Recently, my lingering appetite for Indian drove me to attempt making Aloo Parathas.
And what a painful experience it was. I spent my whole afternoon trying to figure out how to do it. The Madras Curry Powder I have came with a <tiny, tiny> book with 10 recipes in it. And due to its size, there was little explanation of how I should make them. It was written for Indian cooks, I think …..Ever since a friend of mine told me their mum makes the best Aloo Parathas in the world, I’ve had a deep down neglected “jealousy” to know how this loving Indian mum does it!
Well.. I made 6 parathas with the dough in this recipe, and each one turned out unique (optimism, ah?).
Having finished my quest to make Aloo Parathas, I officially decided to search for a video that can visually explain how on earth I’m supposed to make them. A very belated decision, I must say.
As for my journey, it’s as follows….
Serves: apparently 6
1 cup plain flour
1 tbs oil
1/2 cup warm water (estimation)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs Madras Curry Powder
1 onion, finely diced
1 tsp garlic paste (or 1 clove, crushed)
1 tsp ginger paste (I shaved off some ginger and put it in a mini food processor with the onion)
salt, paprika (to taste)
Wash, peel and cube potatoes.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Place the potatoes and keep on medium-high heat until cooked.
Drain the potatoes and mash.
In a large pan, add the onion, Madras Curry Powder, salt, ginger + garlic paste.
Cook through until onion is soft.
Add to the mashed potatoes. If you didn’t mash the potatoes already, then mash together. This is what I did to help disperse the flavour throughout the potato.
When the mixture has completely integrated, leave aside to cool and begin your dough.
Combine the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl.
Mix with your hand until well combined. I kneaded it for a few minutes, too.
Break up the dough into small balls. The book said walnuts: I made mine extra large walnut-sized balls.
This is where I become very confused and attempted to do it in many different ways.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a circle. Make it as thin as possible.
Take a spoonful of the potato mixture and place it in the centre.
Pinch up the sides to close around the mixture. Make sure you close it really well to avoid the sticky mess I made.
[I didn't know this part, but] roll the ball of stuffed dough in flour
Keeping the pinched side up, roll out the dough again, but not too much so that it bursts and the stuffing comes out!
In a large pan on medium-high heat, drizzle a teaspoon of oil. Place the paratha in the pan when it’s hot. Flip after a minute or so.
When golden brown, remove.
Repeat the process.
Serve with chutney or something Indian-y
No so much for me. I tried this method a few times, but because of the original size I broke up the dough into, my paratha was tiny:
Making it any bigger meant the dough split and the stuffing went everywhere!
So instead I tried something different. I tried a folding method, but that also split open and the stuffing came out, making such a sticky mess!
not only is it messy, it’s also not worth the resulting product. Look at it. It’s a square Paratha!
Then I tried to pinch it closed like a pie. In hope that it wouldn’t look square. It didn’t, but when rolled it out, it split open on one end, and I ended up with a sticky mess on my rolling pin!
not a square, but looking pathetic!
By this stage, I was desperate for a ROUND Aloo Paratha.
But nothing I thought of had worked
Then a light bulb when on in my head. I took a ball of dough and rolled it out thin. I did the same for another one. I took a spoon of the mixture, and placed it in the centre. I laid it flat and put the 2nd rolled dough on top. I pinched the edges closed and rolled it. Finally, a Paratha that hadn’t burst AND was round!
In the pan it went, and the result?
Yes, I had finally made it! But in the most incorrect, un-Indian way possible.
But it was there and for me to devour!
And does my story end here? Quite frankly not. I didn’t tell you about my first 2 attempts.
The way I did them? Like the first. Only both had split and made a mess worser than toffee could ever do. Yet I felt these two were yummier than the rest. And although NONE looked like the one in the little cookbook, they still were eaten with delightful faces and a look that says “you’ll get them right next time, fati”.