February 14, 2010

Aloo Parathas (Indian Flatbreads Stuffed With Spicy Mashed Potatoes)

Indian cuisine (the north Indian variety) is very well known for its flatbreads like the roti/ chappathi (similar to whole wheat tortillas), pooris (deep-fried flatbreads), naans (leavened flatbreads) and parathas (pan-fried flatbreads).
While these flatbreads are north Indian in origin (brought in to India by traders and invaders from Persia and thereabouts), one can find them served in restaurants, little eateries and many homes all over the country.
Parathas can be plain or stuffed with different kinds of fillings. The plain parathas are invariably layered with ghee, while folding and rolling them out and this makes them very flaky when cooked.

The stuffed variety of parathas contains all sorts of different fillings of which the spiced and mashed potatoes (aloo) kind is perhaps the most popular. Here again, as is the case with many different types of food, there are probably as many recipes for the filling as there are cooks who make these parathas!
These potato filled parathas are one of our favourites and fills my duaghter’s school lunchbox many a time. The nice part is that one can make these parathas a little ahead of time. I do this a lot as it means I don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen at one go.

If I have to send them in my daughter’s lunch box to school early in the morning, I make the potato filling the previous night and refrigerate it. Sometimes I make the dough as well and fill the dough balls with the potato filling. I then dust them lightly with whole wheat flour and refrigerate these in an airtight container, to make them the next morning.

Occasionally, I make the parathas and then cool them completely. Then I stack them parchment paper or aluminium foil squares in between them, put them in a Ziploc bag and freeze them.
Then all I do is pull out as many as I need and re-heat them on a tawa/ skillet.

This is my recipe for aloo parathas. This video uses a slightly different recipe but gives a good demonstartion on how to make aloo parathas.
Aloo Parathas (Indian Flatbreads Stuffed With Spicy Mashed Potatoes)


For the paratha dough:

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 tbsp oil

salt to taste

about 1 cup water (or a little more if required)

For the filling:

1 big onion, finely chopped

about 8 small to medium potatoes (approx. 2 cup mashed potatoes)

1 tsp ginger paste

1/2 tsp garlic paste

4 green chillies (deseeded and finely chopped0

1/4 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 1/2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

salt to taste

1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

Oil/ ghee (clarified butter) to cook the parathas


First prepare the filling.
Peel and cook the potatoes till they’re very soft. Mash them very well so there are no lumps left and it is smooth.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the ginger, garlic pastes and chopped onion. Sauté everything till the onions soft and translucent. Add the spice powders and sauté, over medium heat, for a minute. Then add the green chillies, potatoes, salt and chopped coriander.
Mix everything well and then take off the heat. Allow to cool and divide the mixture into 12 equal portions. Roll the portions into balls.

Then make the dough.
Put the whole wheat flour, salt and oil in a deep bowl and whisk together. Add the water about a 1/4 cup at a time and knead until your dough is soft (but not sticky) and elastic. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each into a ball.

Now make the parathas.
Take one ball of dough and roll it out into a 3” circle lightly dusting with whole wheat flour if necessary.
Place a ball of mashed potato in the centre of the dough circle. Bring up the sides of the dough circle around the potato ball and enclose it completely, pinching the dough on top.

Flatten it slightly, dust lightly with whole wheat flour, and roll out into a 1/4 “thick circle. Make sure that the filling doesn’t come out while rolling. Use the rolling pin lightly when rolling the paratha out.

Cook the paratha on a hot tawa/ skillet over medium heat till light brown spots appear on one side. Cook similarly on the other side. Brush lightly with oil and again cook the paratha on both sides till the brown spots deepen a bit.
Repeat with remaining dough and potato filling balls.

Serve hot with fresh thick yogurt (home-made, if possible), thin slices of raw onion and pickles.
This recipe makes 12 parathas.


Madhu said...

They look so perfect.. i am never able to make them so round and perfect.

Chow and Chatter said...

wow love this can i have one!

Indhu said...

I am an aloo paratha novice... I always end up making a mess as the filling oozes out when I try to roll it :( . your parathas look so perfect!

Preeti Kashyap said...

I love these...Just made them yesterday and just can't get enough!

simply.food said...

These parathas look absolutely delicious.

Asha @ FSK said...

WOW! your parathas are so perfect! every one of them looks just like the other!! scary !! :PP gorgeous, actually :))

Jaya Wagle said...

Aparna, love aloo parathas with a passion and as a kid whenever my mom asked me what I wanted to eat Aloo Paratha was my pat answer. Adding garam masala is new to me though I love crushed fennel seeds in them. I will try GM if you try fennel the next time round. (just kidding) Will try the GM for sure.

Sharmilee! :) said...

Luv this anytime...looks absolutely tasty!

Muraligeetham said...

wow! looks so perfect ..

Prathibha said...

Love this anytime...they r the king of paratha's I can say...

bake in paris said...

Parathas would be my next endeavor after pita bread from DB Cooks Challenge: Mezze! I believe you would have enjoyed the Mezze Challenge!!! This flatbread looks wonderfully appetizing.

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Supriya Nair said...

These are so perfect...feel like grabbing them and eating them right away! Luvly click!

Shabs.. said...

Love the snap. My recipe is also almost the same and It tastes so yummy...din't make it for a while now!!...feel like having some now:(..love these...

Jayashree said...

