Makes about 12 Parathas
1 cup whole wheat flour plus 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, or 2 cups chapati flour
1 to 1¼ cups water
1½ pounds boiling potaotes, boiled in their skins until tender (25 to 30 minutes) and cooked
½ cup very finely chopped red onion
1 fresh hot green chile, very finely chopped
1½ tablespoons very finely chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds or ½ teaspoon carom seeds
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
All purpose-flour, for rolling
Canola oil, for cooking
Butter, for serving
Mix the flour(s) and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add ½ cup of the water to the flour mixture, and mix with your hand to combine. Add another ½ cup water, and mix again. Continue adding water, a little at a time, until the dough forms a ball. The dough should take about 1 cup of water.
Now knead the dough vigorously on a clean, unfloured work surface until the dough is moist, soft, and slightly sticky, but doesn’t cling to clean hands or the work surface, about 5 minutes. If the dough is try, dip your fingers into some water and knead the water into the dough. Put the dough into a clean bowl, cover with a clean damp kitchen towel pressed directly onto the surface, and let rest at 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and mash them roughly in your hands in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt, the onion, chile, cilantro, spices, and lemon or lime juice, and mix well to form a fairly smooth mixture (there will be small lumps present).
When the dough has rested, set out a bowl of all-purpose flour and a small bowl of canola oil, with a spoon, on your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface as well.
Break off a piece of dough about the size of a gold ball. Toss it first in the bowl of flour, and then roll it between the palms of your hands to make a ball. Set the ball on your work surface, and flatten to a 2-inch disk. Now roll the disk, flouring the work surface and dough as needed, into a thin round 4½ to 5-inches in diameter. Mound about ¼ cup of the potato mixture into the center of the dough rough. Bring the edges of the up over the top of the filling, and press them together to make a pouch. Press down on the neck of the pouch with the palm of one hand to make a slightly rounded disk. Turn the disk in the bowl of flour, and roll it out again into a round about 6-inches in diameter. Continue to roll all of the remaining dough into parathas, and stack them on the plate with sheets of plastic wrap between them.
Heat a griddle or frying pan (preference goes to cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Place the dough round on the heated, ungreased griddle or in the pan, and cook until the dough darkens slightly and you see bubbles begin to form underneath the surface of the dough, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Now you flip the paratha with a spatula, and cook until the bubbles form again.
With the back of the spoon, coat the top of the paratha with oil. Flip, and coat the other side with oil. Now continue cooking, pressing gently on the bread the the back of the spoon and moving the spoon around in a circular motion to press the bread onto the pan for even browning. When the bottom of the bread has browned, flip and repeat. Do this a few times until both sides of the paratha are golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes in total.
Remove the paratha from the pan and spread with butter. Serve immediately. Then continue on this way until all of the parathas have been cooked.
© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran