Saturday, December 31, 2011

Aloo Parathas - the breakfast of champions

New Year’s Resolutions vary based on the personality of the resolver, but they usually follow the same trend. They are ways in which we seek to improve ourselves, based on self-perceived flaws, whether real or imagined. But often times, I think they are aspirations to be better at something that one is already good at. This isn’t a completely thought out hypothesis, so it’s possible I’m off-base. But don’t you think it’s usually the well-organized 'Type A' personalities that resolve to be more organized next year; the globe-trotting 'living-it-up' folks who resolve to travel more in the upcoming year; the health-conscious 'eat-no-evil' types who promise to frequent the gym more?

So it follows that when you ask a foodie for a New Year’s Resolution, it often involves making and sharing some exotic new delicacies in the upcoming year. If you count yourself among this final bunch, I will aspire to provide you with inspiration for your forays into the kitchen with stories and pictures from my own experiments. In that spirit, here is a recipe that you can cook up for a novel breakfast (or lunch or dinner). It’s a slightly different take on a traditional Indian recipe for Aloo Parathas, which are often eaten as a special breakfast treat in India.

Aloo means potato in Hindi, and parathas are a type of flat bread that you may have seen on Indian restaurant menus. Aloo parathas are flat-breads stuffed with a mix of boiled potatoes, peas, and spices and cooked on a hot griddle. While not generally leavened, I made these recently with a yeasty dough that lent a very different flavor and texture to the dish. With a little planning and a little last-minute shopping, you too could be serving up this dish to rave reviews in your kitchen, as early as your first breakfast in the New Year.

Happy New Year, dear readers!

Aloo Parathas


For the dough

3 C unbleached all-purpose flour, or use half whole-wheat flour

2 C warm water

2 tsp yeast

1 T sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 T oil

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1 C warm (not hot) water, and set aside for 10 minutes

Mix other dry ingredients, and knead into a dough using yeast water and remaining 1 C warm water

Add more water by teaspoons, until dough comes together

Roll dough in 2T oil, and set aside in a covered bowl for 2 hours or until doubled in volume

For the filling

3 medium starch potatoes, like Yukon Gold

1 C peas, fresh or frozen

4 T chopped cilantro

2T roasted cumin powder

(You can make this by roasting cumin seeds on a dry griddle and then powdering them)

2T red chili powder (optional)

2T dried mango powder

(If you don’t have this, you can add the juice of ½ lemon for a slightly different taste)

Salt to taste

Boil or pressure cook 3 potatoes until tender. I prefer a medium-starch variety like Yukon Gold.

Steam or boil 1 C peas, until tender.

Mash potatoes in a large bowl, add peas, cilantro, spices, and salt to taste

To make the parathas

Split off dough into 8 equal pieces, and roll into 8 balls

Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand

Make 8 balls of the potato mixture and place in the center of each of the dough disks

Pinch dough closed around the potato mixture, so that you have a ball of dough with the potatoes encased inside

On a lightly floured surface, flatten out the balls again, and roll out to a circle of about 6-7 inches in diameter

Don’t worry about the potato mix coming out of the dough in places; these areas will be the tastiest parts!

Heat up a flat griddle with 1 tsp of oil

Add the paratha, and cook for about 2 minutes or until speckled with brown spots, over a medium flame

Flip and repeat

Serve hot with thick Greek yogurt and an Indian-style pickle.


  1. Yummy, yummy, yummy, I got love in my tummy....

  2. I love aalu parathas... Well written and great shots, Harini!