Nice pic. I like your idea of keeping the balls of stuffed dough ready in the fridge. Makes things so much easier in the morning, doesn't it?

maninas said...

they look amazing... i need to venture into trying some paratha making soon...

diva said...

You know I never knew these were north indian? My flatmate told me about them last week (she's south indian) and we're gonna make these some time soon! They look so very delicious and I love all sorts of Indian flatbread so definitely something that's up my street :) Just wondering, are these similar to pratas you can find in Southeast Asia? x

jayasri said...

My kids fav, I too used to send them in their lunch boxes in India, not anymore they like their sanchwiches now!!!, This they prefer to eat at home right from the tawa!!, lovely click aparna

Priya said...

My all time favourite, just love it..

Lisa said...

I'm craving these now! Just perfect. I always enjoy your offerings.

Cynthia said...

I like this at breakfast.

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Wow warm comforting parathas... They look wholesome!!!


arundati said...

aloo paranthas are pure indulgence... yummy to the last bite... yours look so perfect

MeetaK said...

love pranthas and my mum made me paneer ones! but this is great aparna i have to give these a go!

Manggy said...

I'd love to make these someday. Great pictures too, Aparna!

Cham said...

I love the way all ur parathas are round and shaped well. Mine is always in different shapes!

Raaga said...

I haven't made parathas myself in some time... I must change that soon!

Lisa said...

I spent about two weeks, almost 2 ago, making parathas. I LOVE THEM! From kheema paratha (I think that's the correct word) to paratha aloo, although my paratha aloo didn't look anywhere near as lovely and deliciouc as yours :)

pigpigscorner said...

I miss roti! This is very common in my home country, love it with dhal or kaya.

Megan said...

Wow, these sound and look absolutely delicious! I just may have to branch out from my usual cooking and give this recipe a shot!

Veena said...

Yummo!!! Perfection for sure - reminds of the standing family joke that one could take a measuring tape to your chapathis and they would measure a perfect circle every single time....

rajani@eatwritethink said...

hi aparna! yummy aloo parathas my favourite! ya even i have wondered about freezing parathas, but i chicken out at the last minute- like many indians i am wary of ready to eats. but i think its a convinient option if consumed soon i guess. my mum puts ginger - no garlic, and garam masala. my m-i-l puts no ginger but some garlic. i have tried both and when i miss my mum i put ginger :)

you're online check out - http://food.femina.in/featured/foodbytes-veg-is-the-word

Michelle said...

This looks like so much fun..I have to try it!

Thanks so much for posting the video, it is excellent!

dick said...

When you mention ginger paste in the recipes, I wonder if you can substitute very finely chopped ginger to get the same effect. I have space problems as I live in a small studio apartment and am trying to limit what I keep on hand to what I will use all the time and I am not sure just how often I would use ginger paste.

The recipe looks easy and delicious. This is one I am definitely going to make.

bridgit said...

Just made the HB in 5 version... glad to be introduced to the original! Thanks... I look forward to trying this soon!

Aparna said...

Thank you for taking the time to visit and leave comments. This is what makes me want to blog even more! :)

Yes you can, Rebecca. :)

Indhu, practise makes perfect. If you put the filling in and ensure it is properly covered with dough, your parathas should be okay.

I shall try fennel, Jaya. I do add to some of my dals and my stir fried tomato chutney.
So now you have to use GM in your parathas! LOL

I think I would have, Kris. Db takes a lot of my time so I'm keeping away from DC for now. :)

It does, Jayashree.

I didn't know what a prata was, Diva, so I looked it up. While its not the excat same thing, it definitely seems to have originated here.

Cynthia, this is breakfast fare traditionally. And on cold winter mornings, hot parathas for breakfast.............

Love those paneer ones too, Meeta.

You should, and thanks Mark. Always feel good when someone appreciates my pics. :)

Yes, Lisa. Kheema is correct but not for us as we're vegetarian. :)

Veena, just saw this. Yes, I am kind a famous in the family for my round chappathis! LOL

Rajani, as long as the aloo is in the parathas, one can always add or subtract other stuff to suit one's tastes.
I have frozen these a couple of times, but prefer them made fresh.
Thanks for featuring me on Femina. :)

My pleasure, Michelle.

Dick, you can use finely chopped ginger, no problems at all. In fact, its great that you buy only stuff you would use.
No waste too.
Hope you enjoy the parathas.

Bridgit, I can assure these will be as good.

Bonnie said...

Thank you for a great post. I am inspire to creat my own. I'll not bother with the HBinfive now. I can't wait to try my hand at these.

Samitestar said...

Will this keep? I mean, can I make this a few hours before bringing to a party at a friend's house?

Aparna said...

Yes it will keep for that time.
You can stack them on a clean kitchen towel as you make them and then loosely wrap them in it, so that the towel absosrbs any condensation from the steam when they're hot.
This will keep them from getting soggy.
Warm them up a bit before serving.

Michelle said...

One day one of my coworkers shoved a piece of paratha in my hand after I walked to her desk to ask her a question. I was on my way out the door and tried to refuse. I insisted on only taking a quarter of the paratha. By the time I reached the door of the office, I was cursing myself for not taking a whole one! I begged her the next day for the recipe which, of course, consisted of the ingredients but no idea of amounts! Thank you so much for this recipe! I plan to make it soon.

Aparna said...

Michelle, I'm glad you discovered tha paratha. :) There are are many idfferent types of parathas we make in India, both plain and stuffed. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like one.

Yes, do try them at home and I'll be happy to help with any questions.