Cooking aloo parathas with Raju

June 1, 2011

Despite living in India for a total of nine months, I have learnt shamefully little about cooking Indian dishes. Eating them, yes, but cooking them, absolutely not. This isn’t something I have avoided, it’s just I never seemed to get around to doing a course or finding someone who would be willing to give me the odd lesson. Such is the busy nature of Bombay life! However, during my brief one-week break in Bombay before returning home, the cook of a good friend of mine agreed to give me a paratha lesson (although I’m not sure how much say he had in the matter). It turned out to be not so much a hands-on lesson, rather me observing him make a batch – but he led me through each step, patiently waiting for me to take photos/jot down ingredients/measurements…I’m just hoping that some of Raju’s skill rubbed off on me! Now that I’m home, my family can be my guinea pigs….

(For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a paratha is, let alone an aloo paratha, it is a type of unleavened indian flatbread, fried and eaten in northern, western and central parts of India, typically for breakfast (this being news to me). ‘Aloo’ refers to the spiced mashed potato mixture which is stuffed inside).

Makes 6 aloo parathas


Filling –

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed and left to cool
1 clove garlic, crushed
Couple dashes of turmeric
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala (or curry powder)
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1/2 lime
Small bunch of fresh coriander

Dough –

1/4 kg wholewheat flour
1/4 cup water (might need more/less according to how dough binds)
Optional: splash of vegetable oil

Step 1 : Making the potato filling



– Add the the turmeric, cumin powder, garam masala, salt, lime juice and coriander to the cold mashed potato and mix.
– Fry the crushed garlic and when browned, add the potato mixture and cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes.
– Take off the heat and allow to cool
– When cooled, split mixture into six balls and set aside.

Step 2: Making the dough

– Make a well in the flour and add water a bit at a time, until it becomes a non-sticky, kneadable lump of dough
– Knead dough for a few minutes and then split into six balls.

Step 3: Assembling the parathas






– Place dough ball in hand and flatten a little
– Place potato ball on top and wrap dough around it ensuring that it is evenly covered all the way around
– Pinch the dough together at the top and seal
– NOTE: The potato mixture MUST have cooled completely, otherwise the parathas will not roll out effectively
– Sprinkle your surface with flour and roll out the ball (seam down) into a circle with a depth of around 3mm.
– It is now ready to be fried!

Step 4: Frying






– Ideally one would use a flat cast iron pan called a ‘tawa’, but a pancake pan (or really any pan) will do
– Preheat the pan and when hot, place the paratha on the pan
– Once it has browned slightly, flip over and fry the other side
– When golden brown on both sides, remove from the heat.
(Raju dry-fried the parathas, rubbing a little knob of butter on each one after removing it from the heat. This is largely to reduce the oil (and hence, fat) content of the parathas, as they can be oily (ghee-laden) things, but if you would rather fry with oil, then this can be done too)


3 Responses to “Cooking aloo parathas with Raju”

  1. jenny said

    Sounds like another great recipe to try Lindsey, can’t wait. It must be good to be home catching up with family and friends even if it was sad to leave India.

  2. Karen Bodeen said

    This sounds a little like pupusas from El Salvador, with different spices. Have you ever had pupusas?


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