how hot your pan is – use your judgment). Baste again with oil and press with the pancake turner or a small flat bowl all over the surface gently to help even roasting. Flip again and do the same. When cooked and roasted to your liking remove onto a plate.
Paratha is generally served with pickled onions, spicy Indian pickles, thick curd and a dollop of butter. I have used my original recipe for vegan cashew curd made with green chilli starter, and vegan earth balance butter.