Aloo Paratha (Indian Flat Bread stuffed with potato)

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I fell in the front door at about 4.30am today, having consumed a fair few alcoholic beverages last night.  Needless to say I don’t feel like a glowing healthy goddess today!  And I don’t feel like eating like one either.  I woke up craving carbs and oil, so this recipe hit the spot while still being healthier than a takeaway.  I travelled around the Rajasthan region of Northwest India in August 2012.  While in a town called Pushkar, I did a cooking course with a local man.   This is one of the recipes which I learnt to make with him so it is as authentic as you can get to the recipe used in India.   Aloo Paratha is basically unleavened dough which is stuffed with spiced mashed potato, rolled out to make a flat bread and shallow fried.  It is typically consumed for breakfast in North India, another reason why it is perfect for a hangover! ;-)  I didn’t have all of the spice ingredients in my cupboard today, and there was no way that I felt like trekking to the supermarket to get them, so I used chill powder, turmeric and garam masala powder instead.   If you are less of a mess of a human being than I am today, it would be worth trying to use the original ingredients stated in the recipe.  The only thing I have changed from the recipe that I was taught in India is that instead of using wheat flour, I used spelt flour. It would be more common to fry this in butter or ghee also, but I used oil.  These are best eaten immediately, piping hot off the frying pan.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 300g spelt flour flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 small potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 tsp anise seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon or lime juice
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped corriander
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
To make the dough, combine the flour and salt in a bowl, and gradually add water until a non sticky dough is formed.    Add the oil to a pan and when hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.  Wait until the seeds stop popping to take them off the heat.  Add all the other ingredients to the mashed potato and then add it to the pan and cook for one minute.  Roll the dough in to eight inch diameter discs.  Add three to four tablespoons of the filling and with a rolling pin, fold over both sides vertically, and then fold the top and bottom horizontally, to make a parcel.  Then gently and slowly push the dough with the rolling pin to bring the disc back to the original size and flatten down the potato within the dough.  Dry fry the paratha on a pan on both sides, then drizzle with oil and brush this over the paratha.  Hold the paratha down on the pan with a spatula to stop the air bubbles from rising the dough.  It is done when it is browned and crisping and rising up off the pan.
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