Sunday mornings with aloo ke parathay and chai!

Published: February 22, 2014
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In my mother’s house, all parathas were prepared either with home-churned white butter or with homemade desi ghee. PHOTO: AMBREEN MALIK

Savoury aloo walay parathay and hot, sweet, milky tea have an unbreakable connection to winter in my head. The reason could be growing up in Pakistan; that’s how it used to be in our house. Waking up late on Sunday morning meant it was too late for breakfast and too early for lunch. 

But the rumbling tummy could not be ignored.

And so, chilly, winter Sunday mornings called for potato-stuffed buttered parathas for brunch served with shami kebabs or Pakistani style spicy omelettes.

In my mother’s household all parathas were prepared either with home-churned white butter or with homemade desi ghee (clarified butter). As a little girl I remember watching my nani (maternal grandmother) prepare butter at home quite frequently. Half of the butter was made in to ghee for later use while the fresh white butter was kept for immediate use. I loved devouring fresh rotis with a knob of freshly churned butter spread on them. The leftover buttermilk (lassi) was used to make karri pakora for lunch the same day.

Nothing went to waste.

I made some potato-stuffed parathas for brunch this weekend and served them with homemade shami kebabs and mint chutney. And then I thought, why not share some good old Pakistani brunch happiness with the rest of the world? So, here goes…

I use a griddle or a tawa for making the parathas.

Ingredients for the dough:

Wheat flour – 2 cups

Salt – ½ tsp

Oil – 2 tbsps

Water – enough to knead the dough

Kneading the dough

  1. The dough will make around 16 small dough balls to make eight parathas.
  2. Knead the dough with hand or in a machine and use water as needed.
  3. Let the dough rest for an hour before rolling out the parathas.

Photo: Ambreen Malik

Ingredients for the potato filling:

Potatoes – 1 ½ kgs, boiled and peeled

Oil – 3 tbsp

Onions – 2 medium, thinly chopped

Fresh green chillies – 2 medium, thinly chopped

Fresh coriander – 1 cup, chopped

Fresh mint – 1 cup, chopped

Roasted cumin seeds – 2 tsp heaped

Roasted coriander seeds – 3 tsp heaped, crushed in sil batta (pestle mortar)

Anaar dana powder (dried pomegranate powder) or aam choor powder (dried mango powder) – 2 tsp

Crushed red chillies – 1 tsp (adjust to taste if you like it spicier)

Salt – 1 ½ tsp heaped (adjust to taste)

Butter – 200 grams melted

Photo: Ambreen Malik

Method:

  1. In a frying pan, take three tablespoons oil and fry the chopped onions till translucent. Do not brown. Remove on a paper napkin and let them cool down.
  2. Mash the potatoes and add all the spices, cooked onions and herbs. Mix and set aside for an hour.
  3. Put the griddle on the stove on the highest heat.
  4. Make 16 balls of the dough; two balls will make one paratha.
  5. Roll out two dough balls into round flat bread at a time.

    Photo: Ambreen Malik

  6. Remove any excess flour from them.
  7. Put three to four heaped tablespoons of the mashed potato mixture on one rolled out dough. Use your finger tips to spread the mixture evenly, leaving about half an inch from the edges.

Photo: Ambreen Malik

8. Place the second rolled-out flat bread dough on top of the stuffed one. You can lightly wet the edges of the stuffed dough by dipping your fingers in water. This helps the flat bread on top to stick to the bottom one firmly, ensuring it does not open as it is cooked and flipped on the griddle.

Photo: Ambreen Malik

9. Press the two rolled out flat breads dough together firmly with your hands. Use a rolling pin to flatten them. The paratha will increase in size as you roll it.

10. Gently lift it in your hands and shed off any excess flour. Flip it on the hot griddle on the highest heat.

Photo: Ambreen Malik

11. Spoon around two to three tablespoons of melted butter on the top side and spread it. Wait for about a minute before flipping it over.

Photo: Ambreen Malik

12. Butter the other side the same way and cook both sides till the paratha gets a beautiful golden brown colour, is crisp to the touch and the edges are completely cooked. Reduce the heat as you cook or the butter will burn and your kitchen will be filed with smoke.

13. Remove the paratha from the griddle and onto a paper napkin. Cut it into four pieces if you want and serve hot with chutney and tea.

Photo: Ambreen Malik

It may seem like an effort but trust me, watching your family wipe their plates until the last crumb is gone, will be well worth it! 

Note: Wipe the griddle with a paper napkin after making each paratha.

This post originally appeared here.

Ambreen Malik

Ambreen Malik

The author is a Microfinance Banker, food blogger, LSE Alum and a dragon in training. She tweets as @ambreen_malik (twitter.com/ambreen_malik)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.