I realized that there is a dearth of stuffed parathas at my blog when I signed up for this week's theme of Indian Bread Basket. I haven't featured the most common, delicious and filling Punjabi stuffed breads yet in spite of making them at home now and then. Stuffed parathas can prove to be a nightmare to novice cooks who lack the experience and the technique to nail them. I had my share of woes regarding these in my early days of cooking, especially with the aloo parathas. The stuffing would come out from everywhere while rolling out the parathas and stick to the rolling pin and the board. I frustratingly would roll out rotis instead and grudgingly start cooking a side dish to go with it. Serving those tempting and piping hot parathas in my kitchen seemed like an elusive dream until I learnt the trick. My success rate with stuffed mooli parathas has been good and consistent all these years while with the potato filled ones, it has been a hit and miss situation until I chose to go with the fool proof method of stuffing between two rolled out parathas and rolling it again.
I have provided both the methods of making the parathas but as I mentioned above, the second method is lot easier. And as usual, the spices that go into the stuffing can be omitted / altered according to one's preferences. However remember to keep it on a spicier side since it s used as a stuffing and if not kept spicier, the final parathas taste bland. The following measurements give about 10-12 parathas if stuffed directly (method 1) and about 6 parathas if stuffed between 2 parathas (method 2).
Ingredients for the stuffing:
3 potatoes (about 1 & 1/2 cooked and mashed potato)
2 tbsp. finely minced cilantro
2 finely minced green chillies that are spicier or red chili powder to taste
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp each - amchur powder / dry mango powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and chaat masala
Salt to taste
Ingredients for parathas:
2 cups whole wheat flour + extra for dusting
1 - 2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Oil/ghee to toast parathas
Preparing the stuffing:
* Peel and cube potatoes. Wash and drain them completely. Transfer them to a container that fits into a pressure cooker and cook them for up to 3 - 4 whistles. Do not add any water to cook them to ensure that potatoes don't turn soggy. Remove the potatoes after the valve pressure is gone and drain in a colander if any water is present. Cool and mash the potatoes very smooth so that there are not even tiny bit of lumps. Or you can refrigerate the potatoes before mashing, to use them up later.
(Or scrub the potatoes and cut them into big chunks and cook them in water in a sauce pan and mash them. Or microwave them until done.)
* Add the rest of the ingredients mentioned under 'stuffing' to the mashed potatoes and mix well.
Preparation of dough:
* Combine wheat flour and 1/2 tsp salt in a mixing bowl. Add water in small increments and prepare a soft, pliable dough. (I added about 1 cup minus 2 tbsp. water.)
* Next add oil and knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Cover and allow it to rest anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours.
(You can proceed with the below recipe to make parathas at this point or refrigerate it to use the dough within a day or two. If refrigerating, bring the dough to room temperature before rolling out the parathas. Or to quicken the process, cover the dough and put it in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 20 - 30 seconds depending upon the quantity. The refrigerated dough would be ready to work with, in a jiffy this way.)
* Divide the mixture into about 12 portions and roll them smoothly between your palms to shape them into balls.
* Work with one dough ball at a time and keep the rest covered.
Rolling parathas: (Method 1)
* Roll a dough ball into 3 - 4 inch disc and place about 1 - 2 tbsp. of filling, depending upon how comfortable you are with the rolling
part. Place the stuffing at the center of the disc, leaving the edges free.
* Bring the edges together so that there are no gaps and the stuffing is inside intact.
* Press it into a disc taking care that there are no gaps anywhere so that the stuffing wouldn't spill out while rolling.
* Roll the disc carefully into a 5 to 6 inch thin circle, dusting with flour if necessary. Take care not to break it or let the filling coming out. Repeat the steps of paratha making with the remaining dough.
Rolling parathas: (Method 2)
* Roll out a couple of balls into 4 -5 inch discs, dusting with flour if necessary.
* Spread 1 - 2 tbsp. curry evenly on one disc, leaving out the edges.
* Cover it with another rolled disc.
* Neatly seal them so that the stuffing wouldn't spill out when they are rolled again.
* Dust the work surface and stuffed disc lightly and proceed with the rolling part. Gently roll it into a thin disc.
* Heat iron griddle or a shallow, non stick pan and place the rolled out paratha.
* Toast the parathas, brushing generously with oil / ghee, until both sides are cooked well and brown spots appear.
* Repeat the steps of rolling and toasting the parathas with the remaining dough balls and the stuffing. Serve them hot with yogurt and a spicy pickle.
This goes to Blogging Marathon #49, under the theme of "Indian Bread Basket".