Aloo Paratha, that's what I chose when it was my turn to bake for November. I saw the recipe earlier and immediately though that that should be the one. I don't know what it is with flatbreads that grab my attention. I think they are hard to get right (yes really) and somehow they are a comforting kind of bread for me. In my minds eye there's always a stack of flatbreads wrapped in a vibrantly colored cotton towel, a warm damp kitchen, a wooden table and some thick spicy curry steaming in an earthenware pot with a sturdy spoon resting against the rim....
Dream along with me?
Now what is a paratha? A parantha/paratha is an Indian unleavened flat-bread. The word Paratha (Parantha in Punjab) is an amalgamation of the words parat = layers and atta= flour. They are supposed to be crisp and brown on the outside and the inner part should consist of thin and soft layers.
This paratha we are going to bake here has a savoury filling of potatoes and herbs. But.. and that's the fun part, we are not restricted to that, I think spinach (sauteed and pressed to get rid of the liquid) would be great, as well as leek. A fun bread to bake! Follow the recipe or make it your own.
Mark Bittman uses a recipe he learned from Indian cook and cookbook writer Julie Sahni, her recipe, modified.
("how to cook everything by Mark Bittman")
1.1/2 c whole wheat flour
1.1/2 c ap flour plus more for rolling out the dough
1 ts ajwain* dried thyme, or ground cumin
2 tbs neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for brushing the breads
1.1/2 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and cut in half (I think that is way too much! See notes)
1 jalapeño or other fresh hot chile, seeded and minced or more to taste
2 tsp ground coriander
freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 small lemon
*ajwain comes from carom seeds which look like celery but taste like very strong, slightly coarse thyme
DirectionsI am sure you all can come up with more variations on filling than I can mention here, but I do like the sound of garam masala with the potatoes, spring onions and peas instead of potatoes, or maybe cauliflower...
This is a link to the recipe in the Huffington Post (in which Mark warns us that it may sound like "carbohydrate overkill)
- Of course I had some difficulty rolling the dough into a disk... my whole wheat stayed a bit course and the dough a bit too dry so it didn't relax enough. I found that rolling them a second time after some rest worked wonders.
- I really liked the flavour of these, don't be too shy in adding herbs and flavour, they can use some spice!
- I didn't get crisp through and through they stayed a little pancakey but that wasn't bad at all. Not sure if they are meant to get all crispy?
- Potatoe filling in mine, my spices were falafel, parsley and fresh cilantro. I could have added a green pepper for a bit of oomph.
- Loads of left over filling, too much filling will ooze out so I only used a scant two table spoons in each. You could safely do with half of the mentioned potatoes.
go forth and bake my girls!
And when you do, please send me the link to your post at bakemyday AT gmail DOT com with Aloo Paratha in the subject line before 29th November so I can send you that much coveted Buddy Badge!
Please check with the other Babes to see how creative they made their Aloo Paratha's!