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Sweet Potato Paratha, an Indian Flatbread

A super tasty flatbread made with sweet potatoes, Indian spices and cilantro. This flatbread keeps well in the fridge and freezer and is great with your favorite Indian chutney. Dust off those Indian spices and try this super easy flatbread recipe!

A pile of cooked parathas on a cutting board.

Curious about what is in an Indian cook’s pantry? I made a free printable just for you. If you are just diving into Indian cooking, this Indian pantry list will be helpful to you. You probably already have some of these ingredients. Pro-tip, spices and sometimes vegetables, in an Indian market are much cheaper than at the supermarket.

What Is Paratha?

Parathas are an Indian flatbread that has additional ingredients for flavor or filling depending on your method.  Vegetables are sometimes added to the dough or added as a filling and the dough is encased around the paratha.  Indian spices are usually added to the dough to give it even more character.  Parathas are thicker and more substantial than most other Indian breads such as roti or chapati.

This sweet potato version is also known as Shakarkandi Paratha.


The word paratha derives from parat atta, which means layers of cooked dough in Sanskrit.

Other names for Paratha include:

  • parantha
  • parontay (Punjabi)
  • porota (Bengali)
  • palata (Burma)
  • farata (Sri Lanka & the Maldives)

Parathas vs. Naan

A paratha is an un-leavened bread while a naan has a leavening agent such as yeast, baking soda or baking powder.  Parathas are usually stuffed with vegetables.  This can be done by rolling the dough into a circle, adding vegetables, fold over dough and roll out again.  The vegetables can also be added to the dough in the beginning such as with this recipe.

Both paratha and naan are thicker than most other Indian flatbreads; paratha due to the folding and rolling or stuffing, naan due to the leavening agent.


Can You Freeze Parathas?

Paratha keeps very well in the freezer, just stack them with parchment paper in between and freeze for up to a month.  When ready to use, place frozen paratha on a hot skillet with a little oil and cook on both sides until warmed and golden.


Which flour for Parathas?

Parathas can be made with atta, chapati, whole wheat, all-purpose flour or a mixture of any these.  The texture will differ slightly in the end.


How To Make Paratha Dough?

Paratha dough is easy and usually done by hand.  Mash the vegetables in a large bowl, add half of your flour and the water and blend well by hand, keep adding flour until most of the stickiness is gone.  Turn out the slightly sticky dough onto a very well floured surface and knead with extra flour until the dough comes together and is no longer sticky.  Roll into a log and divide into 8 equal sections, roll each section into a circle.  You are now ready to cook the paratha.


How To Eat Parathas

Parathas are treated like a utensil.  You tear off a piece and scoop up some Indian food and maybe a little chutney or raita and plop in your mouth to get that explosion of flavor that is so common with Indian food.

You can also treat it like a bread you would eat with your dinner.  You can eat your Indian food with a fork or spoon and eat the paratha intermittently like a palate cleanser.

You can also treat paratha like a tortilla, make a taco from it.  Scoop the Indian food into the whole paratha and fold over like a taco.  Your chutney can be your salsa.


Have you tried making flat breads before?  I am finding them really easy to make and add a nice little homemade touch to the meal.  Naan is one of my favorites.

Flatbreads go well with Butter Chicken and maybe even this chutney.

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Grated ginger on a microplaner
Cooked sweet potatoes being mashed in a bowl.
Panch Phoran spice blend in a small cup.

Panch Phoran is an Indian spice mix that is super convenient.  I keep this on hand when I want to make something ‘Indian’ but don’t have a recipe.  I have added it to potatoes, eggs and now this flatbread.  When I open the jar, it smells just like an Indian restaurant.


Pro Tip – This spice blend can be convenient for new cooks who are building their spice collection.  I sometimes use my spice grinder(coffee grinder) to make this blend into a powder.  I like this spice blend also because these are whole spices, not powdered so they keep fresh much longer.  Powdered spices go stale fast and have a short shelf life.

