Gluten-Free Cumin and Potato Flatbreads (Alu Paratha)
Recipe and photo contributed by Rinku Bhattacharya
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes
The alu or potato paratha is quintessential comfort food in North India. North Indians tend to enjoy and prefer bread with their meals, so it can be rather difficult for them to adapt to a gluten-free diet. This recipe comes close, and once you get the hang of working with the dough, it is much easier than the traditional potato-stuffed variety, since there is no stuffing involved.
1½ cups all purpose gluten-free flour, plus extra flour for rolling
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, or less to taste
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red cayenne pepper
2 medium sized potatoes, boiled, peeled, and mashed, around 1 cup (I have had good results with Yukon Gold potatoes for this recipe)
Water for moistening dough
Grapeseed or olive oil for frying
- Combine the flour, cilantro, thyme, cumin seeds, salt, and red cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl and stir to blend.
- Mash the potatoes into the mixture. Add just enough water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time (about ½ cup in total), mixing until the dough is smooth but not overly soft. (If you have made wheat-based aloo paratha before, you will notice that gluten-free flour tends to be sticky, so the water kneads more slowly than with conventional flour).
- Heat a cast iron griddle over medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Liberally flour a work surface. Break off a lemon-sized piece of dough and shape into a ball, then flatten the dough with your hands. Gently roll out into a 6-inch circle, about ¼-inch thick.
- Carefully place the dough on the heated griddle and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, then turn and cook for about 1 minute on the other side. The bread should puff up a little.
- Drizzle 1 teaspoon oil into the pan around the flatbread disc and cook until the dough is golden brown, then flip and drizzle ½ teaspoon oil into the pan around the flatbread and cook until golden on the other side.
- Place the bread in a tortilla warmer lined with foil or wrap bread in a clean dish towel to keep warm and repeat with the remaining dough. Serve immediately.