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Tastes of India – How to make Aloo Paratha and Chapati

Aloo Paratha - Gregarious Gecko

The Indian winter sun creeps over the terrace walls as we wait patiently for our much anticipated breakfast. The bright morning sun is embraced, bringing rays of warmth and comfort to our chilly surroundings. The concrete plastered walls of the third floor roof terrace are painted bright green. The wrought iron railings and steps are too painted green. Large leafy plants in green ceramic pots strategically line the walls of our hotel’s outdoor restaurant. Only the floors, paved with cemented pieces of polished marble, escape the green theme. Green encases us – so different to the dusty, brown streets beyond these walls. We hear the sounds of New Delhi in the streets below, not so distant, becoming more familiar each day. A chorus of car horns sound, street stall owners tout for customers, instructions are shouted to construction workers by their employer, street dogs bark and howl. The sounds fade into the background as the focus shifts to our young waiter. The neat yet casually dressed, polite young man presents a polished metal tray laid with treats – our tasty pre-adventure feast. A breakfast of tasty aloo paratha, mango pickle and cucumber raita (yoghurt) served with a pot of freshly brewed sweet and spicy masala chai. This will soon become a regular affair to prepare us for our daily escapades in northern India.

My travelling companion awaiting breakfast in New Delhi

My travel companion awaiting breakfast in New Delhi

In tribute to my favourite Indian breakfast, here is a fantastic recipe for Aloo Paratha (and chapati), courtesy of Bhinsem, head chef and owner of Bhinsem’s Cooking School in McLoed Ganj, Dharamsala.

ALOO PARATHA & CHAPATI (makes 2 large parathas and 2 medium chapatis)

Ingredients:

2½ teaspoons cooking oil

1¼ cups whole wheat flour

½ cup warm water (do not use cold water)

2 small onions, finely chopped

3 small potatoes, cooked, skin removed, mashed

Spices:

½ teaspoon fenugreek leaf or powder

¼ teaspoon Kitchen King garam masala powder (available from Amazon)

¼ teaspoon Kitchen King mixed spices (available from Amazon)

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon hot chilli powder or flakes (add extra ½ teaspoon for spicy)

Spices of India

Spices of India

METHOD

  • Mix the potatoes, onions and all the spices together in a bowl and set aside
Onion, potato and spice mixture prepared in Bhinsem's kitchen

Onion, potato and spice mixture prepared in Bhinsem’s kitchen

  • Make the dough mix by adding the water slowly to the flour and mixing with your hands until the dough is sticky
  • Add ½ teaspoon of oil and nead the dough
Preparing the chapati dough mixture in Bhinsem's kitchen

Preparing the chapati dough mixture in Bhinsem’s kitchen

NOTE: For best results, watch the video:

To make chapati:

  • Roll a hand full of dough into a ball and using a rolling pin, gently roll out the dough ball on a light sprinkling of flour until thin
Bhinsem making chapati

Bhinsem making chapati

  • Place the chapati in a heated chapati pan (or non stick pan) and flip several times to allow to brown on either side
  • If using a gas flamed hob, place the cooked chapati on the open flames and allow to bubble, care not to burn
  • Keep warm in aluminium foil
Chapati on the fire in Bhinsem's kitchen

Chapati on the fire in Bhinsem’s kitchen

To make aloo paratha:

  • Roll a large hand full of dough into a ball and using a rolling pin, gently roll out the dough ball on a light sprinkling of flour into the size of a saucer
  • Add a medium sized ball of the potato/onion/spice mix to the centre of the dough and fold over to seal
  • Gently roll out using a rolling pin on a light sprinkling of flour until roughly the size of a plate
  • Place the paratha in a heated chapati pan (or non stick pan), dust off excess flour and flip several times to allow to brown on either side
  • After flipping 3 or 4 times, dip a tablespoon in cooking oil and lightly cover each cooked surface with oil before the next turn (this step can be omitted if you prefer to use less oil)
  • Flip a few more times and remove from the heat
  • Cut like pizza bread and keep warm in aluminium foil
  • For breakfast, serve with mango pickle and cucumber raita (yoghurt)
  • For lunch or dinner, serve with Murgh Mutter (curry of chicken and peas) or Mutter Paneer (curry of Indian cheese and peas) and Yellow Dal Fry

Enjoy!

Bhinsem's cooking school

Bhinsem’s cooking school

 

 

 

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6 Comments

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    Tastes of India – Yellow Dal Fry | Gregarious Gecko
    March 8, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    […] During our 2 hour lesson, we chose to learn how to craftily and passionately create Mutter Paneer (or Murgh Mutter), Yellow Dal Fry and Allo Paratha. […]

  • Reply
    Tastes of India – Murgh Mutter | Gregarious Gecko
    March 8, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    […] Serve with fresh coriander garnish on a bed of rice with a side of Yellow Dal Fry and Allo Paratha […]

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    Tastes of India – Mutter Paneer | Gregarious Gecko
    March 8, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    […] Serve with fresh coriander garnish on a bed of rice with a sides of Yellow Dal Fry and Allo Paratha […]

  • Reply
    Tastes of India - Murgh Mutter - Gregarious Gecko
    April 13, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    […] Serve with fresh coriander garnish on a bed of rice with a side of Yellow Dal Fry and Allo Paratha […]

  • Reply
    Tastes of India - Yellow Dal Fry - Gregarious Gecko
    April 13, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    […] During our 2 hour lesson, we chose to learn how to craftily and passionately create Mutter Paneer (or Murgh Mutter), Yellow Dal Fry and Allo Paratha. […]

  • Reply
    Tastes of India - Mutter Paneer - Gregarious Gecko
    April 13, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    […] Serve with fresh coriander garnish on a bed of rice with a sides of Yellow Dal Fry and Allo Paratha […]

  • Leave a Reply