Paratha is a popular stuffed flatbread eaten throughout India. It is an unleavened bread, fried in a pan. Traditionally a breakfast dish, however, in the west it is often served alongside curries, chutneys, or yogurt; eaten any time of day. The most common stuffed flatbreads are Aloo (potato), Gobi (Cauliflower) and Paneer (cottage cheese). Really anything you want to fill the bread with will do. Parathas can also be made plain by folding the rolled out dough on itself to create flakey layers.
For Aloo Paratha, mashed potatoes and spices are used for the filling. It is a great dish to make if you have leftover potatoes. I love this dish because it is both easy and fun to prepare.
For the dough
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP neutral oil such as canola or melted ghee
½ cup warm water
Filling, see below
Oil or ghee for cooking
On a clean work surface, combine the flour and salt. Pour the oil and massage into the flour, you will have a cookie crumb-like texture. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the water. Carefully integrate the flour and water. When the flour begins to absorb the water, use the palm of your hand to knead the dough into a ball. This should take about 5 minutes or so. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for a minimum of 20 minutes up to a few hours.
When ready to create the paratha, divide the dough into 6 even pieces. Roll a piece into a thin circle. Place a few tablespoons of the filling into the center then fold the sides onto themselves. Flip the paratha over, so the seam side is down, and use your rolling pin to roll out into a thin disc. Repeat with remaining dough.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Prepare a sheet tray lined with a wire rack To cook the paratha, heat a large skillet on high heat. Add enough oil or ghee to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot and shimmering, place a paratha in the skillet. Cook until golden brown, then flip to cook the second side. Place the cooked paratha on the lined sheet tray and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining paratha.
For the filling
1 large russet potato
2 TBSP cilantro, chopped
½ cup onion, minced
1½ tsp garam masala
Peel and roughly chop the potato. Place in a pot and cover with cold water and a liberal amount of salt. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the potato is soft. Drain off water and lay potatoes on a tray to dry for a few minutes. Place the potato in a medium bowl and mash well, then add the cilantro, onion, garam masala, and salt. Combine well.
Chef Liza Greifinger
Your Guide to Our Culinary Trip Around the World
Growing up in New York, surrounded by the flavors of the world, Liza developed a love for food and cooking. After a fulfilling career in outdoor education, she decided to explore her passion for food. Liza studied at The French Culinary Institute and then trained with some of the top chefs in New York City before being drawn to the mountains of Colorado. She joined the team at Food Lab, in Boulder, in the spring of 2016. There she teaches cooking skills and technique to all ages as well as curriculum development for the educational programs.