HOMEMADE ALOO PARATHA (Potato filled flatbread)
Aloo parathas are a traditional Pakistani and Indian breakfast or brunch flatbread. This flatbread is stuffed with a spicy potato mixture which is a classic paratha filling. It’s so savory and delicious that you can enjoy it as a meal with a cup of hot tea. This is my mom’s recipe that is simple but delicious.
When I think of weekend brunching this is exactly what I plan on cooking for my family. It definitely does take longer to make these but spending that extra time in the kitchen is so worth it.
WHAT ARE ALOO PARATHAS?
Aloo is the Urdu and Hindi word for potato and paratha is unleavened layered flatbread. The potato filling is a spicy mixture that can be made with a variety of crushed whole spices and powdered spices. They can be topped with some butter and served alongside pickles and yogurt.
First you have to prep the dough, which is the same dough that is used to make roti and plain parathas. Prepare the potato filling by boiling and mashing the potatoes with the spices. Then this mixture is stuffed into a small disc of dough, sealed and rolled. Then it’s pan-fried with additional oil or butter until crispy and browned.
If you are just learning to make aloo parathas, I recommend you not do everything at once. It will be too much and will take longer. Go ahead and prepare the dough a day in advance and keep it refrigerated. You can also make the potato mixture ahead. Once you are ready to fill and roll the parathas, the workflow will be better.
Below is the detailed recipe for the plain paratha dough. The same dough is used to make aloo parathas.
This potato filling is pretty simple; you can adjust any of the ingredients to your preference. Whole potatoes are boiled peeled and mashed. The potatoes should be boiled until fork tender, because you want to be able to mash them well. I added diced red onions, chopped green chilies and chopped cilantro. Some whole spices like crushed red pepper flakes, cumin and coriander seeds. I make these mild, you can adjust the green chili and red chili powder.
HOMEMADE ALOO PARATHA (Potato filled flatbread)
- 2-3 medium potatoes (boiled and mashed)
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 green chili, finely chopped
- small bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp. red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. crushed cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp. crushed coriander seeds
- Extra flour to roll out parathas
- Neutral oil/ghee to pan fry parathas
- In a medium saucepan add potatoes and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Boil the potatoes until fork tender. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes. Set aside in a medium bowl.
- Using mortar and pestle crush the cumin and coriander seeds. Add to the potatoes.
- Add all the rest of the ingredients to the potatoes and mash well. You want to make sure there are no large pieces of the potatoes or filling will break through the dough. Give the filling a taste, adjust the salt and chili to your preference. Set aside till ready to use. You can make this ahead and refrigerate and let it come to room temperature before you use it.
FILLING & ROLLING THE PARATHAS
- Get your prep area ready. Extra flour for dusting in a shallow plate. It's best if you roll out parathas on a wooden board, it will stick less. Oil in a small bowl or squeeze bottle.
- If you will use the entire dough, you can divide the dough equally beforehand and keep covered. You can get about 8-10 parathas, depending on how thick or thin you make the parathas.
- Take medium size ball of dough, dust in dry flour and bring sides together make circular shape. Dust in dry flour and flatten into a disc shape. Roll out to a 6-inch circle, spread about 2-3 tbsp. or more of filling gently. Fold top end of circle towards center, repeat from the bottom end and overlap. Fold right side halfway than fold left side overlapping. You should be left with square shape. Lightly dust in dry flour and roll out gently. Try to roll evenly, using dry flour so it does not stick to surface. TIP Go ahead and fill and shape as many parathas as you are making and keep aside, covered. Then all you have to do is roll one at a time and cook.
- Take medium size ball of dough, dust in dry flour and bring sides together make circular shape. Dust in dry flour and flatten into a dish shape. Roll till about 5-inch circle. Place about 2-3 tbsp. or more of filling in center keeping some space on the sides. Take the edges and start bringing over to the center starting to cover the filling. It will still be a round shape, gently press and flatten, lightly dust in flour and roll no larger than 6-7 inches. It may not be rolled out in prefect round circle but try to roll it out evenly. TIP Go ahead and fill and shape as many parathas as you are making and keep aside, covered. Then all you have to do is roll one at a time and cook.
- Using a flat griddle and medium heat. Spread little oil all over hot griddle, right away place rolled paratha on the hot griddle. If the heat is right, paratha will start to cook, air bubbles will start to appear on surface. Spread a thin even layer of oil all over paratha and flip.
- Lightly oil this side as well. Using spatula press gently all sides of paratha as you turn it. use tongs or spatula to flip once again. It should be crispy and browned all over. keep in mind paratha cooks quickly. Take off heat and keep covered in a clean kitchen towel. Serve hot.