This is part of the ongoing Das Tor series “Global Eats,” in which T-birds share cooking stories and recipes unique to their culture or travels around the globe.
Aloo parathas are essentially Indian flatbreads stuffed with a delicious spicy potato mixture. The parathas are usually served with a yoghurt side dish called raita. ‘Aloo’ means potato, and ‘paratha’ means unleavened stuffed bread. So, aloo parathas literally mean potato-stuffed flatbreads. Aloo parathas are a staple breakfast item in the Northern part of India (for all the right reasons). And the best part about them is that they can be eaten for lunch or dinner. Even after a couple of hours sitting, they still taste delicious!
As someone who enjoys Indian food more than any other cuisine, I crave it every other day here in the United States. Unfortunately, I can’t order it as easily as I could back at home in India. As such, I have found, curated, and maybe tweaked the recipe to get the best of these spicy aloo parathas.
To make aloo parathas, you need two main elements:
- Dough made from whole wheat flour – a basic dough made from whole wheat flour, salt, oil, and water. You can knead the dough with your hands or in a stand mixer.
- Mashed potatoes stuffing – Potatoes are boiled, peeled, and then mashed. To these mashed potatoes, you add sauteed onions, herbs, spices, chili powder, and salt. The spicy mashed potato mixture then is stuffed in a rolled dough and made into a flatbread, which is fried or roasted.
- For the dough
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (240 grams) (atta)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon oil (optional, refer to notes)
- Water as needed for kneading (I used 3⁄4 cup + 2 tbsps)
- For the mixture
- 3 medium-sized potatoes
- 1 medium-sized onion (finely chopped)
- 1 green chilli chopped (optional)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon grated ginger (or 1⁄4 tsp ginger powder)
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (very fine chopped)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste – you can add paprika instead as well)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- 3⁄4 to 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon chaat masala (an Indian spice, optional)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Boil potatoes till they’re soft and tender but not mushy. You can use a pressure cooker or boil them in a pot of boiling water. You can boil the potatoes until they are tender enough to let a fork completely pierce them.
- While the potatoes are boiling, make the dough. Add flour, oil, and salt to a bowl. Pour half a cup of water and mix to form a dough. Pour more water, if needed, to create a soft yet non-sticky dough. Knead it well until soft and pliable. After kneading, cover the dough and let it rest until the mixture is ready.
- When the potatoes are tender, take them out, and let them cool for a bit. However, peel the potatoes while they are still warm. Ensure the potatoes are not too mushy, as too much water would ruin the mixture.
- Grate or mash the potatoes until no bits of potatoes remain. Make sure there are no huge chunks of potatoes left in the mash. Also, don’t over mash them, as it will turn pasty.
- In a pan, heat some oil, add mustard seeds, garlic, green chillies, and ginger. Sautee them until the raw smell of garlic and ginger goes away.
- Add the finely chopped onions and let the onions sweat for a couple of minutes.
- Once the onions begin to sweat and caramelize, add salt, red chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, and chaat masala. Mix them all together and then add the mashed potatoes. Let it cook for 4 minutes with the pan lid unclosed/open.
- Once the mixture is ready and cooled down, we can start making the parathas.
How to make aloo paratha
- Roll a small dough ball in your palms and then lightly sprinkle some flour on the rolling area. Flatten the dough and dip it in some flour.
- Roll the dough into a disk (this form is called roti), which is around 6 inches and reasonably thin. Repeat the steps again, until you have 2 rotis that are 6 inches each.
- Scoop some aloo mixture and spread it evenly on one of the roti. Wet the edges of the roti and place the other roti on top of this one. Press down gently to seal both the rotis.
- Lightly sprinkle the flour and evenly roll the rotis as thin as you would like.
- Heat a pan or griddle to cook the aloo parathas. The griddle should be very hot, otherwise the parathas will turn hard.
- When the pan is hot, transfer the rolled aloo paratha on it. Within 2 or 3 minutes, you will see bubbles on the surface. Once that happens, flip it to the other side to cook.
- Once the aloo paratha puffs, add a bit of ghee or butter all over it and flip it to the other side and cook.
- Smear ghee on the sides and press down the edges to cook the parathas thoroughly.
- Soon you will see golden to light brown spots on the aloo parathas. Remove to a plate and stack them. This keeps them warm and soft.
- You can top the aloo paratha with some butter and serve with pickles or yoghurt.
And voila, you have a delicious dish that entices your tastebuds and satisfies your Indian food craving! I hope you guys have a wonderful time making and sharing this delicious dish.
If you’re a visual person, this recipe will help you easily visualize the steps to make aloo paratha.