Monday, 15 November 2010

Shana parathas and jeera aloo (cumin potatoes)

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

8 comments:

Deepa said...

It has been far too long since I had parathas, I might try these out as a nice shortcut :)
Where did you find them in Cambridge?

tamarindandthyme said...

I am a sucker for frozen Indian and Malaysian flatbreads, especially parathas and roti canais, which are more difficult to make at home. Love your quick potatoes to go with them!

TheFastestIndian said...

Hi Deepa
They are pretty handy to have stashed in the freezer! I bought these from Sainsbury the other week, in their 'ethnic food' cabinet at the end of one of the frozen aisles. They used to have quite a few things there but it's quite limited now, though they do sometimes have the onion parathas as well.
I think I've seen them in Tesco on Newmarket Rd too, but haven't checked for ages.
Failing that I reckon Al-Amin must do them!

TheFastestIndian said...

Thanks TamarindandThyme! Can't go wrong with bread and potatoes I say!

oxslip said...

Waitrose must have these surely! I am going to check later. And what are luchi and batura please?

TheFastestIndian said...

Greetings Dr Oxslip! Ummm, I guess Waitrose might have parathas, but I'd be surprised. They don't seem to have many 'ethnic' brands in my experience, though are brill in most other ways.
Luchi are the Bengali version of pooris (i.e a thin fried bread). I think they are a bit thinner and lighter than regular pooris, but it might just be a different word for the same thing.
I've got a batura post- http://fastestfoodblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/chole-batura.html but if you Google chole batura there's lots of hits as it's a classic Punjabi bread/dish.
Both are massively yummy!

meemalee said...

I love love love frozen parathas.

They make me happy and work very well as an impromptu pie lid when you have no pastry :)

TheFastestIndian said...

Hear, hear!

Ooo- pastry lid? Would never have thought of that, am intrigued! xx