The first Indian dish many of us non-Indians learn to cook is aloo paratha, the flatbread that incorporates spicy mashed potatoes (aloo). It's a beautiful dish, but not easy to make. This shortcut version substitutes whole wheat tortillas for homemade dough, so preparing it is as easy as making a quesadilla. We team it with a simple stew of tomato, eggplant and crunchy mustard seeds.

Serves 2


  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 8 ounces eggplant
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 of a 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 2 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds


    Put a medium pot of water over high heat and salt it. Scrub and trim the potatoes, but don't peel them; cut them into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Add the potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the water bubbles steadily, cover and cook until they're fork-tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

    Rinse and dry the eggplant; cut it crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (if the eggplant is large, halve the slices). Peel and mince the ginger; rinse and halve the lemon. Put 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it's hot, add the ginger, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring until it's soft and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the curry powder. When the potatoes are done, drain them in a colander and transfer them to the skillet. Squeeze the juice from the lemon half over the potatoes and mash them until mostly smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and wipe the skillet clean; don't bother to wipe out the medium pot.

    Put 1 tablespoon oil in the medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring frequently until it begins to soften and brown a little, 5 to 10 minutes. Trim and chop the onion; thinly slice the garlic. Lower the heat to medium, add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until the onions are soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add the diced tomatoes, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat so it bubbles steadily, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.

    Stir the cilantro into the potatoes. Divide the potato filling between the tortillas; spread the filling over one-half of each tortilla and fold it over to enclose.

    Put the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet over medium heat. When it's hot, add the filled tortillas and adjust the heat so they sizzle without burning. Cook until the bottom sides are brown and crisp, about 1 minute. Carefully turn the tortillas and cook until other sides are brown, another 30 seconds, or so. Transfer the parathas to a cutting board and cut them into wedges. Stir the mustard seeds into the eggplant, taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish the eggplant with the chopped mint and serve alongside the parathas.

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