Simply Delicious Potato Paranthas (Indian flatbread)

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indian flatbread paranthas made with flour and potato

I’ve been making chicken tikka rolls pretty frequently these days since it’s quite a hit with the family and suddenly chanced upon the idea of making a potato dough, and the result is a soft and delicious parantha that goes with everything. This, combined with the flavourful, succulent spiced meat is a gastronomic wonder and the best part, you’re controlling the oil content and getting a tasty treat. This is definitely going to be my regular parantha recipe for my rolls (recipe coming soon). 

Indian flour based flatbread paranthas

Parathas, or Indian flatbread as they call it outside the subcontinent, have very few ingredients, but require a bit of technique and quite a bit of practise if one wants to roll them into perfect circles. It took me a few tries but then as it is with everything, only practise makes perfect. One can’t be an expert in anything new they try on day one. So if you’re trying these, don’t consider yourself a failure if your paranthas end up resembling the map of a country or continent or a body part. As long as it tastes nice, you’re good, so don’t let wonky shapes discourage you in your journey towards gastronomic delight. 

The trick to making soft paranthas is kneading the dough very gently. Don’t put your body weight into kneading the dough, just lightly press down with the heel of your palm using only your elbow weight. If you knead the dough with too much pressure, you’ll get a hard dough and not very good texture on your paranthas. After kneading it is very important to cover and rest your dough for at least half an hour to allow the flour to relax and absorb all the oil and moisture. before rolling each dough ball into flat Try to use dry crumbly potatoes and not the very waxy and starchy ones for this parantha dough. 

This is not a flaky parantha, its a nice soft one as it does not have as much oil or butter or ghee that is required to make the flaky ones. The texture of the paranthas will depend on how thick or thin you want to make them. If you roll them very thin like 1mm thickness, you will get a harder parantha. Make sure to cover the individual dough ball in flour and lightly flour the surface you will be rolling the dough in. If you find the dough sticking to the surface you are rolling it on, just lightly spread a bit of flour on the surface of your dough. Give this a try. You’ll enjoy it.

Ingredients (makes 6 paranthas)

1¼ cup (160 gms) all purpose flour 
2  medium potatoes (160 grams) boiled, cooled, peeled and mashed well
½ tsp (2½ gms) salt
2 tbsp (24 ml) oil or melted ghee
40 ml (approx 4 tbsp) water 

For rolling and cooking the paranthas 

¼ cup flour in a small bowl
⅓ cup oil or melted ghee in a small bowl

Get Started (pictorial steps below)

  • In a large flat dish add the salt to the flour and rub the mashed potato into the flour thoroughly with your fingertips till it starts resembling fine breadcrumbs. Add the oil or ghee and keep rubbing with your fingertips till all the ingredients seem evenly distributed and the mixture still resembles fine breadcrumbs. 
  • Then make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water. Make a claw with your fingers and mix everything gently till you have no dry flour left and the flour is clumped together. Knead your dough, pushing with the heel of your palm and pulling the dough back till you get a smooth dough. Do this about 20 times gently. Don’t press down too hard while kneading the dough else you’ll get tough paranthas. 
  • If your dough is a bit wet while kneading add a teaspoon more of flour. If too dry, add a teaspoon of water. The dough should not be a wet or sticky. Once kneaded, shape into a ball and cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and let the dough rest for at least half an hour. After that, shape the dough into 6 balls and cover with the cling film or towel so that they do not form a skin while you roll each ball into flat circles. 
  • Cover each ball with a light dusting of flour and lightly flour the surface you will be rolling the dough on. With a rolling pin, flatten the ball into a six inch circle with 2mm thickness and place it on a hot flat griddle or tawa (can use any flat bottomed pan if you don’t have a tawa). Keep the heat on medium. Flip the parantha after a minute and spread a teaspoon or a bit more of oil or ghee all over the surface. After about a minute or two, flip the parantha again and spread the same amount of oil or ghee all over the surface. Flip again after a minute or two and keep on the heat for another minute. Both sides should be a nice golden brown with darker reddish brownish patches. Remove and repeat with the others. 
  • These are best eaten hot. Serve immediately. You can even make four 8 inch paranthas instead of six 6 inch paranthas if you want larger ones. 

Pictorial Steps

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