Making “Parathas” or stuffed Indian flat bread

A paratha (puh-raa-thaa) is a type of Indian stuffed flat bread made with whole wheat flour. While usually savory (there are regional sweet stuffed varieties which would be a whole different recipe), the stuffing can range from the good ol’ potato (mashed and spiced up) to horse-radish, cauliflower, spinach leaf, paneer (Indian cheese), mashed peas… etc. I could go on. Here I’ll be sharing the recipe for Paneer Parathas. But the basic recipe for the roti (flat bread) remains the same, the stuffing can be varied based on what you feel like trying out. Other than the when you use potatoes, all other stuffing ingredients are used raw in grated form.

Ingredients for Roti:

  • Sujata brand Indian roti/chapatti flour – 2 cups
  • Water – 1 cup (plus a few spoons if needed)
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp

Ingredients for stuffing:

  • Paneer (I prefer Nanak brand) – 1/2 pkg at room temperature grated
  • Fresh Ginger – 1/2″ piece grated
  • Onion (red) – 1/4 diced fine
  • Coriander leaf – handful chopped fine
  • Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Pomegranate seed powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp or to taste

Method for Roti Dough:

In a food processor or bread maker, first add flour, salt and oil and start mixing on bread/dough setting as needed. Add water 1/2 cup at a time till dough forms a play-doh like consistency as shown below, then set aside. IMG_1194

Next, its time to make the stuffing. Assemble ingredients together. Grate paneer as shown below –

 

Add the chopped up coriander leaves (cilantro) to the paneer-onion mixture, then add the grated/minced fresh ginger, and the garam masala, red chili powder, pomegranate powder and salt and mix roughly like so –

 

You’re now ready to make the parathas. You’ll need a griddle to cook these on, it would be a good idea to put one for heating on medium at this point. To make the parathas, start by tearing off a golf-ball sized ball of dough, knead it to form a smooth ball then flatten to form a patty about 3/4″ thick. Dust this generously with flour  and using a rolling pin on a floured surface (granite counter 🙂 ) roll out a circle from the dough about 4-5″ in diameter.

 

Now that you have a mini-roti, you are ready to put in the stuffing and finish your paratha. Take 2 heaping teaspoons of the stuffing and place in the center of your mini-roti, then fold the top and bottom edges together like you’re making a canoli. Then fold in the sides to make something that starting to look like you’re going to feel like after eating a few of these!! Haha, just kidding. But seriously, you are not going to stop at just one! 😀 Lightly flour the dumpling you just made and get ready to roll it out.

Now that your paratha “dumpling” (for lack of a better description) is ready, with the rolling pin roll it out to flatten to a 7-8″ diameter roti. If it starts to stick to the surface, just dab a little flour as needed until you have something that looks like a map of India!! 😉 Well at least that’s how mine used to look when I first tried making these many moons ago!

You can go ahead and make all the parathas in this way and roast them on your griddle or you can make and roast one at a time. If you are going to do the former, make sure you place them in a cool place so that they don’t stick to each other when you stack them till you are ready to cook them.

For the final cooking/roasting process: On the heated griddle, carefully lay out the paratha and let it cook for about a minute on one side, then flip over with a spatula and repeat for another minute. Flip again until you have something that looks like this –

And you’re done!! Serve hot with yogurt on the side or raita if you prefer.

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