Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
for the dough:
1 cup|150 grams whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
½ cup|125 ml room-temperature water
¼ teaspoon vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
for the filling:
2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds|700 grams), boiled, cooled, and peeled
¼ teaspoon red chile powder
¾ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed into a powder (this is easiest in a mortar and pestle)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup|60 ml vegetable oil, for basting the paratha (set aside in a small bowl for easy access)
1. Make the dough: In a medium bowl, mix all the dough ingredients together and knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth and well incorporated. The dough should be soft, slightly sticky, and not too wet. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2. While the dough is resting, make the filling: In another medium bowl using your hands or a potato masher, mash the potatoes, then use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold in the red chile powder, fennel, cilantro, and salt. Aim for the consistency of smooth mashed potatoes. (If the potatoes aren’t smooth enough, the dough will be hard to roll.) Use a fork to get rid of any lumps.
3. Divide the dough and mashed potatoes into 4 equal portions (as in, 4 portions of dough and 4 portions of potatoes) and roll each portion into a ball.
4. Generously sprinkle a clean work surface with flour. Lightly coat each dough ball with flour, then use a rolling pin to roll out each ball into a 6-inch circle, rotating the dough as you roll to maintain the circular shape, and adding more flour to your work surface as needed to prevent sticking.
5. Working one at a time, place a potato ball in the center of a dough circle, then pull the edges of the dough over the top of the ball, like you would enclose a parcel, and pinch together to seal. Make sure the potato filling is nicely sealed in or it will spill out during the next step.
6. Flip the dough-potato ball over so the seal is on the bottom and use a rolling pin to roll it out into an 8-inch circle. Repeat filling and rolling until you have four 8-inch rounds.
7. Cook the paratha: Warm a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is thoroughly heated, carefully place a paratha in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, until the underside starts to brown and blister, then flip. Add 1 ½ teaspoons of the oil to the surface of the paratha and spread it around with a spoon. Cook for 2 minutes, until the other side is starting to brown and blister, then flip the paratha again. Add 1 ½ teaspoons of the oil to the top of the paratha, spread it around, and cook until the underside is golden brown with dark brown spots, about 1 minute, then flip again. Cook the other side until golden brown with dark brown spots, no more than 1 minute. Transfer the paratha to a plate. Repeat to cook the remaining parathas. If there is residual flour in the pan, make sure to wipe it out before adding the next paratha.
Author's Note: This recipe has been reprinted with permission of the author from her book, Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family.