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Mar 5, 2007 05:47 PM

I made paratha! unbeliever paratha . . .

So, I was watching the reruns of Bittman Takes On, and the restauranteer made paratha, a stuffed Indian bread. Fabulous! And ridiculously easy. 2 cups of flour, a bit of salt and enough water to make it come together. Knead for five minutes and let it rest a moment. I used whole wheat flour = very heavy. I'll go with a mix of white and wheat in the future.
The show did a spiced ground lamb stuffing, but I had pork so . . . nobody in India would be eating *my* paratha. I spiced it with hot smoked paprika, fennel seed mortared, and salt.

You divide the dough into balls, roll out into circles, put in the filling and draw up the purse, like a giant dimsum, then roll it out thin again - thin being a third of an inch thick. Stuffed bread, super easy! Then cook it on a griddle, first dry, then with a bit of oil or ghee.

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  1. Thank you for this.
    I'm definitely going to give it a try.

    1. This sounds great! I don't think I've ever eaten it, but it sounds like an easy fun meal.

      Two questions-- no leaven in the bread mix? and, do you cook the meat first, or does it just cook as you cook the bread... and if so, how long did you cook it? Was it greasy? Okay, one more question-- how many did this recipe make?

      Thanks for sharing this!

      1. I've made a version with potatoes and peas that is also awesome. You can't beat any form of stuffed bread!

        1. 2 cups of flour made four parathas, the size of a taco sized tortilla. One per person is plenty. It's a great heavier app for a lighter meal -- we had ceasar salad after.

          I did *not* cook the meat in advance - the bread is under 1/2" thick, so it cooks through pretty quickly on the griddle. I was using a cast iron comal, but anything that gets hot would do. On the show they didn't cook the meat, but in the linked recipe they do. I'm convinced it is utterly unneccessary.

          No idea on the actual cooking time: let's say under 10 minutes . You flip it a couple times (every 2-3 minutes) not letting any serious browning happen. To my mind, that's when the meat gets cooked. For the last pass, I put a little oil, to get the fried look and feel. I didn't want it very oily, although I understand some cooks fry it the whole time.

          No leavening in the bread -- just flour water and salt. It's a flat bread. A recipe I looked at afterwards suggested giving a half hour rise. I kneaded it by hand in a bowl, watching tv -- it came together very quickly. The link below suggests a food processor, but I don't think it's worth the washing up time. But then, I was doing a small amount.

          I found a link for the show, but the fun part for me was watching it on tv and just making it with what I had on hand and not bothering to look at the recipe. It's a great technique.

          Aggressively seasoning whatever goes inside is the key - mine wasn't salty enough, so I salted them after cooking.
          I am going to try one with carmelized onions and mashed potato next . . .

          1. Aloo paratha was a favorite brunch in our house growing up. My mom never made the meat filled ones, but they are also delicious. The Aloo (potato) filled ones basically use a samosa filling rolled up in the dough exactly the way you describe. The filling variations could be endless. I've never tried to make them on my own, but you've brought back fond memories. I may have to experiment.