There’s something quite special about comfort food and how it can take you back to a certain time in your life. It can spark the fondest of memories and transport you back to a happy place. To me, food can awaken the senses; the smell, the taste and the sight of a dish can ignite something inside of you.
Back in 2017, my husband and I took a trip to India. India was somewhere that I wanted to visit for years, and somewhere I especially wanted to visit with my Mum. My Mum and I always talked about going together one day to shop and eat our way through the streets of Mumbai. Unfortunately that one day never came for us and its something that’s always affected me.
So this trip to Goa and Mumbai was special to me as it was my first time to the Motherland and deep down I felt my Mum watching over us. From the moment I landed, I was in heaven. I was so excited by the smells and the hustle and bustle I just wanted to get stuck in. It seemed like everything was moving so quickly with the chaos of the crowds, cars and cows! The street food smelt incredibly inviting and only in India can you buy a samosa and a cup of chai for about 20p from a man on a bike. I loved it.
One of my fondest memories from this trip was of course, the aloo paratha. The hotel we stayed in served these every morning and I can honestly say I ate one nearly every morning, whoops. I couldn’t help it. They were so delicious and they were like nothing I’ve tasted before. They were so comforting, spicy and fattening! I would eat them with yoghurt, mango pickle and a cup of chai. You can understand why I was so happy on this trip.
Aloo paratha is not something I grew up eating as it’s more of a Punjabi dish. I’ve eaten many parathas in my childhood though. ‘Aloo’ means potato in Hindi and this is simply a paratha stuffed with a spiced potato filling.
Recently I’ve been craving them again and therefore decided to make them at home. My Punjabi friend gave me some great tips so I went on my way. Whilst this is not a precise recipe, as I was experimenting myself, I’ll tell you what I did.
- I pierced two potatoes and place them in a microwave to cook through for about 8 minutes. Once cooled I peeled them and placed them through a potato ricer, but you can just mash them with a fork.
- I then added about a tablespoon each of finely chopped red onion, coriander and spinach. Then I added some dry spices; approximately 1/2 tsp each of salt, chilli powder, cumin seeds, ground coriander and cumin and garam masala. I mixed this altogether and formed into balls roughly the size of a golf ball.
- Next, I made a chapati dough using chapati flour, oil and hot water. If you don’t have chapati flour you could try plain flour.
- I then started to roll out a thick chapati, placed the potato filling in the middle and sealed it, taking off any excess dough and then rolled it out into a paratha.
- I cooked the paratha in a non-stick pan on each side for a minute or two until cooked, then brushed it with butter (optional). Serve with yoghurt and mango pickle and enjoy!
These were absolutely delicious and definitely transported me back to India. I’ll be making a batch of these for the freezer next time. Let me know if you give it a try! Do you have any food memories that transport you back? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to know 🙂
Thanks for reading and have a great evening!
My name is Bhavisha Surti and I am a food photographer and stylist based in Milton Keynes. Please subscribe to my blog below and check out my website to see more of my work at www.jbimagery.co.uk. Thank you!