1/2 cup of cooked, peeled potato
1 cup flour*
1 tsp fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp dried onion
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
salt and pepper
Mash the potato well with a fork. Add salt, pepper, cilantro and sugar, mix well. Add the flour and water and mix until the dough forms a ball (it'll be pretty sticky). Heat a griddle to medium heat. Pinch off 1/4 cup balls of dough and roll it out about 1/4" thick on a well floured surface. Brush one side with melted butter and place it, buttered side down, on the griddle. Brush the other side with butter. Once it's browned on one side (about a minute) flip it and brown it on the other side (about another minute).
Makes 4 breads
*Atta is the authentic choice, but whole wheat is fine if you have it. I used plain, white, AP flour and they came out delicious.
(lightly adapted from here)
I've been on a quest for the perfect, easy and most important, quick flat bread. Something I can whip up on a moments notice whenever flat bread is desired. With this recipe I am one big step closer to my goal. I made quick flat bread once before and wasn't too thrilled with the results. The recipe had baking powder and baking soda in it and it gave it a pancakey taste that didn't do it for me. But this one, man, this one was awesome. The texture was great, a bit chewy, which I like and the flavor was wicked good. I did bland the recipe down a bit from the original since I didn't want it too... ok, I just don't really like Indian food. It's too heavily spiced for me. It's not the heat of it that get's me (I like spicy), it just all seems far too seasoned. So if you like Indian food you might want to try the original, but if you don't then this version is probably more up your alley. I'm not done tweeking this recipe yet and eventually I want to make one that doesn't use potato so it's even faster. But in the meantime I'll be making these over and over. What's that? You want step by step instructions with pictures? Well, sure!
First, mash up a half cup of potato. I used Yukon gold, because that's what I had. And I boiled it, because that's how I felt like cooking it. Then I just tossed everything else in there and mixed it up. One thing I liked about this recipe is there is no kneading (even though I do enjoy kneading) and no resting. Cooking the potato is the longest part of the prep, if you happen to have a leftover baked potato then it would be even faster. Now you just take quarter cup chunks of dough and roll them out. Brush one side with butter. And now I'm afraid I'm going to ramble for a bit, bear with me please (or go ahead and skip down to the next picture, that's when the action picks up again). During the course of my reading about paratha I found that some people insist (in a couple cases quite, er, insistently) that you not brush butter on them when they are uncooked. Often this meant flipping the bread four or more times in the pan, once per side unbuttered and once per side buttered. I couldn't do that, I have a phobia of stuff sticking. I could have used my anodized aluminum pan (most of these folks were using cast iron), but I really wanted good browning. While the anodized aluminum browns a lot better than nonstick, it still isn't half as good as steel.
So I buttered it first. I don't know what the difference is, since I haven't tried it the other way yet, but it seemed that the sites who said to start it unbuttered were the more authentic ones. You know, the ones made by Indians instead of white dudes like me and the guy I got this recipe from. At some point I'm going to be brave and make them the other way. When I do I'll do an update post to let you kids know how it goes.
This is also the simplest method I found, there are a lot that are stuffed or twisted or layered and they look like a good time, too. But, back to the ones I actually did make. Butter side down in the hot pan. More butter on the other side (but no picture), cook it for a minute or so and then flippsies. Cook it until it's brown on that side (about another minute) and that's it. Eat as soon as it's cool enough to not do you too much harm. They're best as fresh as possible, but they reheat well too. Just gently wrap them in foil and toss them in a 350 degree oven for a minute or so and it's all set. The texture of these was great. Flexible and ... toothsome? Chewy isn't really the right word, but they weren't exactly tender, either. You knew you were chewing them, but it wasn't difficult. I wrapped one around some spinach and carrots with a little spicy mustard. Hey, it's what I had on hand and it was good. Next time I'm going to use caramelized onion in them, instead of dried, I think that will be bad ass. They would be awesome for scooping up a nice thick stew too.
So, most of the people I know either love or hate Indian food. I like the breads, but not anything else, really. Heh, fortunately my girlfriend doesn't like it either, otherwise there would certainly be drama. Naan is the bomb though and I'm definitely a convert on paratha. Where do you folks stand?