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03 July 2010 @ 12:34 pm
Recipe: gluten-free parathas, spinach (vegan) & potato (opt. vegan)  
emily_jiang  and I made ridiculous piles o' parathas yesterday.  And for the first time ever, I measured quantities.  For the GF ones anyway.  WHICH MEANS that I now get to share this version with you, me dears!
Well, the recipe anyway.  The parathas are going to clarionites.  The ones we don't munch before we see them.

This makes about 25 parathas, which is a good amount cause these guys freeze well (see notes). 



2 cups BRM all purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour (optionally replace with 1/2 cup quinoa flour; but quinoa seems less kid-friendly).
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 cup buckwheat flour (I used arrowhead mills).

1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tbsp olive oil, plus plenty extra for assembly
~ 2 cups water (varies with ambient temperature, humidity, and air pressure; I'm cooking at high altitude in a dry place.)


For spinach parathas:

1 large bunch fresh spinach
1 tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder or garam masala
optional: 1 handful fresh mint or cilantro

For potato (paneer) parathas:

4 cups potatoes, boiled & skinned (I use the red ones)
1 small red onion or 1/2 a large one, chopped very fine
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 green chile chopped very fine (more to taste)
optional: 1 cup fresh paneer, crumbled
1 handful fresh cilantro or mint, chopped fine
2 tsp ajwain seeds
1/2 tsp ground amchur
1 tsp salt


large bowl with airtight cover
skillet or heavy frying pan (a flat griddle should work too)
pastry brush
rolling pin
2 sheets parchment paper  (one can be substituted with a reusable alternative but one at least has to be parchment paper.)

1) Mix dry ingredients in large bowl
2) Add olive oil
3) Pour in the first cup of water, and mix (with a table knife is easiest)
4) Add water in bits, and mix, till it's acting like dough, then dribble in more water (while mixing) till the dough is tacky and soft, but not quite wet
(Probably if you overdo water, add buckwheat and/or tapioa; I think they are your best bets for drying the dough out a bit.)
Note: If you are making spinach parathas now is the time to add the filling.
5) Cover, air-tight, and leave for 30 mins to an hour.  Do not let this dry out, or thundercats will die.

1) Wash, cut coarsely
2) Cook with a little salt (about 2 mins, covered, in microwave) till soggy
3) Drain and squeeze dry.  You should have 1 1/2 to 2 cups of spinach.
4) Mix into the dough with the salt & curry powder or garam masala etc.
5) Cover and leave as directed above.

Potato (paneer):
1) Mash potatoes with salt
2) Add everything else & mix well
3) form into firm balls about 1-1 1/4 inches in diameter (should get about 25)
1) Oil both pieces of parchment paper
2) Oil your hands
3) Pull off a piece of dough, (enough to) roll into a ball about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. 
(Cover the remaining dough, or thundercats may yet die.)
4) Put the dough between oiled sides of parchment paper & roll gently till it's about 1/8th inch thick
5) Peel back one sheet of parchment paper

Potato (paneer):
1) Oil both pieces of parchment paper
2) Oil your hands
3) Pull off a piece of dough, (enough to) roll into a ball about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. 
(Cover the remaining dough, or thundercats may yet die.)
4) Put it on one sheet of oiled paper and press or roll it to the size of a large cookie
5) Put a ball of potato mixture on the center, flatten slightly
6) Bring the dough edges up to wrap around the potato mixture
7) Press to seal edges and to flatten slightly
8) Put the other sheet of oiled parchment paper over this, & roll gently till it's between 1/4 and 1/8th inch thick
9) Peel back one sheet of parchment paper
1) Heat skillet on medium heat (about 4 seems good)
1b) Place a plate next to the skillet & a piece of kitchen towel on the plate
2) Pick up the paratha, parchment-side down, on your palm
3) Smack it down on the heated skillet, then gently peel back the parchment paper.
(Might need a spatula here to keep it from sticking to the paper & coming off the skillet)
4) When it has changed color (darkened) all over, flip it over.
5) Cook, flipping over occasionally, till there are darker brown spots or patches all over both sides
6) Flip onto plate and put the next paratha on the skillet immediately (or as close as poss.) to prevent overheating.


1) Is is really good to have a minion for these, so that one person can cook while one assembles.  I don't think even my mother would try GF parathas without a minion.
2) If it's sticking, my only solution is MORE OIL, on hands & paper.  
3) Wheatyparathas are Different.  Don't try making 'em from this recipe, at least not without asking me for modifications.
4) To freeze: keep them in a ziploc bag or other airtight container, with waxed paper or parchment paper between each paratha.  This is so they don't stick together when frozen.  They last... erm.  I hear they last a couple months this way, but they're always gone before that around here.
5) If you're not vegan. ghee on hot parathas is probably the best thing Ever.
6) ETA: Not kid-friendly but, if you substitute in a cup of quinoa for either the buckwheat or a cup of the all-purpose, it'll add a bitter note that goes really well with the spinach.  (I haven't tried this but I did make all-quinoa spinach parathas, which were yummy.)
Current Mood: anxiouswheezy
emily_jiangemily_jiang on July 3rd, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
Being a paratha minion can be fun!
Eating home-made parathas that you as minion helped make is even better. That is all.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on July 5th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Being a paratha minion can be fun!
Speaking of which, we have parathas :D
A. A. McNamaraaamcnamara on July 3rd, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
Ooo, this looks both yummy and like something I can eat! Thanks for posting. I will have to try this sometime.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on July 3rd, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
Yay! You're very welcome :)
Let me know how they turn out when you do?
A. A. McNamaraaamcnamara on July 4th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
shweta_narayan: mangatarshweta_narayan on July 3rd, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome :) Let me know how they turn out?
Dr. Kvetchrose_lemberg on July 4th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
Ohhh! I want to try these right now, but I do not have a minion :(
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on July 4th, 2010 04:49 am (UTC)
Something I think would work is: roll them out & store them between oiled parchment paper, and then do the stove part... but you might want to try it with batches of 5 or something?

If I was there I would happily be your minion!
Sovay: I Claudiussovay on July 4th, 2010 08:31 am (UTC)
Thank you for this. The spinach parathas in particular sound fantastic.
shweta_narayan: mangatarshweta_narayan on July 5th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome!
They are pretty darn yummy, though I admit I like the filled ones better :)

I should add that substituting quinoa gives it a bitter note that's really pretty yummy for adults, though not kid-friendly.
sacredmimesacredmime on July 5th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
Somewhat off topic, but this reminded me of a fun-looking antho you might like:
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on July 5th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
oooh, that does look fun!
Kenyessod on July 8th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
I need to pester you at some point for a bunch of recipes. All the Indian food you or your mom used to make was fantastic and now that I can cook complicated stuff it would be really awesome to be able to make some of it.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on July 8th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)
Pester away :D
My repertoire is a bit more extensive these days! Partly thanks to elsmi; the son-in-law, you know, is allowed to grab my mother's hand and go "what did you just put in there?". I am not :D
Nalo Hopkinsonnnaloh on December 19th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Oo, nice, thank you. I wonder whether this recipe would work to make Trinidadian buss-up shirt paratha?
shweta_narayan: mangatarshweta_narayan on December 20th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC)
OMG those look *delicious*!

I would guess that it'd be... tricky, esp the rolling. And probably take some work to get right -- and I'd want to use way more rice or tapioca flour to increase the sticky, or they would just fall apart at the 'buss up" stage.

Or so I predict, never having made such a thing myself :)