Aloo Paratha

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I’m still trying to shake up my breakfast routine, and as Sunday morning rolls around again, I’m going to try something new. Potato-stuffed paratha: cousin to the Indian roti, but a richer, more luxurious relative. Parotha are made of flour, some fat and hot water, the dough is rolled out and a filling may be added, then they are lightly fried. They can be left empty (delicious with scrambled eggs) or filled with any manner of things like mince, spicy sweetcorn, paneer or mashed potatoes.

There potato paratha were nicely spiced and tasty with a dollop of yoghurt. They are delicious for breakfast, but don’t let that stop you eating them any time of day!

Ingredients for the basic paratha:

200 g flour (I used 100g whole wheat and 100g all purpose flour)

Three tablespoons melted ghee/butter/oil

Pinch of salt

Potato filling ingredients:

One medium potato

A teaspoon of cumin powder

Half a teaspoon of salt, to taste

Fresh green chilli, to taste

A teaspoon of minced garlic

Half a teaspoon of ginger

First make the potato filling: boil the potato, as you would for mashed potato and when tender, mash up, with a dash of milk and add all the spices, ginger and garlic and salt to taste. Leave to cool.

For the paratha, put the flours in a heatproof bowl and add the fat (if using ghee or butter, melt it first). Mix with your hands or a spoon until combined.

Now add the hot water from a recently-boiled kettle (I used about 80 ml, or eight tablespoons) and carefully mix unti you have a smooth dough, knead for a few minutes.

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Divide into  six little balls, about the size of golf balls. Roll them out to about a four inch diameter, and spoon in some potato mixture, around a tablespoon should do it.

Now pinch around and make a pocket, like a money bag and squeeze this shut. Then turn it around, and gently! roll out again, being careful not to let the potato leak out. I didn’t have the nerve to roll them out too big, about five or six inches in diameter.

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Then, put a generous amount of neutral oil in a frying pan, for shallow frying, and cook the parotha for a couple of minutes on each side until they are golden brown and cooked through.

Aubergine with buttermilk dressing

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I got a lovely new book recently, Plenty, by Yottam Ottolenghi, which was published a few years ago. The first thing that had to made was this very pretty aubergine dish.

This would make a really quick starter with things like pita bread, hummous and falafal or as a main with something like pine nut rice and a big salad. You simply roast the aubergine and then top with buttermilk dressing (buttermilk, yoghurt, garlic and salt) za’atar and pomegranate. The result is soft, melting thyme-flavoured aubergine with a lovely soft tangy-ness from the buttermilk and za’atar and juicy sweetness from the pomegranate.

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Naan

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Buttery naan is always something I order when I go out, but why wait until then? I decided to make these and they are really not too much trouble at all. The proofing time is just 15 minutes! The one thing I would say is that a pizza stone is so handy, it quickly cooks the bottom of the naan and the top puff up and brown nicely.

I thought I’d try two different recipes, one with yeast, one with just baking powder. In the end, there wasn’t much between them, but the yeast one was slightly lighter in texture.

Of course, these plain ones can be embellished any way you like, onion seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, fresh corriander, just make sure you brush them with butter.

Spicy Breakfast Potatoes

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I’m stuck in a Sunday morning breakfast loop: some variation on pancakes (banana, blueberry, raspberry…), potato cakes with a poached egg or a frittata. It’s time to jazz things up a bit! So it’s still potatoes and eggs today, but with a twist.

Serves 2

One large or two small potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into small cubes

One teaspoon of mustard seeds

Two teaspoons of minced garlic

One teaspoon of minced ginger

Fresh green chilli to taste

Roasted and ground cumin and corriander seeds

Pinch of dried turmeric

Salt, to taste

Squeeze of lemon juice

Add some oil to a pan, and on a medium heat lightly fry the mustard seeds until they give off their lovely pungent aroma. Add the cubed potatoes and fry for a few moments, allowing them to get a little golden and crunchy. Add the ginger, garlic, green chilli, dried spices and salt, and lower the heat, cover the pan and let them cook in their steam until tender. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.

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Fry or poach an egg and serve on top of the potatoes, with chopped corriander and hot sauce, if desired. Alternatively, the potatoes are delicious with yoghurt.