Aloo Parathas

Aloo Parathas

Indian food has intimidated me more than any other cuisine. Only recently have I begun to experiment with it, but I’m still completely overwhelmed with the vast amount of things I don’t know about: there are ingredients I’ve never heard of, approximately one hundred bajillion types of lentils (I counted), endless variations on dishes between regions of India, culinary traditions that vary from family to family, and a number of different languages used to describe all these things. I could spend my entire life studying Indian food and always be learning something new.

The good news is I don’t have to know everything to start making dinner. Thank god.

When it comes to cooking, there’s no better place for me to learn than in the kitchen with someone who knows what’s what. A few months ago, I had the opportunity to learn a bit about Indian cooking at the home of my husband’s boss, Nars. Nars and his family are from India, and they graciously invited us over for dinner, allowing us to hang out in the kitchen and learn how to make the dishes we would be eating. It was an invaluable experience for me, and today I want to share with you some of what I learned that night.

Flatbreads are common in India, with numerous variations. There’s roti, puri, parathas, chapatti, naan, bhakri, bhatoora, papadum… I’m sure the list goes on. Today I’m going to show you how to make parathas, both plain and stuffed with spiced potatoes. Parathas are my favorite — they’re flavorful, easy to make, easy to customize, and they go with a lot of different main dishes.

The first thing you’ll need is the right kind of flour. It’s often referred to “duram atta.” It’s a combination of stone-ground wheat and regular flour that’s perfect for roti, chapatti, and parathas. The brand I use is Golden Temple. Once you have the flour, you’re set. Here’s the recipe for the dough:

Paratha Dough
Makes 8 parathas

1 Cup Golden Temple Flour (duram atta)
1/3 — 1/2 Cup Water
1/2 tsp Salt
2-3 tsp Oil

Aloo Paratha DoughCombine all the ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Depending on the humidity in your area and how compacted your flour is, you’ll need anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water. Add 1/3 cup first, adding more water if needed. Your goal is to achieve a soft, elastic dough after about 5 minutes of kneading. It shouldn’t be sticky, but smooth. I don’t sift my flour, so my “1 cup” tends to be a heavy one, and I use 1/2 cup of water to get the dough consistency I like the best. Keep in mind that a softer dough will yield more tender bread, but may be harder to control. After kneading, the dough should look like the image above.

Aloo Paratha DoughBreak the dough up into 8 equal pieces, rolling into balls. Set in a small, oiled bowl and cover with some oiled plastic wrap. Let the dough balls rest for as long as you can – 30 minutes up to a few hours. This allows the gluten to relax. If you’re making aloo parathas, begin making the potato mixture now.

Aloo Stuffing
For 8 Parathas

2 Medium Potatoes
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Red Chili Flakes
5 Sprigs of Cilantro, chopped

Aloo Paratha, potato ballsPeel, chop and boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain well. Use a ricer or food mill to mash potatoes. This ensures there are no lumps in your potatoes that could break the dough while stuffing the parathas. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Form 8 balls the same size (or smaller) as your dough balls, cover, and set aside.

Now for the fun part! It’s time to stuff and roll out the dough. Before you start, heat your pan up and get your workspace ready. Choose a pan that heats quickly and evenly, has a non-stick surface, a wide, flat bottom and low sides. It ideal pan for this is usually seasoned iron. The traditional pan is called a tawa, but a crepe pan, pancake pan, or cast-iron skillet works just as well. For your workspace, you’ll need a bowl full of flour, a cutting board or other flat surface for rolling out the dough, and a small rolling pin called a Belan. (Or do what I did and use a clean, label-less beer bottle.)

Heat your pan over medium heat with a very light coating of oil.

For Aloo Parathas
Aloo Paratha
Dip one of the dough balls in the flour to coat it.

Aloo Paratha
Flatten it out into a disc.

Aloo Paratha
Roll out the dough a little, so it’s large enough to cover the potato ball. Wrap a potato ball with the dough, gathering the edges together.

Aloo Paratha
Pinch the edges together to seal, flattening it into a disc again.

Aloo Paratha
Dip it in the flour again, coating all sides.

Aloo Paratha
Roll out the disc evenly into a circle, roughly six inches in diameter. The dough should be thin enough so you can see the spices through it.

Aloo Paratha
Place the paratha on your heated pan. You’ll see the dough begin to change color (it gets slightly yellow and dry-looking), and then, with any luck, it’ll puff up! Once it puffs up, check the bottom–if you see scattered brown dots, flip the paratha over. Oil the cooked side of the paratha lightly. Cook the second side until it looks like the first, flip it again, and oil it. Your paratha should be finished cooking in 1-2 minutes, and should not look raw when it’s done. Keep warm in a tortilla heater, or in a low oven on a covered plate.

Aloo Parathas

Do you want to make plain parathas? I got you covered. There are two ways I was taught to fold the parathas to make sure they’re tender and flakey. Follow the link below for step-by-step photos of both techniques!

