Asia Eat This Page India Punjab

Eat this Page: Aloo Paratha (whole wheat Indian flatbread)

Parathas are whole-wheat Indian flatbread that can be as healthy as you want them to be. You ca eat them plain, or stuffed, for breakfast or lunch. This recipe uses our favorite filling – aloo (potato) – with a much healthier adaptation from expert paratha maker, Binder Bhua, Navdeep’s aunt in Punjab. She is very Punjabi, so doesn’t understand the concept of “no ghee” and finds the idea of a dry parantha unfathomable, hence the glistening parantha in the photo above.

PREP                         COOK                 SERVES

30 minutes                  20 minutes              6 parathas

POTATO STUFFING
2-3 medium potatoes (1 lb or so)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
1 or 2 cloves of smashed garlic, if desired
1 teaspoon ajwain (caroway seeds)
½ to 1 teaspoon lal mirch (cayenne powder)
½ teaspoon salt
1 or more green chillies, to taste
½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera), ground
½ teaspoon dhania (cilantro/coriander), ground
½ teaspoon anar dana, ground

DOUGH
4 cups of wheat flour, sifted
additional flour for dusting
water, as needed, to knead flour into a firm, but pliable dough
rolling pin
flat floured surface

EQUIPMENT
tava or griddle pan
ghee (clarified butter) for frying and topping; for a healthier option, use olive oil. You can also use butter.
Thick Indian style plain yogurt for dipping
aam ka achar (mango pickle)

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  In a large bowl, mix sifted flour with water, adding a few drops at a time and kneading the mixture until a firm but pliable dough forms. When you have a large, smooth round, cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate for at least half an hour. This process can be done ahead of time as long as the dough is covered and refrigerated.

2.  Peel and boil one pound of potatoes (2-3 medium sized) until soft but not mushy. Let cool.

3.  Finely dice onion, chilies, and ginger. Add garlic if desired.

4.  In a small pan, dry roast jeera (cumin seeds) until it turns black. Grind jeera, anar dana and dhania (cilantro/coriander) into a fine powder.

5. In a medium-sized bowl, mix pototoes, onions, chilies, ginger, garlic, salt, lal mirch (cayenne), jeera (cumin), anar dana, and dhania (cilantro/coriander) until well-blended and of smooth consistency.

6. Remove dough from fridge. Form pedas, which are small, two-inch rounds. Lightly flour each peda.

7. Take a peda and flatten edges with the palm of your hand, until a three-inch disc is formed. Flour both sides of disc, then lay on flat, floured surface. Roll out peda into a four-inch round disc.

8. Add two heaping teaspoons of potato stuffing to the center of the disc. Fold in edges to close around potato mixture, ensuring there are no leaks.

9. Using the rolling pin, carefully roll the stuffed peda out into a six inch round, dusting with flour on both sides to prevent sticking.

10. Heat tava or griddle pan to medium heat. Carefully flipped rolled six-inch parantha on to the hot pan. Cook for one minute, then flip and cook for one minute on the other side. Add a dollop of ghee or butter to the top of paranta, spreading over the surface of the bread. Flip again. Enjoy the sizzle as it browns. Add ghee or butter to the other side, spreading over surface. Flip and brown this side. When both sides are crispy and golden with brown spots, your parantha is ready.

Repeat process for each peda until you a have a hearty stack.

Serve hot off the tava with dahi (thick Indian yogurt) and aam ka achar (mango pickle) for dipping and wash it all down with Sona’s special adraki chai.

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