The cuisine of every country, and the various regions within them, is inspired by locally grown ingredients. Aloo paratha takes us to a very prosperous and culturally rich state in India, Punjab. Wheat is grown in abundance here and is a staple for the people. Punjab produces a large variety of breads including roti, naan, paratha, poori, bhatura etc. Aloo paratha is a very popular bread that originated in this state and is now made by every household across India. The name has three components aloo, meaning potato, parat, meaning layers, and atta, meaning flour.
When growing up we had both rice and atta in equal quantities. Dad liked his rice and occasionally enjoyed roti or paratha, and mum was an ardent fan of atta. She often made goodies with both and we always ate what was made. However, my favourite was and still is anything made out of atta!
Making bread is an art which my sister, more than my mother, mastered. After she was married off I would spend my summer holidays with her. Every Friday she would fast for goddess Durga, not eating anything all day, and towards the evening she would prepare aloo paratha. It was magical to see her making them, she would knead the dough with so much love. The aloo masala was so yummy that you could just eat it straight. Her hands would glide so beautifully when she rolled the bread, and she produced perfect round parathas every time. Once prepared she would patiently cook each paratha and dish it out to us straight from the pan, hot and steaming. It was so delicious that we would inevitably over eat every time she made them.
I fell in love with these as a child, and even now, given the choice, I would eat aloo paratha anytime of the day. This dish is incomplete without a dollop of butter or makhan (homemade butter), and it's best paired with yoghurt or any kind of pickle or chutney.
INGREDIENTS – Atta for dough, aloo masala, and oil to cook.
Dough - 2 cups of atta, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup of water to knead. Knead the dough a bit tight, and leave it to sit for at least an hour.
Dry atta – 1 cup to dust the parathas
Oil – best is half oil half ghee – if you are a vegan just use oil like canola or rice bran.
Aloo Masala - 3 boiled and grated potato,1-2 green chilli finely chopped, coriander and ¼ piece of ginger(grated), salt to taste, 1.5 tsp carom seeds (optional), 1 tsp chilli powder, 2 tsp raw mango powder, and 1.5 tsp Banus Garam Masala.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Boil the potato with the skin, peel and keep it aside for at least 2 hours. Using hot potato will not hold well when filled in the dough. Grating means smooth filling.
- Ensure your dough is a bit tight not too soft as it has chances of ripping.
- Cook both sides well before applying the oil – or else it will absorb more oil.
- Eat when it is hot.
This blog is dedicated to my sister Lakshmi RAMACHANDRAN for making me fall in love with aloo paratha.