Easy Triangle Parathas
Triangle Paratha
Dip your dough ball in flour and roll out to a 6″ disc. Coat one side with oil.

Triangle Paratha
Fold it in half and coat it in oil again.

Triangle Paratha
Fold the oiled sides together again to make a triangle. Coat it in flour.

Triangle Paratha
Roll out the triangle to about 6″ and follow the cooking instructions in the main recipe above. To ensure your paratha stays tender, you must “break” it when it comes off the pan. Simply crumple it a bit, like your crumpling a piece of paper to throw away. I know people who do this with their bare hands, but I recommend using a towel to prevent burning yourself. Don’t “break” stuffed parathas.

A More Difficult Spirial Paratha
Spiral Paratha
Dip your dough ball in flour and roll out to a 6″ disc. Coat one side with oil.

Spiral Paratha
Fold the dough like a fan, forming a long strip of folded dough.

Spiral Paratha
Roll the strip of folded dough into a spiral shape.

Spiral Paratha
Tuck the end underneath and press to hold it there.

Spiral Paratha
Dip the spiral into flour and roll it out into a 6″ circle.

Follow the cooking instructions in the main recipe above. To ensure your paratha stays tender, you must “break” it when it comes off the pan. Simply crumple it a bit, like your crumpling a piece of paper to throw away. I know people who do this with their bare hands, but I recommend using a towel to prevent burning yourself. Don’t “break” stuffed parathas.

You can roll out the next paratha while the last one is cooking, just keep glancing over at the stove to see if it has puffed yet. Rolling the dough out in one of these two ways creates layers in the dough that make for a tender, flakey finished product. Every time I make parathas they get better, so don’t be distressed if they don’t come out right the first couple of times. They take practice. Keep at it, and they’ll keep improving, I promise. They are best eaten immediately, but you can refrigerate them and re-heat them in your pan the same way you cooked them. Good luck and have fun!


  1. dd

    Thank u for your instruction.I made the aloo paratha tonight for dinner. They were ended up just like the photos here! and all of these puffed so well that it was out of my imagination..thank u again and I cant even wait to make the spiral parathas ..hope this is called kulcha(may be i’m wrong)

  2. C

    I just wanted to say thank you for the recipe and super detailed instructions. Mine definitely didn’t puff up as much as yours, but they were still really great.

  3. Rima

    The steps wise recipe was really nice, speacially the spiral one…being an indian I am used to eatin/prepring paratha infact from last 1/2 weeks I have been paking paratha for my lunch box but that spiral one I have never prepared at home….you have made it look so easy to rpepare… m surely gonna give it a try….

  4. Patricia

    I found this recipe when I was searching for something I could make with the ingredients in my kitchen, stuck at home waiting for a delivery. Having never made any flatbreads, I was sure I’d mess it up, but the results were delicious, and even the first one puffed up!! Thanks for the excellent instructions and a recipe I’ll use over and over.

  5. Nicole

    WOW! I’ve never made bread in my life and am totally shocked this worked out so well. It’s really humid today in London so I went with less water (1/3 cup). Also, silly me, I bought parsley instead of cilantro – but the potato was still spicy with a kick. Thanks so much for this recipe and inspiring my with the confidence to try something new and exciting. My local Indian will be feeling the pinch of my new discovery!!! :-)

  6. DORMAIN, Menaka

    I have no idea what went wrong but my parents in law and myself ended up eating aloo paratha like steak!
    It was too hard!!
    It was a good thing my Canadian parents in law didn’t know a single thing about paratha or aloo paratha :P

  7. Aneesha

    Hi … I have used your technique to make Spiral Parathas and I am now sharing the recipe with my mother. They came out really well :-)

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  9. Muni

    Thanks for the wonderful receipe and it came out very good. It is great to see Indian food in hands of you

  10. Anjali J.

    hi i just came upon ur blog.. ur aloo parathas look so delicious… which variety of aloo do u use for making these parathas? the kind of aloo which i use turns out to be very sticky after its boiled and mashed.. i used the brown aloos.

  11. Ms Derious

    Oh my gosh!

    Just made these… loved them, as did my Husband.

    I subbed applesauce for some of the oil, and it was still yummy, and I didn’t have any Garam Masala so I used curry powder instead. However, yum yum yum :)

    Thank you! Also, makes looooooooads so I think I’ll be having them for breakfast tomorrow (New Years Day). I mean, when you think about it I won’t have eaten for since the previous year, so I’m sure it would be justified!

  12. anusha

    just made them today…strictly followed ur instructions and well, it turned out really well. the illust. pics defly helped. thnx a bunch for all the detailing….thnx a ton!!!

  13. sujata

    i am indian, i know how to make all theese type of paratas ;but i becom happy to see the way you explain it.excellent.
    because u like indian food so u can also try these
    1) all process are same,but in begning when u r makeng the dhough u put some mint leaf and theen make spiral will taste great.
    2)again all process are same,but at the place of mint u can put greated radish and make dhough ant then make triangular paratha.i know u also like this.
    try these two types of paratha and give me raply.bye.

