My son went to Dehli for a week last summer and ever since he came back he has been making aloo paratha for breakfast. A stuffed flatbread, it can be made with any kind of filling you want, but spiced mashed potatoes are both delicious and traditional. I would claim that we make them with left over mashed potatoes but that would be a lie since we never have left over mashed potatoes when I am around. Alternatively, when you make mashed potatoes, set a few boiled potatoes aside to make this dish the next morning.
RECIPE: Aloo Paratha
For the paratha dough
- 2 cups whole wheat or durum flour
- about 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- salt to taste
For the aloo (potato) filling
- 2 or 3 boiled potatoes
- 2 chopped green chilies
- 2-3 teaspoons garam marsala or other curry mix
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
Mix the salt and flour together, add the oil then mix in enough water to make a smooth (not too rough or sticky) dough. Divide into 8 equal sized balls and set aside.
Mash the cooked potato with the spices. If you don’t have fresh or canned green chilies, use some cayenne pepper to spice the potatoes. Don’t be afraid of making them too spicy, the dough calms it all down when you eat it.
Sprinkle flour on a work surface. Roll out one of the balls of dough into a five- or six-inch circle. Place ¼ of the spiced potatoes on top of the dough, leaving a margin at the edge of the dough circle. The thickness of the filling doesn’t matter much; a thicker filling equals a heavier meal.
Roll out a second ball of dough and place on top of the first one. Pinch the edges firmly to hold the two discs of dough together, then roll them out until the double flatbread is around 8 inches in diameter.
Heat up a large skillet over medium heat and add ghee, butter or oil to it. Cook the paratha on one side until it browns and cooks through, around 3 or 4 minutes. Flip the paratha and cook the other side until done.
Once the paratha comes off the stovetop, spread a little butter on it and make a stack of them on a dish, covered with a tea towel to keep them warm until serving. This makes for a heavy breakfast, half a filled paratha with a side of yogurt is plenty to get me through the morning.
You can also make plain paratha, cooking single flatbreads one at a time, to use as a thinner alternative to roti or naan with Indian food.