You are going to love this quick flatbread that Karen of Bake My Day chose for the Bread Baking Babes this month. I always look forward to seeing what those lovely ladies will choose for us buddies to try ,and this one does not disappoint. It’s simple, fast and delicious. The bread consists of a simple non-yeast dough with a potato filling. It would be good with pretty much any kind of vegetable though, as long as it’s not too wet.
The recipe calls for 1 1/2 lb potatoes for the filling but I took Karen’s advice that this was too much and I used one large baking potato (which was more than enough). After they are filled and rolled out they get pan-fried (I used a combination of oil and butter) until brown and crisp. I will say that my daughter loved them the next day (warm and now soft) in her lunchbox. Since this is Indian bread we had it with some saag paneer. mmm…
Mark Bittman uses a recipe he learned from Indian cook and cookbook writer Julie Sahni, her recipe, modified.
(“how to cook everything by Mark Bittman”)
1.1/2 c whole wheat flour
1.1/2 c ap flour plus more for rolling out the dough
1 /2 tsp salt
1 ts ajwain* dried thyme, or ground cumin (I used ground cumin)
2 tbs neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for brushing the breads (I used canola)
1.1/2 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and cut in half (one large potato is enough!)
1 jalapeño or other fresh hot chile, seeded and minced or more to taste (I used 2 dried chilies from my garden)
2 tsp ground coriander
freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 small lemon
*ajwain comes from carom seeds which look like celery but taste like very strong, slightly coarse thyme
Combine the flours with 1 teaspoon salt and the thyme in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add the oil and 3/4 cup water through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough and, using flour as necessary, shape into a ball; wrap in plastic and let rest while you make the potato mixture. (At this point, you may wrap the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze for up to a week; bring back to room temperature before proceeding.)
Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a large pinch of salt. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily; cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Gently mash the potatoes along with half the chile, the coriander, a large pinch of salt, some pepper, and the lemon juice; taste and adjust the seasoning (I also added 1 teaspoon of garam masala).
When the dough has rested, set out a bowl of all-purpose flour and a small bowl of oil, with a spoon or brush, on your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Break off a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball. Toss it in the bowl of flour and then roll it in your hands to make a ball. Flatten it into a 2-inch disk, then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a thin round, about 5 inches in diameter, dusting with flour as necessary.
Mound about 2 tablespoons of the filling into the center of one of the rounds of dough. Bring the edges of the round up over the top of the filling and press them together to make a pouch. Press down on the “neck” of the pouch with the palm of one hand to make a slightly rounded disk. Turn the disk in the bowl of flour and roll it out again into a round 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Pat it between your hands to brush off the excess flour. Put the paratha on a plate and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Continue to roll all of the remaining dough into parathas and stack them on the plate with a sheet of plastic wrap between them. You can keep the paratha stacked like this for an hour or two in the refrigerator before cooking them if necessary.
Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for a minute or two, then put on a paratha (or two, if they’ll fit) and cook until it darkens slightly, usually less than a minute. Flip the paratha with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds on the second side. Use the back of a spoon or a brush to coat the top of the paratha with oil. Flip and coat the other side with oil. Continue cooking the paratha until the bottom of the bread has browned, flip, and repeat. Do this a few times until both sides of the paratha are golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes total for each paratha. As the paratha finish, remove them from the pan and brush with melted butter if you’re going to serve hot; otherwise wait until you’ve reheated them.
This is a link to the recipe in the Huffington Post (in which Mark warns us that it may sound like “carbohydrate overkill)