Aloo paratha: Indian flatbreads with potato filling

Aloo paratha

Flatbreads (parathas) are common in India, and stuffed ones a speciality of the north. They are commonly eaten for breakfast or as a light snack. Fillings range from paneer to lentils, and cabbage to radish (mooli). In addition, parathas with sweetened dal are served on special occasions. Tarla Dalal, the doyen of Indian cookery who recently sadly passed away, lists over 60 kinds of stuffed parathas on her website. I would wager, though, that the most popular parathas are those filled with potatoes, or aloo as potato is known in north India.

Aloo parathas, like most foods in India, come in countless variations according to region and language. Today’s version is what I grew up eating so, naturally, it is my favorite kind. They are pretty straightforward to make but do have one ingredient that you may not have on hand: dried mango powder or amchur. It is frequently used in north Indian cooking to give dishes a tart or sour flavor. You could use lime in a cinch but amchur also has a slight funkiness essential to these parathas that, unfortunately, can’t easily be substituted for. You generally eat these parathas with a green coriander (cilantro) chutney and tomato ketchup. (For a more substantive meal there’s a special potato and tomato curry that goes with it. I’ll leave that for another post.)

Incidentally, the Tarla Dalal website I mentioned above is perhaps the most comprehensive online collection of recipes and information regarding Indian cuisine that I know of. Another excellent repository is a site by Sanjeev Kapoor, a celebrity chef in India.


Aloo paratha: Indian flatbreads with potato filling

Yield: 6 parathas

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour



  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, sifted, plus more for rolling
  • ⅓ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of red chile powder
  • 2 potatoes, boiled until tender and peeled
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • ½ tsp amchur powder, plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 small green chile, finely minced
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • green chutney and ketchup to serve


  1. To make the paratha dough, place the flour in a bowl and slowly add the water. Bring the flour together and mix into a rough dough. Add the oil, ¼ tsp salt and a pinch each of turmeric and red chile powder. Move to a clean work surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes until you have a smooth dough that springs back slowly when poked with a finger. If the dough seems too dry add more warm water by the teaspoon. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a towel and set aside to rest while you prepare the filling.
  2. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. Then add the coriander, amchur, hing, 1 tsp salt and green chile. Mix well with your hands and taste, adding more amchur powder or salt if necessary.
  3. Cut the dough into about 6 golf ball-sized portions. To make a paratha roll a portion into a ball and place on a well-floured workspace. Flatten slightly and then roll it out into a 4"-diameter disk. Place about ¼ cup of the filling into the center and then fold the edges of the dough on top so as to enclose the filling completely. Press down in the center to seal. Then flip over and gently roll out the paratha until it is about 6-7" in diameter. You might have to practice a few times to get this right (I certainly did!).
  4. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the paratha in the pan and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add another tsp of oil on top and flip over to fry the other side.
  5. Serve hot with green chutney and ketchup.
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