You’re a fan of bread and potatoes, you’re going to love Aloo Paratha or Aloo ka Paratha. Sometimes spelled aloo paratha, this potato stuffed flatbread is a popular Indian breakfast that combines two of my favorite starches in a single delectable package. Crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, this humble meal is as comforting as a hug. What’s not to love??
Pritish Kumar Halder discusses the whole recipe of Aloo ka paratha
Aloo means “potato” and paratha means “stuffed flatbread” in Hindi, so the name is quite telling: aloo paratha is an unleavened whole wheat flatbread stuffed with a savory spiced potato mixture.
Though there are many variations of stuffed paratha, many folks like aloo ka paratha above all others. In my home, Gobi Paratha and aloo paratha win all the superlatives.
Hailing from Punjab, India, this is one of my favorite breakfasts of all time! It also happens to be one of the first recipes I learned from my Punjabi mother-in-law, so it holds a special place in my heart.
In Punjabi families, parathas are made with lots of love and affection, not to mention lots of ghee and butter . If you lean towards a healthier lifestyle, you can easily opt to roast aloo paratha in oil and serve them with curd (plain yogurt) instead of butter.
To make aloo ka paratha you need two main components:
Dough made from whole wheat flour – a basic dough is made with whole wheat flour (atta), salt, oil and water. Making this unleavened dough is very easy and you can either knead it with your hands or in a stand mixer.
Mashed potato stuffing – potatoes are boiled, peeled and then mashed. The mashed potatoes are seasoned with herbs, spices and salt, and then are stuffed in a rolled dough before being roasted or fried.
How to make Aloo Paratha
Before you can make these delicious stuffed parathas, you need to prepare the potato stuffing.
Make Potato Stuffing
- First, boil or steam 4 medium-sized potatoes in a pressure cooker, steamer or electric cooker. Add enough water in a 2-litre pressure cooker or pan to just barely cover the potatoes.
For cooking in a pressure cooker – On a medium flame, cook the potatoes in water for 3 to 4 whistles. When the pressure settles down naturally, remove the lid and drain the water.
Allow the potatoes to cool enough to handle and then peel them.
For cooking in a pan – Cover the pan and cook potatoes in water till fork tender. For this method, it helps to peel the potatoes and chop them in 2 inch cubes before boiling because they will cook faster than whole potatoes. Using a colander, drain all the water and allow the potatoes to cool.
- If you haven’t done so yet, peel and chop the warm potatoes. Then mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
If you don’t have a potato masher, use a box grater to grate them and then mash the potatoes with a fork.
- The potatoes should be mashed very well, with no lumps, chunks or bits. Any lumps in the mix will cause the stuffing to leak out of the dough when rolling.
- Now add the following ingredients, feeling free to vary the spices as you like.
½ to 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chillies (1 to 2 green chilies) or serrano peppers
¼ to ½ teaspoon punjabi garam masala powder or Garam Masala Powder
¼ to ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder or cayenne pepper or paprika (optional)
½ to 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder) – or use lemon juice instead
salt according to your taste.
- With a spoon, thoroughly mix the spice powders and green chilies into the mashed potatoes. Check the taste of the spiced mashed potato stuffing, adjusting the salt, red
chilli powder, or dry mango powder if required. Set the prepared aloo stuffing aside.
Make The Dough
- In a separate bowl, add 2 cups whole wheat flour. Make a well in the center. Add ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste), 1 tablespoon oil or ghee, and roughly ⅓ to ½ cup water.
- Bring the mixture together and knead into a smooth, soft dough for 8 to 10 minutes. Add more water if needed. Cover and keep the dough aside, letting it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Stuff The Flatbread
Option 1: The “Double Disc” Method
- Pinch two small balls from the dough. Flatten them and dust with whole wheat flour.
- With a rolling pin, roll them into rounds roughly 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Try making both the discs the same size.
- On one of the discs, place the potato stuffing in the center, keeping about 1 inch space from sides .
- Gently place the second circle on top.
- Press and seal the edges with your fingertips. If you are not able to seal the edges, then brush or spread some water on the edges and then seal.
- Dust some flour on the stuffed aloo ka paratha and start rolling.
- Roll the paratha into a round about 7 to 8 inches in diameter, or about the size of a normal roti or chapati.
Option 2: “The Dumpling Method”
- Pinch off a medium ball of dough. Roll it between your palms and lightly flatten it. Dust with some flour and roll to a circle about 5 to 5.5 inches diameter.
Place the potato stuffing in the center, keeping about 2 to 2.5 inches of space from the sides.
- Take the edge and start pleating, joining the pleats in the center.
- When all of the pleats are joined together, it should look like a Chinese dumpling. Be sure to pinch the pleats together very well so the filling doesn’t leak out while rolling.
- Press the joined top portion slightly downward to flatten it a bit.
- Sprinkle some flour and roll this version of stuffed paratha to about the same size as that of a chapati or roti. If some of the filling comes out, then just take a small piece of dough and cover the gap.
Roll, trying to create the same thickness throughout, as you would a pie dough. Avoid keeping the edges thick.
Roast Alu Paratha
- On a hot tawa (skillet or griddle), place the rolled paratha. The tawa should be quite hot; cooking parathas at a low flame will harden them. Ideally, the finished parathas are crisp as well as soft.
– For a thick bottomed heavy tawa, keep the flame to medium-high or high.
– For a medium or thin bottomed tawa, keep the flame to medium-low to medium.
- When the base is partly cooked, flip the paratha using a spatula. You will see some air pockets on this side.
- Spread some ghee or a neutral flavored oil (e.g. sunflower) on the partly cooked part.
- Flip again and you will see nice golden blisters on the second side.
To clarify, the side which has been spread with ghee will be on the bottom.
This side has to be cooked more than the previous side.
- Spread some ghee on the second side facing you. A well-made and well-roasted alu paratha will always puff up when roasting.
- Flip again once or twice till both sides are cooked properly, with crisp brown spots. You should also press the alu paratha edges down with a spatula or spoon so that they are fried well. Repeat, making all parathas this way.
I usually stuff and make aloo ke parathe side by side because I love multitasking :-). After they roast, I keep on stacking them in a roti basket or casserole lined with a towel to help keep them warm. I also add a bit of Homemade Butter on top of each paratha as I stack them.