Paratha is that Indian bread that you skip past every time you're ordering Indian food and trying to find how much the naan is. It isn't as well known as its doughy, puffed-up naan cousin, but this flaky, layered flat bread is worthy of investigation. It's tasty and filling enough to make a meal on its own, especially if you stuff it with potato, cauliflower, paneer or even cooked minced meat.
I've put spicy potatoes and onion in mine, but you must absolutely experiment with whatever you want. Bung in whatever you fancy for tea. If you make plain paratha, crumple them in a tea towel when they come off the pan, like you're crumpling a piece of paper. This makes sure they stay soft.
Stuffed paratha (makes 6)
You will need:
For the paratha:
- 300g plain flour
- 100g wholewheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil
- 225 warm water
- 2 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 chilli, finely chopped
- 5cm piece of ginger, grated
- Coriander leaves, chopped
- Mix both types of flour and salt in a bowl, then drizzle in the oil and gradually add the water. Work into a soft dough and leave to rest for half an hour.
- For the filling, heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Fry the cumin seeds until they start to pop, then tip in the onion, chilli and ginger. Fry for a few minutes until the onions soften. Mix the onion with the mashed potato and set aside.
- Now for the fun bit - time to stuff and make your paratha. Start by dividing the dough into six equal sized balls.
- Roll out one of the balls into a circle and place a blob of the potato filling in the middle. Bring up the edges like you're making dim sum (see above), so it covers the filling. Twist together and then flatten into a circle again. Dust with flour and gently roll it out, making it thin enough that you can see the spices through it. Repeat with the other five paratha.
- Heat some more oil in a saucepan over a high heat and fry each paratha for roughly 2 minutes on each side. It should have a speckled brown pattern when it's done.