The are sooooo many varieties of Indian flat breads to choose from that making the decision on which one to prepare, and eat, can be a tricky business. Paratha are easier to make than you would think. A dough like pancake all warm and pillowy, filled with whatever savoury filling you choose. If you are familiar with the ubiquitous chapati then paratha are considered a close relative. My recipe shows you how to make them with a spiced potato and spring onion filling but you can be as adventurous as you fancy. They are ever so delicious and work really well with just a simple dal. Often the most humblest of foods can be fit for a king or queen. The preparation is pretty minimal and if you are cooking for a few you can prepare the filling earlier on in the day.
So follow these simple steps to create your very own paratha at home.
I suggest making the filling first and then let it cool whilst you make the dough.
Roll out the dough so that it is thin, but not so thin that it splits. Place a round ball of the filling in your hand and then gently place it in the centre of the dough circle. Flatten slightly.
Pull up the edges so that the filling is completely covered.
Turn it over and place some sesame seeds or nigella seeds on top. Flatten it with your hand.
Then gently roll out the dough so that it flattens further. Be careful not to roll too thinly or the contents will escape.
Heat a tawa, or large frying pan, and when it is hot brush a little melted ghee (or butter/oil) on one side of the paratha and place that side into the pan. While this side is toasting, place melted ghee on the other side and then after a minute turn over. Leave for a further 30-60 seconds so that it is nicely bronzing but not burning and then remove from the pan and eat whilst still hot. If you are preparing a few then place in a warm oven while you prepare the next.
125g plain flour
125g chapati flour/wholemeal flour (you can just use plain flour in which case double up on plain)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp yoghurt
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
60 ml water
350g potatoes, approx 3 medium ones (equally you can use sweet potato)
1 spring onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder
1/2 tsp ground garam masala
1 green chilli, finely sliced (optional)
sesame/nigella seeds, to garnish
2 tbsp melted ghee/butter/oil
- In a large bowl add all of the dry ingredients and mix well, then add the yoghurt and oil.
- Slowly add in the water so that a dough forms. Use your hands to form a ball, knead for around 7 minutes so that the dough is pliable and soft. Cover with cling film whilst you make the filling.
- To make the filling, boil the potatoes and when soft, drain and mash them.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Returning to the dough, break them into 6 even balls. Using your hands initially flatten a ball, sprinkle with a little flour and using a rolling pin roll into 6-7inch diameter circles.
- Using your hands scoop up some of the mashed spiced potato and create a small ball and flatten this is the middle of the dough.
- Move the sides of the dough up to the centre so that the spiced potato is securely covered up.
- Turn over the round parcel and spoon some sesame seeds on the top and then gently roll out the dough with the spiced potato filling into a round circle once again.
- Heat up a frying pan or tawa. When it is getting hot, melt the ghee and then brush some onto the surface of the paratha and place ghee side down onto the pan.
- Leave for up to a minute and brush the paratha again with ghee before turning over for a further minute. When the paratha is sufficiently bronzed place onto a warm plate and cover whilst you do the rest or pop in a warm oven.
Paratha are wonderful to have with dal or a curry or if you are really organised, for breakfast, now isn’t that worth getting up for.