I love Indian breads in all their forms- makhani roti, batura, luchi, poori, naan, parathas, yum, yum, yum. I also love the potato in all its forms- baked, chipped, mash, roasted and boiled, being some of my favourites. And so despite the risk of carb-overdose, the combination of parathas and potatoes is one of my favourites.
It is however a bit of a pain to come home and start making parathas after a hard day at the office. In fact kudos to the Indian housewife because it is quite difficult to do well even if you haven't been sweating over a powerpoint presentation all day. Luckily I discovered Shana frozen parathas a few years ago. And therefore instead of lots of dough forming, oiling, and clever folding and rolling, I usually open a packet of these and cook them for a few minutes on a tava or non-stick frying pan. And to go with my flaky flatbread I like a generous helping of some jeera aloo (potatoes cooked with cumin) and a little red onion and cucumber salad.
Recipe (enough for 2)
About ten or twelve small potatoes such as Charlottes, choppped into smallish pieces
1 tbsp flavourless oil such as sunflower
1.5 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground chilli, or one whole chopped green chilli
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Heat the oil in a karahi, wok or deep frying pan. When it's quite hot but not smoking, add in the potato, and cook on a medium heat. After a few minutes put in the cumin and chilli, mix well and reduce the heat a bit. The potatoes will take around 10 to 15 minutes to cook through, and become golden brown with a sort of cumin crust. When they're almost done add the crushed garlic, season well, and leave on a low heat until the potatoes are fully cooked.
While the potatoes are cooking, chop some red onion and cucumber for the salad, and heat the frozen parathas. Scoff while everything is still piping hot, and add extra chillis or pickle if required. NB Serving on a stainless steel thali for authenticity is not essential.
Shana paratha (original)
I rate them 8/10
Cost: Around £1.80 for a packet of 5