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Parathas (Stuffed Flatbread)

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January 14th, 2008 · Print Print

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Can I even describe how good these are?   Not adequately.  Soft, warm, and incredibly flavorful, I knew I was going to make these the moment I saw them at Sunita’s World (her photos show what these are supposed to look like — my novice attempts are neither as flat, thin, or round as they should be).

But I was intimidated.  Kind of like the first time I made a souffle, or the first time I baked bread, I always worry that any attempt a recipe I’m unfamiliar with will lead to disaster (so far, though, this fear is unfounded — perhaps I need cooking therapy?).  And if I’m attempting a recipe that’s not American or European?  Extra frightening. These certainly weren’t easy, but I consider them a major success, and I think I will get better as I make them again and again, and again, and again.

Apparently, parathas can be made this way or can just be rolled to blend the dough with the filling, which I bet would also be good.  But there’s something kind of fun about stuffing them, though, don’t you think?  Either way, this was a two-birds-with-one stone recipe, because I think I’ve officially tried my hand at making flatbread, too!  Yum.

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Parathas
(adapted from Sunita’s World)

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium sized potato, peeled, washed, boiled and mashed
1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
salt to taste
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cumin and salt. Add the oil. Add the water, a little at a time, and bring everything together into a lump.
2. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Shape them each into a ball and slightly flatten them. Set aside.
3. In a food processor, add all the ingredients for the filing and puree until smooth. Divide into 4 equal portions.
4. Take a portion of the dough and roll out into a small disc. Place a portion of the filling in the middle of the disc like a ball. Gather up the sides of the disc to cover the filling and seal it to form a pouch.
5. Gently flatten and spread the disk with your fingers and then gently roll it. Try to make sure the filling doesn’t come out.
6. In a small skillet, cook the paratha for approximately 30 seconds on each side, until small brown spots appear in the dough. Repeat for the other portions of dough and filling.

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Makes four 4″ parathas.


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Tags: appetizers · breads · food



27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 holler // Jan 14, 2008 at 10:56 am

    I think those look really tasty, well worth a try!

  • 2 shana // Jan 14, 2008 at 11:16 am

    wow, i’ve been looking for quick and easy meals for after the gym (yeah right, haha) and these look so yummy!

  • 3 Happy Cook // Jan 14, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Wow you made them. I saw this in sunita’s place and they were indeed looking delicious.
    Well your too look so good that i too want to make them.

  • 4 katy // Jan 14, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Holler — Thanks!

    Shana — Absolutely!  I love a bread dish that doesn’t take hours to make, too.  I’ll be experimenting with the filling as well, I’m sure!

    Happy Cook — Yes!  Although I readily concede that hers were so much prettier than mine.  Practice makes perfect though!

  • 5 Ann // Jan 14, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Looks amazing! We must be channeling each other– I made onion kulcha last week and will be posting about it soon. :-)

    Your parathas look delicious!

  • 6 Mansi // Jan 14, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    OMG Jaty! An attorney and you get time to cook and blog!! brilliant girl! I’m inspired alright:)

    these look fabulous…stuffed parathas are ahit with us Indians, and you’ve managed to dish them out swell!

  • 7 Allie // Jan 14, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Yours look beautiful! Great job!

  • 8 Anonymous // Jan 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    that looks so tasty!

  • 9 JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen // Jan 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    They look delicious Katy! Isn’t it great how good looking food can inspire us to really go for it?!

  • 10 katy // Jan 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Ann — Thanks!  Can’t wait to see it!

    Mansi — Thanks!!!  (Weekends help — I succumb to takeout way too many nights during the week!)

    Allie — Thanks!

    Jenn — Yes!  There are so many new flavors and foods I never would have tried without others’ blogs — inlcuding last month’s realization that I *love* pistachios, thanks to your forum!

  • 11 brilynn // Jan 14, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    I think I need to challenge myself to make these, they sound great!

  • 12 holler // Jan 14, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Katy,
    I meant to say earlier, that I just love that plate! Space (the lack of) is the only thing that stops me from scouring shops and markets for lots of lovely plates. But I do covet that plate!

