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Aloo Paratha

Makes 8

The first thing you’ll need to make paratha is the right kind of flour. Often referred to as “duram atta,” it’s a combination of stone-ground wheat and regular flour that’s perfect for roti, chapatti and parathas. The brand I use is Golden Temple. Once you have the flour, you’re set.

Read more about this recipe at VeganYumYum.



ingredients

Dough
1 cup duram atta
1/3 to 1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoon oil

Aloo Paratha Filling
2 medium potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
5 sprigs cilantro, chopped

timer

prep: 1 hour 30 minutes
total: 1 hour 30 minutes

tools

cast iron skillet
small rolling pin
medium-sized mixing bowl
small bowl
ricer (or food mill)
plastic wrap

instructions

1. Combine all the ingredients in mixing bowl. Depending on the humidity in your area and how compacted your flour is, you’ll need anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water. Add 1/3 cup first, adding more water if needed. Your goal is to achieve a soft, elastic dough after about 5 minutes of kneading. It shouldn’t be sticky, but smooth. I don’t sift my flour, so my “1 cup” tends to be a heavy one, and I use 1/2 cup of water to get the dough to the consistency I like the best. Keep in mind that a softer dough will yield more tender bread, but may be harder to control.

2. Break the dough up into 8 equal pieces, rolling into balls. Set in a small, oiled bowl and cover with some oiled plastic wrap. Let the dough balls rest for as long as you can -- from 30 minutes up to a few hours. This allows the gluten to relax. If you’re making aloo parathas, begin making the potato mixture now.

3. Peel, chop and boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain well. Use a ricer to mash potatoes. This ensures there will be no lumps that could break the dough while stuffing the parathas. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Form 8 balls the same size (or smaller) as your dough balls, cover, and set aside.

4. Now for the fun part! It’s time to stuff and roll out the dough. Before you start, heat your pan up and get your workspace ready. Choose a pan that heats quickly and evenly, has a non-stick surface, a wide, flat bottom and low sides -- the ideal pan for this is seasoned iron. The traditional pan is called a tawa, but a crepe pan, pancake pan or cast-iron skillet works just as well. For your workspace, you’ll need a bowl full of flour, a cutting board or other flat surface for rolling out the dough and a small rolling pin called a Belan. (Or a clean, label-less beer bottle.)

5. Heat your pan over medium heat with a very light coating of oil.

6. Dip one of the dough balls in the flour to coat it. Flatten it out into a disc. Roll out the dough a little, so it’s large enough to cover the potato ball.

7. Wrap a potato ball with the dough, gathering the edges together. Pinch the edges together to seal, flattening it into a disc again.

8. Dip it in the flour again, coating all sides. Roll out the disc evenly into a circle, roughly six inches in diameter. The dough should be thin enough so you can see the spices through it.

9. Place the paratha on your heated pan. You’ll see the dough begin to change color (it gets slightly yellow and dry-looking), and then, with any luck, it’ll puff up! Once it puffs up, check the bottom -- if you see scattered brown dots, flip the paratha over. Oil the cooked side of the paratha lightly. Cook the second side until it looks like the first, flip it again, and oil it. Your paratha should be finished cooking in 1-2 minutes, and should not look raw when it’s done. Keep warm in a tortilla heater, or in a warm oven on a covered plate.



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