Thursday, May 6, 2010

Potato Chickpea Paratha

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I call this 'paratha', but this bread really defies categorization. Paratha is a kind of Indian stuffed bread, generally filled with potatoes and many spices. I took the idea of paratha and stuffed it with leftover potato chickpea patties with cilantro pesto. It's not a traditional Indian paratha stuffing at all. In fact, I don't really know what it is. Mexican? Italian? Chinese???!?! I have no idea. But I don't feel the need to call it any particular thing. It's just a piece of delicious stuffed flat bread.

To make this bread, you'll need:
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup of semolina
  • 1/4 cup of rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or clarified butter or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
First, combine all the dry ingredients and add the fat. Stir so the fat is evenly distributed. Pour in the water and knead until smooth. Let the dough relax for at least 15 minutes. Portion the dough into about 10 equal pieces. Form each piece into small balls and then flatten into disks. Place the desired filling in the middle of the disk. Make sure the filling is warm as it helps to form the bread later. Stretch the dough so that it covers all of the filling and form a ball. Pinch the dough shut. Flatten the bread by pulling with fingers or pressing with the heel of your hand. Resist the urge to use a rolling pin, you will break the dough. Work the dough slowly and gently to stretch it into a flat bread. If your dough breaks, congratulations, you're not perfect. But it's okay, just patch it with some scrap dough. As you can see, mine are still pretty thick. I'd rather have thicker bread than spill all my filling. If you have trouble with this recipe, watch this video.

Place the bread onto a hot non-stick skillet that is lightly greased with some oil. Cook over medium heat until crispy, then flip, about 4 minutes on each side.

I'm very happy with this paratha. It's crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. We paired it some mint chutney, but I think this would be delicious with some pico de gallo too. I still don't know what kind of food this is, but who cares!!

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