Friday, November 29, 2013

Aloo Paratha... All Bong's Personal Favorite

Aloo Paratha

Do you freak out on stuffed paratha? Do you have a favorite in particular? Well I have one and yes you are right! The good old aloo paratha! Being a Bengali and true to a bong’s nature, I do freak out on potatoes in any form – finger chips, mashed potato [what we Bongs lovingly call ‘alu bhate’], potato fritters or ‘alur chop’, potatoes in biryani and the list goes on. So it’s highly obvious that my personal favorite is bound to be ‘aloo paratha’ – the Indian flat-bread stuffed with a spicy mashed potato filling. But in general I love any kind of stuffed paratha [like the other day I made the paneer one] with only one condition which is a must – it has to be super-hot.

Aloo Paratha

Making a stuffed paratha can be a little messy and it does take time, I agree. But on the other hand, the advantage of these is you don’t have to make a side to be served with them. These are best accompanied by plain yogurt or a spicy pickle. So actually you do save a lot of time on that which you can enjoy while relishing them with your family or friends.

Aloo Paratha

Ingredients – (makes 8)
  • Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
  • Refined oil – 4 to 5 tbsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Water as required

For the filling:
  • Potato – 2, large
  • Red chili powder – ½ tsp
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

Aloo Paratha

Method –
  • Take the flour in a large bowl and add salt and the oil. Mix them with fingers so that it forms into small crumbs.
  • Add enough water to bind into a semi-soft dough.
  • Knead it for 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes smooth. It should not be too sticky or too dry.
  • Leave it to rest for half an hour and in the meantime prepare the filling.
  • Boil or pressure-cook the potatoes until soft. Drain, peel and mash them with a fork or just use your hands as I do.
  • Now heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick skillet and add the mashed potatoes. You can add chopped fresh coriander if you wish to but I didn’t have it handy at that time.
  • Add salt and red chili powder and stir well. All the moisture must be absorbed and it should turn into a sticky dough. Take it out in a bowl and let it cool.
  • Now take a small ball of dough approximately of 2 inch diameter and place it on a lightly floured surface. Then flatten it into a small disc.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a small circle, little bigger than your palm.
  • Place some stuffing in the center and bring the edges of the dough over the filling and pinch to seal it on top.
  • Again press it with your palm to flatten it out slightly. Dust it very lightly with flour and gently roll it out to form a circle as per your desired thickness.
  • Heat a skillet/tawa and place the paratha on it. Cook it for few seconds. Drizzle some oil or ghee [clarified butter] around.
  • Flip it to other side after few minutes after you see brown spots on its surface. You can drizzle some more oil for the other side but that’s optional.
  • Repeat likewise for all the parathas and serve hot with plain yogurt or a pickle of your choice.

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