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Aloo paratha is an Indian flatbread consisting of unleavened dough wrapped around a potato curry filling. It is generally cooked on a griddle or skillet. Aloo paratha is a popular breakfast bread in India, but is also eaten with any meal or as a snack.
A paratha is a simple unleavened flatbread, which can be cooked plain or stuffed with any of a variety of fillings. Basic paratha involves brushing clarified butter, called ghee, over the dough, then folding the dough over and rolling it out again and repeating a few times. When cooked, it forms a flaky pastry-like crust. Filled parathas often are stuffed with a mixture of spiced vegetables in place of buttering and folding the dough — in the case of aloo paratha, potatoes are usually the only vegetable in the filling.
The most basic paratha dough consists of only wheat flour and water, mixed in a ratio that makes a soft dough. Some paratha dough also includes salt and a little butter or oil. Once the dough is the proper consistency, it is kneaded a few minutes until it is soft and smooth, then allowed to rest for around half an hour. It is then kneaded a few more minutes and divided into small balls to form the individual aloo parathas.
Aloo paratha filling typically consists of mashed potatoes mixed with various spices — any type of potato may be used. The spices mixed with the mashed potato vary, depending on the flavor the cook wants. Some common spices used include cumin; coriander, also called cilantro; and dry mustard. A masala spice mix, such as garam masala or chaat masala, may also be used. For spicy aloo paratha, dried red chili flakes or chopped fresh chilies can be used.
Each individual ball of paratha dough is rolled out into a small circle, then topped with a smaller ball of the potato filling. The dough is wrapped around the filling and pinched together to seal the filling inside. Each filled ball is patted into a fat disk then rolled out into a circle.
The aloo parathas are cooked over medium heat in a little butter or oil. The traditional pan used to cook parathas is called a tava — a large griddle usually made of iron or steel. A griddle or cast iron skillet also works to cook parathas, however.
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