Kale, Potato, Jalapeno Parathas (Indian Flatbreads)
I remember my mom making parathas when I was little. I always used to think they (like so many Indian recipes) were too complicated to make, that I would never be able to replicate them when I got older. It just seemed like so many ingredients and so many steps.
After getting tired of making quick and easy pastas and sandwiches, I decided to spend a little time learning the complicated recipes from my childhood. I would sit down with a notebook and ask my mom how to make Indian food. I realized that Indian cooking is not all that complicated. Yes there might be more variety of spices than other cuisines but it’s those earthy, warm flavors that differentiates it.
Parathas are traditionally a simple Indian flatbread made with wheat flour and flavored with spices, eaten for breakfast or snacks as an accompaniment to Indian masala chai. They can be made plain and simple with just wheat flour and a little salt. If you have more time, you can prepare a filling and have stuffed parathas.
I took the simple recipe and added some ingredients that are not traditionally found in parathas. Spinach is found in many paratha recipes (palak parathas). So I thought I’d switch it out for kale. The best part about adding kale to the recipe is that you get eat veggies and won’t even realize, almost like blending them into smoothies!
The stuffed parathas are usually filled with a potato mixture but since I didn’t want to go through the process of making stuffed parathas this time, I decided to just add it to the batter. This ended up working out better than I expected because it actually helped to bind the dough together.
Feel free to change the recipe, add/subtract ingredients for your preferences. Need less spice? Just take out the jalapeno. Kids don’t eat kale? Bring back the spinach. Don’t like or have all of the spices in your pantry? Omit them. Have fun with it, adjust it to your liking!
Kale, Potato, Jalapeno Parathas
2 cups wheat flour
1 potato, boiled and mashed
1 cup baby kale, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ – 1 teaspoon salt (adjust per taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup warm water for kneading (approx.)
all-purpose flour for rolling
Combine wheat flour, potato, kale, jalapeno, ginger, lemon juice, cumin, salt and oil in large mixing bowl. Mix well. Slowly start adding water to mixture, knead until you have a soft, pliable dough.
Divide the dough into golf ball sized portions. Roll out each portion, using all-purpose flour for dusting. Dough should be about ⅛ inch flat and evenly rolled out.
Heat a nonstick pan or tawa, place a paratha in the pan. It will be ready to flip once the edges dry out and the dough may start to bubble and brown spots appear. Cook the other side the same way. Once both sides of the paratha are browned, transfer to a serving dish. Continue to roll out and cook each paratha the same way.
(Optional: You can apply butter or olive oil to each the surface of each paratha right after it comes off the heat.)
Serve as is or with a nice cup of warm chai or even the curry of your choice!