Route 79 : Stuffed Parathas

The effects of feeling hungry on the way home


February 15 2004

Parathas stuffed with Aloo Gobi

If you recall the end of my recipe on Aloo Gobi - you may remember me referring to "a lunch to die for". Well this is it. It's very traditionally Punjabi to have fresh parathas as a late brunch on the weekend. And in the Route79 household we love to make ours stuffed with with anything leftover in the fridge. In this case it is indeed some leftover aloo gobi. In fact - the following instructions can be used with any form of stuffing - so long as the stuffing used is "dry" - i.e. not a "saucy" dish.

Just mash the leftover gobi mixture. I used a plastic mashing utensil that is specially made for mashing potatoes I think - I then used a fork to gather it all together and mash it some more. It doesn't matter if the mash is a bit coarse and lumpy - just make sure the lumps aren't too big.

You also have to prepare some roti (chapatti) dough. This involves using a flour which Indians typically refer to as "atta" - you can get bags of it in most Indian shops - e.g. Elephant brand etc. You knead the flour into the right consistency dough - this takes a little practise - and I have to admit it here that this is usually something I leave to Ms.79 - she is the expert at preparing and cooking roti and paratha.

Roll out some of the atta thinly using a rolling pin. Then scoop some of the aloo gobi mash onto the top of it. Gather together the edges of the rolled-out atta into the middle - completely covering the mashed mixture - and seal it together with the tips of your fingers - being careful to ensure that the "parcel" keeps its shape - without tearing or breaking. Then use the rolling pin to thin-out the parcel - this has to be done very gently and carefully. Use the atta flour to sprinkle onto the surface and onto the parcel to ensure that the dough doesn't stick to the surface or rolling pin. Make sure that it doesn't tear!

Then "slap" the paratha onto a hot "thawa" - this is the thing that roti/chappatis are cooked on. Sprinkle a few splashes of vegetable oil around the edge of the thawa so that it rolls underneath the paratha and cooks underneath. Turn the paratha over 3 or 4 times - and keep adjusting the flame under the thawa to ensure that the dough cooks - but without burning the paratha.

Then when you think it's done - and the surface of the paratha is crispy - transfer it to a plate covered with a piece of absorbent kitchen-roll-tissue - and serve immediately to the hungry person sitting patiently at the kitchen table. In this case - it is me! Ms.79 goes on to make a few more whilst I devour them as they arrive hot and fresh onto the table. I eat mine with dollops of mirch achaar (chillie pickle)!

Gobi-stuffed parathas and mirch achaar: A lunch to die for!

Have you tried this? Even if you haven't - let me know what you think!
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