I have always considered Alu paratha as a North Indian, primarily Punjabi delicacy. And I do proud myself in being well acquainted with almost all forms of Punjabi cooking especially Parathas. So it was particularly hard for me to accept that there is another version of Paratha which I am not aware of.
This Aloo Paratha was introduced to me by a Maharashtrian friend who is an excellent cook. I realised that her way of making the stuffing was entirely different than mine. She had cooked the potatoes with spices first and then stuffed them in the paratha. I have used leftover sabzi dishes for stuffing in Parathas before but had never cooked the mashed potatoes for the sole purpose of stuffing them in.
The taste of these alu paranthas is very different from what I have been having all my life long. Especially with the addition of garlic in it, which has never been there in my previous Punjabi versions, I am bound to love this new found taste.
The only drawback is that the preparation time has doubled up . Since first you have to wait for the boiled potatoes to cool down a bit and then cook them and then wait again for the stuffing to cool down enough. So I planned a bit ahead and boiled the potatoes a night before and then prepared the stuffing in the morning and proceeded with the cooking part.
Though I wouldn’t say that it’s the only recipe which a Maharashtrian kitchen uses, but it’s the most typical one. If you haven’t tried alu Paratha this way before, its time to make a change 🙂
Course: Main, bread, breakfast
Serves: 3-4 people
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes overall
What you need?
For the dough:
- 4 cups of whole wheat flour (atta)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 cups warm water for kneading
For the stuffing:
- 3-4 Potatoes, medium-large sized
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 garlic pods, finely minced or crushed
- 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ¾ tsp red chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 ½ tsp Salt OR to taste
Plus– extra flour for dusting and oil for roasting
How to make?
First of all, wash and clean the potatoes. Boil them in a pressure cooker or a large heavy bottomed pan till they are soft. Peel them and keep aside. Once they are cool enough to be handled by bare hands, mash them gently using your hands or a masher. Keep aside.
Knead a firm dough using the listed ingredients and keep it aside for 20 minutes, covered using a muslin cloth or a lid.
In a skillet, heat the oil to smoking point, then set the flame to low. Add cumin seeds, follow immediately with asafoetida, finely chopped green chilies, garlic and onions. After a minute, add mashed potatoes and mix well.
Set the flame to medium and stir at regular intervals, taking care to scrape the potato off the bottom of the skillet to avoid burning. Add turmeric, coriander powder, red chili powder and salt. Mix well. Take the potato masala off the flame after two minutes. Let it cool to room temperature. Make sure its cold enough to be touched by bare hands
Check out-> How to make healthy parathas
Now, heat a griddle (tawa/tava) at medium flame. Pinch a medium sized ball from the dough and flatten it. Dust with some flour and roll it in a circle of about 5 to 5.5 inches in diameter. Place the potato stuffing in the centre, keeping about 2 to 2.5 inches space from the sides.
Take the edge and start pleating as well as bringing the pleats in the center. Sprinkle some flour and roll this stuffed paratha to about the same size as that of a chapati or roti.
On a hot tava/skillet/griddle place the rolled paratha. Make sure that the tava is properly heated up before placing the Paratha since cooking parathas at a low flame will harden them. When the base is partly cooked, flip the Paratha. Smear the oil/ghee on both the sides generously and cook evenly pressing with a spatula on sides. Take off when both sides have cooked properly with tiny brown spots. Make all aloo parathas this way and stack them up in a roti basket or casserole.
Accompaniments-> pickle, fresh yogurt or raita, Lassi etc.
Don’t use the potatoes stuffing while its still hot and steamy since potatoes absorb a lot of moisture making it hard for you to roll into the Parathas.
The griddle or tava should be hot while cooking. You can regulate the fire from hot to medium while cooking. smear enough oil or ghee when frying the parathas, so that the dough gets cooked well and you see crisp brown spots. an ideally cooked paratha would be evenly fried, well cooked with golden or dark brown crisp spots.
Chop the chilies and cilantro very finely. and also mash the potatoes well. If there are any big chunks of potato or chili, paratha will break while rolling.
Here is another version of Punjabi Alu Paratha where I don’t cook the potatoes before stuffing them in