Monday, December 26, 2011

Sweet Potato Paratha

I am not all that fond of Indian cities. The crowds, traffic, pollution, heat all besides adding to the annoyance makes me want to run away to my ancestral village. Here in the US, it is the suburbs that get to me. The lack of people, the cemetery like quietness all make it seem like human beings were sucked out and the shells of their dwelling were left behind, even though the truth is there are a lot of people who live in suburbia. It is absolutely impossible to tell the unique character of a place but for the sameness that seems to permeate suburbia all over this country.

In contrast the US cities are the ones brimming with character and quirks. These are the qualities that make you want to go back to the city again and again or not. I have professed my love for DC. There is a lot to like about DC and I won't go there today.

The other city I keep falling in love over and over is New York city. Who doesn't you say? The crowds which seem to forget that niceties like letting someone pass, the honking cars, the exotic tongues all add to the charm. There is something happening all the time but of course the city never sleeps so no surprises there.

Christmas in New York was crowded, noisy and did I say crowded? Usually we stay with friends in New Jersey and drive through the city which is not the same as exploring by walking. This time we took a bus from DC to NY and stayed in the city. This meant we had to do a lot of walking and the cold and wind made it a bit difficult but walking we did. We were in the heart of Broadway after all so did catch a theater performance as well.

It took all of 10 minutes to realize that everyone keeps walking and fast so stepping aside to let someone pass is normally not done. Among all the walking the street carts provided the fastest and easiest way to get food. My favorite among the small eateries was Maoz Vegetarian Falafel sandwiches a chain. The falafels were crispy and flavorful. I also sampled falafel from the cart vendors, so I had something to compare against and I paid almost the same price for both but thought the Maoz was way better.

The contradictions the first and second paragraphs can be explained thus. It is probably the dullness of life in suburbia that makes me appreciate cities here in the US perhaps. Whereas in India the chaos of every day in the city makes for appreciating village life. Grass is greener on the other side always.

What is your favorite city?

Now on to the recipe,

It is not actually a recipe but a suggestion. Sweet potatoes parathas like sweet potato fries should be the new find. The super soft slightly sweet parathas were a kids delight as well. What brought the recipe about were some overcooked mushy sweet potatoes. To eat boiled sweet potatoes they have to be cooked just so when overcooked they taste just about inedible. Not to despair, just set them aside to be used in making parathas.

I did not add any other spices to it but a tiny bit of chili powder and grated ginger would be nice too.

Sweet potato parathas
1. 2 sweet potatoes
2. 2 - 2 1/2 cups of wheat flour (atta)
3. a pinch of salt
4. 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
5. 1/4 tsp of cumin powder (optional)
6. 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger (optional)

1. Peel and mash the sweet potatoes till smooth.
2. Add the wheat flour and salt (and the spices if doing so) and mix to form a smooth dough.
3. Let it sit for 30 minutes (this is a must).
4. Now make small lime sized balls and roll it evenly into a 4-6 inches in diameter.
5. Heat a tawa and cook the paratha first on one side and when it starts to get brown spots flip and cook on the other side.

Serve with pickles or just by itself.


  1. Thats a nice and new paratha Indo. Happy New Year(in advance). My favorite city is the place where I can travel or do stuff without a language barrier(so obviously in India it is singara chennai) :) In the US though, each city has its own charm- I like Boston and Houston- it like two sides of a coin :)

  2. New York-New York! But I have to admit that's the only city where I've spent a considerable amount of time. Vegas too, it's fascinating as well, but I prefer NYC as it has public transport. In India, Madras, I guess. And I have this horrible fascination for Bombay, warts and all, though I might not like to live there.

  3. I make the avacado parathas the same wasy as sweet potatoes.
    I will try this in the holidays
    I will run away from any city in India to my village.
    Here in US i like San Francisco for weather and beauty

  4. I am not a city person at all but once in a while jaunt to NYC is surely refreshing. Guess what, we were in DC while you were here :)

  5. Oh and wish you a very Happy New Year

  6. Seattle obviously is my favorite place.
    Paratha sounds interesting, I make sweet poli with the sweet potatoes and never made the savory version.

    Wish you and your family a very happy New Year!

  7. Even i hate those noisy cities in India, paratha looks awesome..

  8. I choose NYC, (DC is close too, and Chicago... someday come to Boston ISG!) and I choose pickles with my sweet potato paratha, please :)

    Happy New Year ISG!

  9. yummy yum yum!!! can't wait to try it :D thanks!

  10. Nice homage to NYC, Indo! I must confess to being partial to SF; even going so far as to compare it preferentially to some absolutely lovely European cities, but NYC does have its own thing to offer, doesn't it? Nowhere else have I had anything positive to say about that unique mad bustle..! :-)

    Happy New Year! Hope 2012 is off to a great start for you.


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