Parathas are flatbreads traditionally made of wheat flour, shallow fried in ghee or oil, and noticeably thicker than the usual rotis or chapatis. In addition, parathas usually have some kind of stuffing in them – they range from savory (cauliflower, potatoes, peas, lentils, paneer/cottage cheese, radish, etc.) to sweet (jaggery and lentil mixture, grated coconut and sugar, a combination of dry fruit, nuts, cinnamon and sugar, etc.) Parathas are generally aromatic, flavorful, and quite rich (owing to the liberal use of ghee and butter!).
Parathas generally have a flaky and crisp exterior, followed by a soft and fluffy interior, based on the stuffing that is used. They are generally served for breakfast in North India, (especially Punjab), or as a snack along with tea in the evenings. In this instance, I have made a spiced mixed vegetable filling, using cabbages, carrots, green peas, potatoes and cauliflower. I served it with curd and mango pickle 🙂 Do not skimp on the ghee/butter in this – as that is what makes the dish 🙂 Read on for the recipe!
- Mixed vegetables – 2 cups (carrot, cauliflower, potatoes, peas, cabbage)
- Garam masala/Kitchen King masala – 1/2 tsp
- Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Atta – 2.5 cups
- Kasuri methi – 2 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil – 2 to 3 tsp
- Water – about 3/4 cup, and 2 to 3 more tbsp if required
For shallow frying:
- Ghee – 3 tbsp, melted.
Making the dough
- Take the four in a wide bowl and make a well at the centre.
- Add the kasuri methi and salt to the well.
- Add the red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
- Add water little by little, and knead the dough with your hands, or a dough mixer.
- Once the dough comes together, it will be slightly sticky. Add 2 tsp oil and knead lightly again. If you feel you’ve added too much water, add a tbsp of dough and knead. That should fix it. If too dry, add some water until right.
- Get the dough together in a ball. The consistency of the dough has to be non-sticky, loose and soft, not tight and dry.
- Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. This will give you soft parathas.
Making the stuffing
- Take veggies in a pressure cooker. Add just enough water to immerse them and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
- This is how the steamed vegetables will look, once drained.
- Take the steamed veggies in a non-stick pan. Saute them on low heat until the moisture evaporates.
- Add the mashed potato the veggie mixture.
- Mix well until evenly incorporated.
- Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt and a pinch of sugar.
- Mash this well using a masher so that there are no big lumps of any vegetable (it will tear the chapati dough while rolling)
- Once completely mashed, switch off the stove.
- Once the mixture is warm enough to handle, make lemon-sized balls and set aside.
Shallow frying the parathas
- Get the dough and the stuffing side by side. (you can also make lemon-sized balls of the dough in advance).
- Keep the rolling pin and stone ready, and dust it with atta liberally so that the paratha does not stick while rolling out.
- Take one ball of dough, and roll it out into a small chapati.
- Place one ball of the stuffing in the centre.
- Now enclose the stuffing inside by slowly pinching together the dough.
- Repeat this step until the stuffing is fully covered with dough.
- Now pat this down using your fingers to flatten it. Take this and dunk it in flour on both sides.
- Using the rolling pin, roll this out into a thick paratha. Dust with more flour to keep it from sticking.
- The paratha needs to be thick, with filling spread evenly across.
- Heat a tawa. Once hot, carefully transfer the paratha onto the tawa.
- Apply some ghee over the paratha and spread using the spatula. Now flip and cook on the other side until brown spots appear. Keep applying ghee and flipping every 20-30 seconds until the paratha has evenly browned.
Repeat steps 3 through 12 until you exhaust the entire batch of dough and stuffing.
See the stuffing beautifully showing through? That’s my finished pile of parathas 😀
Serve paratha hot with pickle and curd. I prefer my parathas with tomato ketchup 😀
TIPS & TWEAKS
- After steaming the vegetables, make sure you drain them really well. If vegetables are still moist, then while cooking the stuffing, cook them long enough until they are completely dry. If your stuffing is wet, your paratha dough will stick to the rolling stone and tear. Cabbage especially tends to hold water, so nicely drain and squeeze the veggies.
- Use very little oil while cooking the stuffing. If stuffing is oily, again your paratha dough will stick and tear while rolling out.
- Be cautious with the use of salt. Remember there is salt in both the dough as well as the stuffing. It can get salty if you aren’t careful.
- I had steamed potatoes leftover from another recipe, so I used them directly without pressure cooking. You can easily steam the potatoes along with the other vegetables.
- You can refrigerate the leftover dough and the stuffing to use later. Will be good for 2-3 days.
- If refrigerating parathas, wait until they cool down completely and then refrigerate in a ziploc or foil bag. Microwave for 30 seconds, or warm the parathas for 20 seconds on each side on a hot tawa before serving.