Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Potato-stuffed paratha (Alu paratha)

I love parathas, but I havent had the greatest success in making them myself. Invariably when I try to roll out a ball of dough filled with stuffing into a nice round paratha, what happens is that the uncooperative filling squirts out the edges. If I exert less pressure, the paratha doesnt roll out, looking instead like a dented pillow. More pressure, and the filling makes its triumphant reappearance, attaching itself to the rolling pin (ugh) and messing up my rolling board as well, looking something like this:

Ever tried getting mashed potato (mixed with bits of dough) off anything? It's not a pretty sight and definitely not an easy task. The saddest part is that the paratha doesnt evolve into anything edible.

So I evolved my paratha-making technique instead, neatly side-stepping the ball-of-dough-with-filling-nearly-enclosed route by the simple method of cheating - that is, I roll out one two thin chapaties, spread the stuffing on the one, cover with the other and seal all around, then cook this double-chapati (a.k.a paratha) with a little ghee till it's nicely spotted golden brown all over.

So it isnt exactly the traditional method... but it works just fine!

PS. If anybody is interested in knowing how exactly a proper paratha is made, please check out Saffron Hut's
fabulous post

Recipe for:
Potato stuffed paratha (alu paratha)


For the paratha:

3 cups wheat flour
2 tbsp oil or ghee
Water as required to make a stiff but pliable dough
Extra flour for dusting

For the potato stuffing:

2 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ajwain (carom) seeds
1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
3 fresh green chillies, minced very fine
3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste


1. Heat the oil, add the ginger-garlic paste and fresh green chillies (if using) and fry for 20 seconds.

2. Then add the cumin and coriander powder, the garam masala and ajwain seeds and fry for 30 seconds.

3. Put in the mashed potatoes, salt and coriander leaves and mix well.

4. Heat through, then allow to cool.

5. Pinch off two lime-sized pieces of dough and roll into balls. Roll each ball out into a thin chapati, using flour to dust if required, to stop it sticking.

6. Take a generous tbsp of the stuffing and spread it over one chapati till about 1/2 inch from the edge.

7. Take the other chapati and put it on top of the first one, pressing down gently but firmly (especially around the edges) to make them stick together. At this point you can use a pizza cutter to make the paratha square (looks nicer and removes uneven edges). I didnt bother to do this, but I'm lazy.

8. Carefully remove the paratha and place on a hot tava or frying pan that has been greased with a little oil. Let it cook for 15 seconds on that side, then turn it over with a flat spatula and spread some ghee or oil over that side. Turn it over again after 15 seconds and grease that side as well.

9. Let the paratha cook on medium high until it acquires golden brown spots. Repeat with remaining dough.

10. Serve hot with any pickle and a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt on the side.


Anonymous said...

Shyam, I used to make Aloo paratha very often in the 1st year of my marriage, bcoz both of us love it! :) Your recipe looks good.. I never thought of adding any masala to the stuffing, i used to use only ginger, green chilli, salt, jeera and sprinkle lime to the mashed patoato mix. Adding masala seems to be a good idea. I also never thought of making 2 chapatis and putting the stuffing in between. I used to make it like 'pooranam', where i stuff the mashed potato mix into the chapati, seal the sides and then roll it.

One suggestion that my friend gave me was to cook the potato in the microwave vs pressure cooking in. Helps make it less watery, and hence easier to use as stuffing.I've never tried this myself though.. the pressure cooked ones itself become ok, if u keep them outside afterwards for an hour or so, before mashing.


Anonymous said...

Hi there...nice tip. I have never made a
stuffed paratha, but if I do, I could use the tip. What kind of flour is that? Doesnt look like the regular atta.

Kitchenmate said...

mine squirts too **sigh** ALWAYS:(
moreover, i wont be able to make thin chappathi's... what is that big deal, eat up even if it squirts:)
Another interesing post, shammi.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post Shammi..Me too make alu paratha just like u...I don't get that filling technique..:))
And whats that flour u used?

Anonymous said...

Hi ladies, the flour I used is wholemeal flour - SERIOUSLY wholemeal! :) I bought it just to try it out, but it's really coarse, so next time I'll stick to my usual medium atta.

Vaishali said...

Hi Shammi,

I had left a note for you at SaffronHut's blog regarding the filling squirting out of the paratha. Did you read it?
Anyway, this technique of two chapatis is safer. But hey, it is not really an unconventional technique. A pretty common one on the contrary. They use this method in restaurants, too. e.g. to make stuffed Kulchas and those flaky stuffed parathas (you know, the ones which have that swirling pattern.) So, please don't think you are sneaky (although it has a lot of thrill to it:).

Unknown said...

Looks very yummy. I'm gonna try this one.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vaishali

I went back to Saffron Hut's post and checked out your tip - yep, I kept the seam-side of my paratha on the bottom... but no matter what I do, the stuffing escapes! :)

Do hotels really use "my" technique??? Cheats! :D

Vaishali said...

Hi Shammi,
Your sense of humour is better than the Britishers'. (Shhh... Don't tell your husband.) But seriously, you make me chuckle every time I read your posts or comments.

Kay said...

shammi, My alu-paratha used to squirt too. No longer! I learnt this method from a Marathi friend, who voluntered to show me,before a get-together. Wish I could show you too.

1. Use a thick ball of atta and store a small size of potato ball (Like how SF did)

2. Flatten it to a patty, on your palm.

3.For a normal roti, we apply pressure on the center and roll it from there, right? for a stuffed paratha, roll it from the sides. If you press in the center, it WILL squirt. Leave the center alone and roll from the sides.(Argh! A picture is better than a million words).. Hang on, I'll rush to Totono and make hubby take pictures while I make Alu Paratha.. If you see the pictures, you'll know what I mean.

This methos has never failed me. no more squirts!

Btw, I've eaten Alu-paratha at expensive restraunts and those were squirted too! So, don't worry!

Anonymous said...

Kay: Thanks for the tip, I'll try your way and let you know how my paratha turns out :) BUT if you could post pics of the procedure, that would be soooooooo cool! :)

Vineela said...

Nice Parantha.

ashok said...

shammi, just blog hopped here..and i see a mouth watering!

Cinci said...

Hi Shammi,

I liked your recipes a lot. I am an ardent food lover and keep trying new recipes. I had problems too in getting the parathas right initially but now I have kind of got a hang of it. Firstly, the dough should be hard. Secondly, when you roll the parathas, dredge the dough in flour after keeping the stuffing inside and as you roll, keep moving the paratha round and round without putting much pressure. It helps. Also as far as I have seen all your recipes are vegetarian, which is good coz I am a vegetarian. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi Shammi,

Your Alu paratha recipe looks great. I am gonna try this soon. I love paratha & roti type foods, but unfortunately I used to struggle a lot to make ordinary rotis itself. Slowly I developed the skills to make nice thin & round rotis and I have started trying stuffed thick parathas too.

I am a regular visitor of another community site IndusLadies.

I had picked some good tips on paratha making from this site too. If anyone interested may checkout the same for Alu Parathas