500 g all purpose flour
300 g water
30 g vegetable oil
10 g salt
Softened ghee / butter
3-4 potatoes, boiled and mashed
1-2 green chilis, finely diced
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp fresh coriander / parsley leaves (½ tbsp for dried)
Combine the flour, salt, and oil in a large bowl, mixing until the oil is evenly distributed. Add the water and mix until everything is incorporated. Cover the dough and rest it for 15 minutes to make it easier to work with.
While the dough is resting, boil and mash your potatoes. Combine the mashed potatoes with the chilis, chili powder, garam masala, coriander leaves, and salt to taste. Set aside for now.
Knead the rested dough about 5 minutes until the gluten is fully developed and you can stretch it to form a thin window. Divide the dough into 8 or 10 pieces, depending on how large you want each piece. Cover the pieces, and let them rest for another 15 minutes.
Sprinkle some flour onto the work surface and your rolling pin. Take a piece of dough and roll it into a circle as thin as you can. Spread a thin layer of your spiced potato mixture over the circle, leaving a thin gap on the edges. Roll another piece of dough as thin as possible. Lay it over the other piece of dough with the potato and press down on the outside ring to seal the mixture in. Do this with your other pieces of dough as well. Make sure not to overfill, or the next steps will be difficult.
Flatten the stack of dough - potato - dough as thin as possible, making sure the edges are sealed so no potatoes come out from between the dough. Take some of your softened ghee and spread it over the entire surface of the top layer. Take the flat piece and roll it as tightly as possible into a cylinder shape. From there, roll it into a cinnamon roll shape as tight as possible, and flatten it from the top with your hand or a plate. Lastly, roll this cinnamon roll shape into as thin of a circle as possible. This folding method produces many layers of fat and dough that will give us a flaky texture in the end. Go through this process with each of your pieces of dough.
Place some ghee in a wide pan over medium heat. Once it’s shimmering, add a formed paratha and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes per side. Cook each paratha until there are no dry spots remaining, and there’s some nice browning, checking often until you get the hang of it.
You can freeze any leftovers you have, separating each piece with parchment paper so they don’t stick together. To reheat, cook them from frozen in the same method as above. For the hot and cooked aloo parathas, serve them as a side with a tangy dipping sauce, or as a main course.
Parathas, a flaky flatbread native to South Asia, are very enjoyable to make. Similar to a croissant, the flakiness comes from fat thinly layered between sheets of dough. The technique for making these flaky parathas is all done in one sitting, and doesn’t require laying out multiple sheets of dough and refrigerating things overnight. Filled parathas are also very common, and this recipe comes from India and Pakistan. As always, the spices are just a recommendation, and feel free to change them or modify the quantities as you prefer. These are great as sides, but with a dipping sauce could be a main course.