Aloo Paratha is basically paratha (flat bread) stuffed with aloo (mashed potatoes). If you love Indian food, it is quite likely that you love Indian flatbreads, isn’t it? Indian parathas are filling, nutritious and are made in a number of different ways, with a variety of stuffings. The humble aloo paratha makes and awesome Indian breakfast, clubbed with some tamarind chutney, achaar (Indian spicy pickle) or raita (a yogurt side-dish). We love frying these in butter or ghee, but if you are health-conscious, replace that with a light oil (canola, sunflower, groundnut, rice-barn, etc), as I do. If you have never made parathas, but you are good at rolling out fondants, cookie dough or pizza dough, then be confident, you can easily make these. Many Indian mothers love to pack their kids’ lunchboxes with aloo parathas because these are soft and being rich in carbohydrates, these make a good lunchbox option for active kids.
Aloo parathas are actually North-Indian in origin, but now these are made across India. Depending on the location, people in each state sometimes might like to adopt a slightly different combination of spices, adjusting to the local taste. For example, one of my South-Indian friends loves to add a little sambhar masala to the stuffing, as sambhar is very popular in the South and they are used to the flavour of that particular spice mix. Similarly, a Bengali (East-Indian) might love adding their spice mix called bhaja mashla, instead of the usual Punjabi garam masala powder. The outcome is always scrumptious: you can go ahead and add your Italian oregano seasoning and grated cheese instead of the spices and still you will get a magical Indo-Western fusion twist. Sounds exciting? Let’s make it! The recipe is the actual North-Indian authentic way of making these parathas.
Aloo Paratha (Mashed-potato-stuffed Indian flatbreads)
Ingredients for the paratha dough:
- Whole-wheat flour: 3 cups
- Salt: ¼ tsp
- Warm water: to knead
- Warm oil: 1.5 tbsp
- Oil for shallow frying: 1.5 tbsp for each paratha
Ingredients for the potato stuffing:
- Boiled and mashed potatoes (medium-sized): 6
- Purple onion (finely chopped): ½ cup
- Green chillies (finely chopped): 4
- Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
- Salt: ¾ tsp (may vary)
- Punjabi garam masala powder: ½ tsp
- Amchoor powder (dried mango powder): ¼ tsp (optional)
- Cumin seeds: ¼ tsp
- Carom seeds (ajwain): ¼ tsp
- Cumin powder: ½ tsp
- Coriander leaves (finely chopped): 3 tbsp
- Oil: 2 tbsp
Make the paratha dough first by combining the first four ingredients, adding water to bind the dough and kneading for 10 min. We need a soft, moist, but non-sticky dough for making the parathas. This is called the atta dough.
Let’s make the potato stuffing now. Mash the potatoes with hand, as finely as you can. Add all the other ingredients and knead again, so that the ingredients are distributed almost uniformly. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadhai or wok and add this potato mixture and sauté for just 2 min, so that the raw taste of the spices goes away. Remove and set aside.
Make a ball from the atta dough, almost three-fourth of the size of your computer mouse. Dust the rolling surface with wheat flour and roll this ball into a palm-sized circle. Add the potato stuffing at the centre, flattening in slightly.
Flip the ball and place the smooth side up on the rolling surface. Dust this ball with wheat flour and slowly roll the ball, taking care to avoid applying too much pressure, which will tear the paratha. A slight tear here and there is okay if the stuffing is still intact inside. The trick is to dust the paratha on both sides and roll both the sides, as you make it bigger.
Heat a pan or a tava. Add 1.5 tbsp of oil (you can also add ghee or butter instead of oil, for an enhanced taste), spreading it across the whole pan. When the oil becomes hot, carefully slide in the paratha. The flame should be medium throughout.
After 2-3 min, flip and cook the other side, until well-cooked. Remove on an absorbent paper and serve hot with a little butter on each of these. I enjoy it with my favourite green-mango pickle.
The paratha is now getting cooked. I had flipped the top side down later, as the sides had to get cooked more (as you can see in this picture). These parathas are thick, so you have to press the parathas down slightly while cooking in the pan, so as to ensure these to be fully cooked from inside as well as outside. Flip occassionally.
(Loved the recipe? Do have a look at my other paratha recipes here.)