Prerna from Indian Simmer is among the first few friends I made on blogosphere, a friend I have learned from, being inspired by and share a common passion of making Indian food accessible to a wider audience. Apart from being a dear friend, great blogger, she is also fabulous photographer which I'm sure you can see from this post. I'm so glad she is on Journey Kitchen sharing one of my favorite breakfast recipe - paratha with us!
You remember your first friend when you went to school or the first person you shared your lunch with in college or the first person who came up to your cubicle (or a table in the corner of a room in my case) and welcomed you on your first day at work? The person who made you feel that its okay to be nervous when you are new and you will do just fine?
Kulsum was one such person to me when I stepped into the blogging world. I was new and unsure of what I was doing. I think so was she and maybe that was the reason we hit it off the first time we spoke (or chatted? or tweeted? or exchanged emails? Okay! I don’t remember what happened first but it was one of the above!). We both shared the same roots back in the same country, loved to talk and were eager to learn. It has been almost an year (or maybe more) since I know Kulsum and she has come a long way with her blog ever since. Without even seeing each other face to face we have become friends so when she asked me to guest post for her it was exciting for me. Thanks Kulsum for asking and let me hijack your space for a day!
Kulsum wanted me to cook something Indian. Something very simple and yet comforting. Something that can take a lot of us Indians back home and still be easy for everyone to cook. And she wanted to share a breakfast recipe. What can be more comforting and easy breakfast recipe for Indians than a hot paratha fresh off the griddle? So I decided to make some Aloo Matar Paratha (Potato and green peas stuffed pancakes).
Now parathas are Indian pan fried flat breads and when you stuff them with any stuffing then they are called bharwa paratha (stuffed flatbreads). I am all about making Indian food approachable and sexy. And this recipe asks for some very simple and easily accessible ingredients. Fry onion with some very basic spices like cumin and coriander powder, add some heat with chili and mix it all with potatoes and peas. Even then if you can’t find anything just grab some potatoes and green peas, boil them, salt them and stuff it in your parathas and still your parathas (pancakes) with taste amazing! If you can then please fry them in ghee (clarified butter) because only then you can smell that comfort and feel that warmth that mom’s parathas give. But if you can’t find ghee or want to stay on the healthier side just use olive oil or vegetable oil as you like.
Click play for step by step pictures.
Potato and green peas stuffed pancakes
Makes 14-16 parathas
For the stuffing:
4 medium sized potatoes (boiled and mashed)
1 ¾ cups green peas (thawed if using frozen and steamed or cooked if using fresh)
1 cup onion (julienned)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 ½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes (you can also use cayenne pepper or chopped green chili)
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
1 ½ tbsp. oil
For the dough:
2 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
Water (approximately 1 cup. But I have experienced that different brands of flour ask for different quantity of water depending on the quality. So I usually eye ball the amount of water used.)
1 ½ tsp salt
Ghee or oil for pan frying the parathas
For the dough:
The process of kneading the dough for parathas is very much like doing that for making rotis. Please refer to my detailed post on how to make a roti to find out how you can make dough for parathas. Process is simple, just add water and salt to the flour and knead but can sometimes be tricky. I hope the post on making roti helps you make your dough.
For the stuffing:
Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Once cumin starts to pop add onion.
Cook onion until light golden in color. Add turmeric, coriander and red pepper flakes.
Mix well. Add mashed potatoes and green peas. Add salt.
Mix everything together and mash it all well.
Set aside and let it cool.
Stuffing and making parathas:
Divide the dough and filling into equal parts.
Dust the working area where you will be rolling the dough.
Roll out dough about 2 inches in diameter.
Place a ball of filling in the middle and bring all the edges together sealing the filling in the center of the bag.
Press the bag gently on the sealed side, flattening it a little. Dust and roll out the dough flat.Tip- Try to be light handed while rolling out the dough. Dust frequently if the dough is softer and the filling is coming out.
Repeat the same for the rest of the filling and dough. Tip- If you plan to roll out all the dough before starting to pan fry them then cover it with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out in the air.
Heat a skillet and place the rolled out dough on it. Tip- To check whether the skillet is hot enough sprinkle some water in it. If it sizzles out right away then its ready.
Let it cook for a few seconds and when you see the surface of paratha getting darker, flip to the other side. If you see some small brown spots on it then that’s good!
Brush ghee/oil on the cooked side and then flip again. Gently pressing with a spatula and rotating cook it for a minute. Repeat the same for the other side as well.
A perfect paratha should be golden brown with some dark spots on it.
Serve hot with yogurt, pickles or chutney.