Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Aloo Paratha

Just the name conjures up a wintry morning in Punjab. Hot griddles sizzling with pats of homemade butter, the clang of metal spatula on the tawa, thick fluffy parathas with just the right amount of stuffing, served up with a side of full cream yogurt and a slice of tangy mango pickle. Its my favorite breakfast and the ultimate comfort food.

I tried my hand at these last weekend and was pretty satisfied with the result. The aloo stuffing is so versatile you can take it from a simple salt-chilli powder combo to a jazzed up version with finely diced onion and 15 masalas(I counted!)

I have never had much luck with paratha-roti-puri type things. A couple of months ago I got the hang of making rotis and from then on it was an easy transition to parathas. My mom makes these great parathas with a unique flavor combination of ginger and coriander. Its very basic, less than 8 ingredients and the simplicity of the preparation lets the flavors really stand out.

To me it tastes like childhood.

For the stuffing
2-3 medium sized potatoes, boiled and peeled
1/2 inch ginger
1/4 cup coriander leaves
2-3 green chillies
Salt to taste
Grind the ginger-coriander leaves-chillies together using very little oil. Mash the potatoes and add the ground mixture to it. Mix together thoroughly and adjust salt to taste.
For the paratha dough
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp oil
1/4 cup warm milk
a pinch of salt
Knead the dough with enough water to make it soft and pliable. Cover with a wet napkin and let it rest for half an hour.

Make two dough balls, roughly the same size. Roll them out to small thick circles.

Place a scoopful of the potato stuffing in one of the circles and put the other circle on top of it. Seal the sides together by crimping them slightly. Use a touch of water if necessary.

Dust with flour and roll out gently using equal pressure on all sides. Cook on a hot griddle and drizzle generously with ghee. I usually let one side cook without oil till it starts puffing up. Then I flip it over and add a tablespoon of ghee.

Serve with chutney, yogurt, pickles or just some plain butter.


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