One of my first memories of aloo (potato) paratha (a form of Indian bread) is from way back in school days. Aloo paratha is an Indian bread stuffed with curried mashed potato, usually seasoned with green chillies, turmeric, ginger and garlic. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it is the a variation of the side dish that accompanies pooris (a deep fried Indian bread). Way back in school. I was interested to cook, and also more interested to surprise my parents with my food.
Not so long ago, one Saturday morning I woke up early with an intention to prepare aloo parathas for breakfast for my folks. In my head it was made by kneading the mashed potatoes and the wheat flour together. I just did that. Using the kneading blade of the food processor, I added these two ingredients, a little salt to taste as I’d do for making a dough for chapathis and off I started the motor. Boiled potatoes are a staple and are always found in the refrigerator. And I knew how to make chapatis, so… This kneading business soon got me into trouble because, the water, the flour and the potatoes became one big sticky mess in the kneading jar. I tried adding more flour but nothing changed.
It was indeed a surprise for my parents, but not in the surprise here-is-your-breakfast way, but what-do-I-do-now-with-this-mess way. We did eat aloo ke parathe for lunch that day after my parents helped to sort out the mess. But that was how I learned that aloos are stuffed in the balls of dough and not blended along with it. Later on, I got to know that it can be blended as well, but then there should be very little water and the kneading should be done with a little more care, one potato at a time, if possible. Aloo pooris are made that way, so are mattar (green peas) poori... Me loves.
Aloo parathe later followed me to university. Every Sunday morning for two years, it was aloo ke parathe and tomato chutney for breakfast at the hostel mess, which I used to look forward to. But the real deal came when a friend of mine took me to a Punjabi restaurant and ordered these little food babies… Ah, there was aloo and parathe and dollops of butter, along with pickle and curd. It was wowsome yum, to say.