Gluten Free Alu Paratha (Potato Stuffed) With Millet Flour Dough
Aloo Paratha With Baja Dough
Alu parathas are very, very popular in north India, almost all roadside restaurants or Dhabas sell them freshly made, straight off the griddle. They are normally made with wheat flour. Here I have made them with Millet flour, so they can be eaten by people who do not tolerate Gluten. Makes 10-12.
For the dough
500 gm./3 cups Millet flour
1/2 cup Millet flour on a plate, to be used for dusting. I keep some dusting flour in a chapatti box/dabba permanently
300 ml. approximately, boiling hot water.
2 tbs. ghee or butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ajwain or carom seeds
A handful of dry methi/fenugreek leaves (optional)
Oil for pan frying
For the stuffing or filling
250-300 gm. potatoes
1/4 tsp. chilli powder (to taste)
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. Garam masala
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped*
1/2 inch piece of ginger, very finely grated*
A bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped*
Making the dough
Mix the remaining flour, salt, ajwain/carom seeds, methi leaves and 2 tbsp. oil/ ghee in a bowl.
Add enough boiling hot water slowly, stirring it with a wooden/metal fork, until it is well mixed and you have a rough looking, but soft dough. It is too hot to touch with your hands right now, so leave it aside to cool and proceed with the filling.
Later on, when it is cool, knead it a little to get a smooth dough. If you are new at making parathas, it is better to have firm dough, which is easier to control while rolling out. Experienced cooks prefer a little softer dough, which make softer parathas.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes or so. Knead briefly again, just before rolling out parathas.
Making the filling
Boil the potatoes in their skin until tender. You can use microwave or pressure cooker, if you prefer. Microwave at full power for 10-12 minutes. If still not soft, cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Potatoes vary and their size also has an effect on time. If using large potatoes, cut them into halves or quarters.
Cool, peel and mash.
Add chopped green chillies, ginger and chopped coriander leaves, all the spices and salt. Mix well. The mix should be dry, free of water. Otherwise, it will be difficult to roll out parathas. Keep aside.
Break dough into approximately 10-12 portions and roll it out into a ball, using some of the dusting flour. Keep covered with a moist cloth. I make one ball at a time, as I go along.
Dust it with flour and roll out into a 6-8 cm. in size.
Take roughly 1/10th of the filling and place in the center of the circle. Pull in edges and gather in the center. Gently press and roll into an even ball.
Heat the griddle or tava.
Dip the stuffed dough ball in dusting flour on both sides and roll out gently, to approximately 16 cm. in size. Roll from center outwards, so that the edges are thinner than the center. You may need to dust it with dry flour a couple of times during the rolling out process. If a little filling escapes, don't worry, just remove it.
Cooking the parathas
Place the paratha on the heated tava/ griddle (medium hot, not smoking hot). Turn it over when it changes colour slightly, you can see a few blisters on the under surface.
Cook the other side the same way. Turn it over again.
Brush oil on both surfaces, one by one, using a long handled spoon or ladle.
Press gently all over, using the ladle or a flat spatula. This helps to fluff it up into a ball, as well as making it crisp. Cook until nicely browned and crisp on both sides. It is important that you crisp the paratha on medium heat and not cook them too fast.
In the beginning, it is better to have two people working together, one rolling out and the other cooking.
Parathas can be made in advance, stacked on top of each other and wrapped in Aluminium foil and chilled or frozen. They can be de-frosted and re-heated before serving, either individually on a griddle. To re-heat, place 1 paratha on a hot griddle or tava and allow it to become crisp on both sides.
They can be cut in wedges, like pizza, and served as starters.