Sweet Banana Stuffed Paratha
Makes 4 stuffed flatbreads about 8 inches in diameter
Gooey, warm and completely satisfying with a slightly savory crust, these homemade stuffed paratha will go into your regular rotation. An awesome weekend breakfast or deluxe sweet snacking served with a side of hot almond milk cocoa spiced with cinnamon and cloves.
Like making crepes or tortillas or any one-at-a-time stovetop dough thing, making paratha gets a little easier with practice. Your 3rd one will be better than your 1st, and your 8th one will really rock the house.
1 1/ 4 cup chapatti (atta) flour
OR 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour AND ½ cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
⅔ cup warm water
2 tablespoons melted vegan margarine or mild vegetable oil, plus additional oil for brushing paratha
additional flour for dusting
2 cups sliced ripe banana
1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Big pinch ground nutmeg
1. In a bowl stir together flour and salt, then pour in warm water and melted margarine or oil. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir everything together to form a soft dough; if the dough is too dry dribble in extra warm water one tablespoon at a time, if too wet sprinkle in a little extra flour. Now use your hands to knead the dough until smooth; this can be done in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 balls and remove from the bowl and pour a teaspoon of vegetable oil into the bowl. Place the dough balls in the bowl, roll on the bottom to coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rest for at least 30 minutes.
2. When you’re ready to roll out your paratha, start heating the largest cast iron skillet or griddle you have over medium high heat. Have handy a large clean tea towel. Or if you have a tortilla warmer, that’s even better! Lightly dust work surface with flour and roll a piece of dough into a very thin circle about 10 inches wide. Brush with a little melted margarine or oil, roll into a tight tube and roll the tube into a snail-like spiral. Roll out the spiral, brush with oil again and repeat coiling and rolling out once more. Stack each paratha separated by a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper to prevent sticking. Then prepare the banana: in a mixing bowl gently stir together the banana slices and lime juice, then sprinkle in the brown sugar, spices, and pinch of salt.
3. Scoop a quarter of the banana filling into the center of an unbaked rolled paratha. Fold a portion of the dough towards the center, then repeat with another portion and overlap the previous fold. Repeat until your have about 5 or 6 overlapping folds and pinch the center together; the folded dough should look a little like a hexagon-shaped pinwheel (but it’s much simpler looking that it sounds). Gently flip it over and use a rolling pin to very gently press out the paratha once or twice to help flatten it slightly; be careful and don’t press to hard on the paratha to prevent any of the filling breaking out, but a little of the filling showing through the thin parts of the dough is okay. The easiest way to further flatten the banana paratha is to gently pat it between your palms until it’s about less than 1 inch thick and around 6 inches wide.
4. Gently place a paratha seam side down onto well oiled hot griddle and brush the top with melted margarine or oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the underside is lightly browned. Flip and continue to bake on the other sides; a few dark marks on the paratha is fine, even desirable. A little bit of the moist filling may leak out of the sides, that’s okay. Use a wide spatula to lift the very hot paratha and either wrap hot in a large clean tea towel to keep warm or serve immediately. Repeat the shaping and baking for the remaining paratha.
Careful though! The molten banana filling inside the hot paratha may burn. If serving to kids or anyone else who doesn’t like a burned mouth, use a sharp serrated knife to slice paratha into quarters and let cool about 2 minutes before serving.