My mother, Meera Marathe, is the most accomplished Indian bread maker I know. No one’s chapatis, puris, or sweet stuffed griddled breads such as puran poli and gulachi poli are as good as hers. And her alu parathas? They’re exceptional. These potato-stuffed flatbreads hail from Punjab and are a staple across the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.
Alu parathas are made by wrapping circles of dough around a boldly spiced potato stuffing, rolling the stuffed balls into slim disks, and browning the disks (brushed with ghee) until crisp brown patches develop. The steamy, pliable breads are typically enjoyed as the center of a meal rather than as an accompaniment, and frankly, there is no more satisfying breakfast, lunch, or dinner than a stack of piping hot alu parathas served with spicy-sweet mango pickle, cooling raita, or a refreshing tomato salad.