  • 13 katy // Jan 14, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Brilynn — definitely do!  Sunita’s recipe was great — I just adapted it to make a smaller number, and I sauteed them in cooking spray instead of pan-frying them.

    Holler — Thanks!  My mom actually gave it to me — I can never resist buying new dishes, though, especially if they’re white or mostly white!

  • 14 Cakespy // Jan 14, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Stop it! This is simply too delicious looking.

  • 15 MyKitchenInHalfCups // Jan 15, 2008 at 3:34 am

    Katy: I know I made these years ago and we all loved them.  Now I must try them again.
    I don’t know why we talk ourselves into thinking some technique or dish is too scary to try.  Almost anything I’ve tried with a good recipe has worked.

  • 16 Patricia Scarpin // Jan 15, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Katy, these are making me so hungry! And it’s only 10:30am here in Sao Paulo… I’ll have to wait till lunch (and it won’t be half as interesting and delicious and your food!). :)

  • 17 katy // Jan 15, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Cakespy — Thanks!

    Tanna — I agree with you, although I totally jinxed mysef in writing this post, because I sort of failed at this month’s DB challenge!

    Patricia — I know, I have so much trouble when I look at food blogs in the 11-am and 3-pm ranges!  And then it takes all my willpower to get a salad for lunch!

  • 18 one food guy // Jan 15, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Wow these parathas look and sound delicious! Nicely done!

  • 19 FZQ // Jan 15, 2008 at 10:57 am

    These look fantastic.  I’m always intimidated by parathas.  Although, I may just have to give them a try now.

    Thanks!

  • 20 Jitterbean Girl // Jan 16, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Wow, yum!  I’m just now getting into Indian cooking, and these look fantastic!  How do they compare to samosas?  I’ve always wanted to make those but haven’t because I’m terrified of deep-frying food.

    What did you think about the spice profile of this recipe?  Was cumin enough, or should I maybe add some other spices/blends, like garam masala?

    I just may have to make these and take them into work… they would make my office smell divine!

  • 21 katy // Jan 16, 2008 at 10:47 am

    One food guy — Thanks!

    FZQ — Definitely give them a try!  I was totally intimidated too, though, but they were worth the effort!

    Stacey — I have never deep fried anything, so I definitely understand being terrified!  They’re definitely bread-ier than samosas (even without yeast, they still taste like bread on the outside), but the filling is very similar!  The samosas I’ve had have had a pastry or phyllo outer layer, and these have real bread, more like naan or a pita than a dumpling-type shell.

    I think other spices would definitely work, in addition to the cumin.  The original recipe called for cumin seeds and ground cumin, which I bet would ramp up the cumin flavor, but I didn’t have cumin seeds.  I’ve never cooked with garam masala though — I definitely need to try it!

  • 22 MrsPresley // Jan 16, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    i have never had these before, but they sound delicious!

  • 23 sunita // Jan 17, 2008 at 4:40 am

    Katy, kudos to you for trying them out and you’ve done a really wonderful job on your fist attempt…I’m so proud of you…and yes, it definitely get’s better with practice….and parathas are very versatile, so there is always room for innovations :-)

  • 24 deeba // Jan 21, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Wonderful…clap,clap! Honestly, yours parathas look MUCH better than mine! Actually ts a nice flatbread & so versatile. Try making plain parathas & use them as a wrap for a stir-fried chicken etc. Serve with sour cream & a green/corn salad! YUM!!

  • 25 Doodee // Feb 1, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing

  • 26 noigmaReopope // Feb 9, 2008 at 10:33 am

    I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well. But it was interesting! Look for some my links:

  • 27 Salome // May 30, 2008 at 5:50 am

    I made them! MMH jummy! And they did turn out quite beautiful. Ok, some of them got burned a little bit, but beside of this it was delicious.

    I added to the filling a bit of chili pulver and kurkuma, and I ate them with cottage cheese or plain with a little bit butter.

    thank you for sharing it!

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