Parathas (Stuffed Flatbread)

January 14th, 2008


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.


(adapted from Sunita’s World)

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

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.


Makes four 4″ parathas.

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.


  • 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

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  • 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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