  14. Theresa

    Goodness was that amazing. I still smell like spices and I cannot wait to try making that again.
    Your instructions were also great, with each step we were going, okay, is it browning? oh and it is poofing up? good! great! hey ___ looks just like the picture! good!
    I was so happy with this recipe, thank you very much!

  15. slawek

    with such a clear recipe, cooking becomes big pleasure.
    thanks to You my vegan cuisine is better day to day
    best wishes from Poland!

  16. farah

    Hi there!
    i read ur version of aloo paratha in which u just boil ur ing. and used as stuffing. but today wt i did was i saute it in oil n onions and also added tamring juice a bit + other ground masala’s. the mix was a bit soft than urs, definitely. so, when i started rolling my parathas the stuffing started oozing out from few sides + my paratha started tearing off from middle or sometimes from the corner…also there was uneven distriubiton of filling +uneven thickness of my parathas. also i coulldnt make a perfect round parathas like urs……..can u advise thx

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  19. Ann

    Thanks a lot for sharing the ideas for a great recipe.. I love parathas! glad I could get lots of tips to make different types of it :)

  20. elisa

    wow… its superb but the paranthas don’t look that delicious at all….. if the picture is gooud and it looks delicious then all will give u gud comments…. that’s all because of the picture.. well. it doesn’t matter the important thing is that u have written it. ok.. bye till them

  21. lilly

    oh….i love the prathas butyou did put more oil its not good for health and you did more overacting understand i am bored to see your website and moreover i have no time to make your allo walla pratha idots i have to go to office also and i dont have much time for you ok bye bye idots

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  23. Christine

    I made these for lunch to accompany a carrot dahl soup, they were great. All 4 of my kids ate them. Thank you so much for the recipe! To retain extra flavour and nutririon I baked the potatoes in their skins before peeling them, also I omitted oil and salt from the dough (I had a Pakistani friend who used only atta and water for her flatbreads.) I think the oil coating the resting dough was sufficient. I did not have garam masala so I used plain ground coriander instead, still yummy!

    IMHO, Indians make the tastiest vegan food in the world… please give us some more Indian-themed recipes! It must be hard it you don’t like garlic though :-)

  24. Brenda Nagle

    I was wandering around the internet looking for some inspiration for a cake shoot my neighbor was asking me to do for her tonight and the very first site I came across was yours. The best part besides how awesome your pictures and instructions on how to get great results; your site is vegetarian!! I’ve definitely bookmarked and plan to try several of your recipes! (which I’ve only just begun to browse..) This particular recipe has me the most excited so far because I’ve looked and searched for flat bread and flat bread recipes but they’re not vegetarian friendly. Thank you so much for the time and effort you’ve poured into your site. Very nicely done!

  25. rush

    loved the final outcome of the aloo parathas, however i dont think that parathas should puff up.It just points the fact that the proportion of the stuffing to the dough is incorrect…i.e. there is room for more stuffing.its nice to have little bubbles but not the complete puff up as u have shown above.

    However, its the rotis that should puff up on its final turn…ideally the puff u have shown.

  26. Jimson

    Brilliant recipe. Very easy to make despite the number of steps involved. Cheers!

    I love Deeba/passionate baker’s comment. Smoked cottage cheese! The blog isn’t called ‘vegan yum yum’ for no reason. What a tit.

  27. Yelowsub

    I could not wait to try these. Which mean that I had to substitute some ingredients. I used white whole wheat flour and sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.

    They still puffed up! I jumped up and down and waved my spatula in the air. The spices were wonderful as well. Next time I’ll add more filling for more yumminess.

  28. Catherine

    I made the mistake of making these things today. You see, I’m not the fastest person in the kitchen. Usually, recipes take a bit longer than normal for me. This one, though, was complete hell.

    From start to finish, pretending that it is finished, which it’s not, it’s taken me THREE HOURS to do these. The worst part is, they didn’t even turn out right. Those “raw” bits you’re supposed to avoid were completely inevitable; the dough is folded on itself. So there was a bit of gumminess. When I made the dough, the yield was hardly comparable to the picture; mine was absolutely tiny. Then when I made the potatoes, there was enough for two recipes’ worth of dough, which I did not have. They taste good, except for the gummy nature and thinness of the bread, but it was definitely not worth it for me. The whole experience was incredibly frustrating. And I have a huge pile of dishes to do, too. Ugh.

    (That is, of course, to say nothing against the blog; it’s my cooking ability that’s at fault. I intend to try other things, like the blueberry grunts, later. No more tricky Indian food for me.)

  29. Jelli

    I made these last night, and they were great! I used AP flour and stuffed them with a bean filling. Great, easy, and not at all time-consuming like some people said. Simple, easy, delish and even better reheated. Thanks!

  30. Kevin

    So you can’t find atta flour? No problem!

    If you make seitan you may have gluten in the pantry, just add 1/8 cup or so to the recipe for an excellent replacement. I made this last night for my partner and it was great. Didn’t have a food grinder so they were lumpy but it was still great!

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