I think I had almost 100 cookbooks at one time. I belonged to a book club for a while and I picked up others on my own. By far the majority were the small magazine style books found in the checkout line at the supermarket. You know the ones. They’re published by Betty Crocker or Pillsbury and have pretty pictures that look delicious! I still buy cookbooks, but they tend to be the self published kind available to download to my Kindle. In one of those downloadable cookbooks I found the recipe for pea and potato parathas.
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The name of the cookbook is Breadbasket: Indian Flatbreads Simplified by Jayashree T Rao. I found out about it when the author and I “met” in a Facebook group and she shared the link to her book. Flatbreads can be fun to make so I checked out the link and was gratified to see it was available via Kindle Unlimited (more on that later).
This book is a treasure of recipes the author has learned and prepared for her own family.
Most of the ingredients can be found in any city or ordered online. Once in awhile an ingredient or piece of equipment is referred to in regional terms. A google search will reveal the definition in English.
If you’re familiar with Indian flatbreads you’ll recognize chapatis and rotis. These are prepared with a variety of flours, each with their own characteristics. Further along you’ll find dosas, the crepe like flatbreads that are often served with a filling rolled inside.
You’ll also find a nice selection of paratha recipes. These are fun to make. After you’ve mastered making the simpler flatbreads you’ll be ready to make pea and potato parathas which feature a savory filling. It might be best to watch a video on the process before you actually begin because it might be difficult to visualize the process of folding the dough around the filling. The big challenge is to be gentle when rolling your parathas so the dough doesn’t rip and allow the filling to poke through.
- 2 cups flour (I used all purpose flour)
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup of water (you might not need all of it)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or ghee (I used sunflower oil)
- 4 fist sized potatoes (about a pound), peeled and diced
- 1 cup frozen peas, drained
- ½ - 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground garam masala (use a brand you like)
- salt and pepper to taste
- flour for rolling
- cooking spray, oil or butter for pan roasting
- Mix the flour, oil and salt together. Knead with about half of the water, adding small amounts as necessary until the dough forms a smooth ball. Cover with a damp towel and set aside while you prepare the filling.
- Cover the frozen peas with boiling water and allow to stand.
- Boil the potatoes in enough water to cover until soft.
- Drain the potatoes and season with the garam masala and chili powder. Mash together.
- Drain the peas and add them to the mix. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and form each one into a ball.
- Do the same for the filling. It's okay if the filling balls are larger than the dough balls.
- Spread some flour on a flat surface and roll a dough ball into a 5 or 6 inch circle.
- Place a ball of filling in the center and pull the edges up to meet in the middle. Pinch well to seal.
- With the seam side down, gently roll the paratha into a 5 or 6 inch circle. Don't do more than two or three at a time. Uncooked parathas don't like to be stacked on top of each other.
- Heat a skillet over high heat and spray or brush the pan with oil.
- Place a paratha in the pan and roast until it takes on some color. Flip it over and repeat on the other side. Don't be alarmed if it puffs up as it's cooking.
- Repeat with the remaining parathas.
Parathas are very filling. They can be eaten plain, or with a smear of butter. They’re also nice with yogurt or some chopped onions and peppers.
In addition to the pea and potato parathas I’d like to try some of the dosas. They look delicious. Here’s the link again: Breadbasket: Indian Flatbreads Simplified by Jayashree T Rao
Let’s talk a minute about Kindle Unlimited and how you can use it to meet your cookbook needs. Kindle Unlimited is a program where for a monthly fee you can read as many books as you want as long as they are on the program. You download the books to either your Kindle or a device with a Kindle app. You’re allowed 10 downloads at a time so when you finish a book you can “return” it to Amazon and download another.
There are millions of books available in the program. Many are cookbooks from chefs and home cooks from all over the world who want to share their recipes with a wider audience. You’ll also find some dedicated to a particular eating style or kitchen device (like the Instant Pot). Sounds like fun, right? Click the banner above or here to find out more.