Paratha ingredients in a large bowl before mixing.
Mixing the ingredients by hand.
Rolling out the dough on a floured cutting board.
Cutting the dough into equal sized pieces.
Rolling out the dough into circles.
Dough being transferred to the skillet using a bench scraper.
Brushing butter on a paratha in a skillet.

Bon Appetit!

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Sweet Potato Paratha, Shakarkandi Paratha, an Indian flatbread. A flatbread that is healthier thanks to sweet potatoes and ginger. An easy Indian flatbread that anyone can master, even the kids.

Sweet Potato Paratha, an Indian Flatbread

Yield: 8 flatbreads
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A super tasty flatbread made with sweet potatoes, Indian spices and cilantro. This flatbread keeps well in the fridge and freezer and is great with your favorite Indian chutney. Dust off those Indian spices and try this super easy flatbread recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1 Tbs ground panch phoran (Indian 5 spice), ground to a powder
  • 2-3 cups flour divided, may use whole wheat, all-purpose, atta or chapati
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted, may use ghee

Instructions

  1. Cook sweet potato in a microwave until soft.
  2. Sprinkle with salt, add ginger, chile powder, panch phoran.  Mash ingredients and stir to incorporate well. Stir in the cilantro.
  3. Add half of the flour and all of the water, start kneading in the bowl by hand until the dough comes together, it will probably still be somewhat sticky up to this point.  If it is too sticky, add more flour.
  4. Turn dough out onto well floured surface, knead and keep adding flour until it is not sticky anymore and you can roll it out.
  5. Roll into a log shape, divide into 8 equal sections.
  6. Roll one section at a time into a ball, flatten with your hand and continue rolling into a circle shape using a rolling pin.  Keep a dish towel over the remaining dough so as to not let it dry out.
  7. Heat a cast iron or non stick skillet over medium heat, add enough oil to just coat the pan.
  8. Cook paratha on one side until brown dots appear, flip over and brush the paratha lightly with butter, continue cooking until the brown dots appear on the other side.
  9. Stack the parathas buttered side up and keep covered with a dish towel or plastic to keep them moist.
  10. Continue until all parathas are cooked.

Notes

You can make your own panch phoran blend by mixing fenugreek, nigella, cumin, black mustard seed and fennel seed.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 paratha
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 218mgCarbohydrates: 95gFiber: 7gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Hannah

Friday 7th of September 2018

Yum, yum, yum!!!! This recipe is delicious. I ate my paratha taco style with some ground meat. I am really looking forward to my leftovers :)

Tina

Saturday 15th of September 2018

Oh that's brilliant Hannah! I love the Indian flavors in parathas, I bet it was delicious with the ground meat.

Lynn | The Road to Honey

Tuesday 7th of November 2017

This education on paratha is super helpful. I'm afraid my knowledge on Indian food is fairly limited and I tend to gloss over when I see descriptions of it because so many of the terms are so unfamiliar to me. The comparison versus naan was also helpful as I was thinking this bread looked very similar to naan.

And since the hubby absolutely adores Indian food. . .well. . .it is something that I really should delve into a bit more.

Tina

Thursday 9th of November 2017

This is a good one to get your feet wet. It's easy!

Lois. O

Monday 6th of November 2017

I love potato stuffed chapatis (we call them chapatis in East Africa), and there is a salsa that does perfectly well with it. I am sure this recipe would be a hit with the salsa. I have never tried making chapatis out of sweet potatoes, but I will be giving this a try.

Tina

Thursday 9th of November 2017

I heard chapatis were in North Africa, maybe spread by the Persians or the Romans?

Lois. O

Monday 6th of November 2017

I love potato stuffed chapatis, but I have not tried making the dough from sweet potatoes. There is an East African salsa that I usually eat with plain chapatis, but I know this recipe will go perfectly with it.

Shadi Hasanzadenemati

Monday 6th of November 2017

I love this recipe! I've had Paratha and love it but never made it at home. Can't wait to try this!

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