Somehow or other, this is one area of Indian cooking that I have sadly neglected, and honestly I'm not sure why. I bother to make my own pastry when required, have enjoyed making bread in the past, do not shy away from spending a few hours in the kitchen when I have the time, and cook Indian dishes on a regular basis. I plead distraction. I could probably fill a small library with my food ideas.
And so I'm thankful Srivalli of Cooking for all Seasons has decided to host Roti Mela to celebrate the goodness of Indian flatbreads. Inspired by the idea, I made these crispy stuffed parathas. Time consuming, yes, but absolutely worth the effort. The dough was an absolute pleasure to work with and will certainly serve as a base for future creations. The possibilities for fillings have occupied my mind since I made these this past weekend. I'm thinking paneer and spice is next.
Paratha with Sweet Potato and Potato Filling
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups of unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of oil for frying
1 medium sweet potato
1 tablespoon of oil
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of black mustard seeds
2 small potatoes, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of cayenne
3/4 cup of water
Combine the flours, salt, ghee and water in a bowl until a dough is formed. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour.
Peel and boil the sweet potato until tender. Mash and set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium pot until hot. Add the seeds and salt and stir and fry until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Now add the potatoes, cayenne and water. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, or until the potato is just tender. Stir the mashed sweet potato into the potato mixture.
Shape the dough into a long log and divide into 16 equal portions. Shape each piece into a ball, and roll into 5 1/2 inch rounds on a lightly floured board. Stack the rolled out rounds, separated with plastic wrap.
Spread a few teaspoons of filling over a rolled out round, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Brush the border with water, and top with another rolled out round. Press the edges together firmly to seal. Repeat until all 8 paratha are filled.
Heat the 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat in a large frying pan until hot. Cook one stuffed paratha at a time, until nicely browned on both sides - about 5 minutes a side. Drain on paper towels. The cooked parathas can be kept warm in the oven while you fry up the remainder. Add more oil to the pan as needed.
Makes 8 parathas.