Stuffed paratha is basically unleavened whole wheat flour flatbread prepared with one or the other delicious stuffing/filling. This is a widely accepted variant of the hugely popular paratha. The choice of stuffing is unlimited ranging from the humble potato or aloo to the more distinctive sattu, each associated with a characteristic taste and inherent nutritional benefits.
Varieties of stuffed paratha-
Although there are numerous fillings that can be used to stuff the regular wheat paratha, some of the more popular ones are-
• Onion (pyaaz), Potato (aloo), Radish (mooli), Cauliflower (gobhi) paratha
• Dal parathas (with spiced and seasoned Split yellow dal/Green gram dal)
• Palak (spinach) or Methi (fenugreek) parathas
• Mixed vegetable or paneer paratha
• More exclusive options like Mirchi (chilli) paratha, mixed spices (masala) paratha or kela (banana) paratha
Ingredients and Preparation
Basic ingredients remaining the same i.e. whole wheat flour, salt, little oil for roasting on the griddle, only the stuffing of parathas keeps varying depending on what one wishes to have.
The wheat flour is kneaded with salt and enough warm water to prepare the dough. Stuffing of choice is prepared using the principle ingredient such as onion or potato, cooked with some spices and fresh herbs. The wheat flour bread is rolled out, some stuffing placed in the centre and folded over only to be rolled once again before roasting on the griddle with minimum oil.
For Aloo parathas : A single serving of 1 paratha (~80 g) provides 74 calories, 5.4 calories from fat; 0.6 g total fat, 0.3 g saturated fat and 0.6 mg cholesterol. Sodium content is ~98 mg; total carbohydrate is 15.9 g of which dietary fibre accounts for 2.3 g, 0 sugar; and 2.5 g of protein. Addition of some kasoori methi can add flavour, fibre and enhance the nutritive value of aloo parathas. Alternatively, pomegranate seeds added to the potato stuffing can provide an excellent source of dietary fibre and a boost in mineral content like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and trace minerals like copper, zinc and selenium. Also the high antioxidant levels in pomegranate seeds enhance Vitamin A, C, E, K, folate and B-vitamin levels.
For Gobhi parathas: A single serving of 1 paratha (~100 g) provides 260 calories, 54 calories from fat; 6 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat and 0 mg cholesterol. Sodium content is ~360 mg; total carbohydrate is 45.0 g of which dietary fibre accounts for 7.0 g, 4g sugar; and 7.5 g of protein. Addition of some roasted sesame seeds can improve vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc and thereby enhance the nutritive value of parathas.
For Dal parathas: A single serving of 1 paratha (~135 g) provides 331 calories, 114 calories from fat; 10 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat and 0 mg cholesterol. Sodium content is ~385 mg; total carbohydrate is 41.0 g of which dietary fibre accounts for 2.0 g, 3 g sugar; and 11.5 g of protein. About 3% daily value of calcium and 5% iron is also obtained. Using some mixed lentils can further enhance protein quality by providing complementary amino acids.
Stuffed Paratha recipes offer great scope in terms of nutritional enhancement.
1. Using palak and methi for the stuffing can significantly increase the fibre value and bring down the caloric value of the dish provided olive oil is used in place of ghee.
2. Mixed vegetable and paneer stuffings can make for a complete meal with merely yoghurt for an accompaniment.
3. Soya granules can add phytoestrogen nutrients that help preserve bone health and provide cholesterol and weight reducing benefits among others.
4. Use of unique fillings like banana with rolled oats or grated apple, with some cinnamon and honey could make for delicious dessert mini parathas prepared by oven baking technique using minimal fat to appease the sweet tooth in a healthy way.