Increasingly popular in Indian restaurants across the world. Sometimes plain, and sometimes stuffed with potatoes (aloo paratha), cauliflower (gobi paratha) or a number of other fillings. Frequently enjoyed by scooping plain natural or Greek-style yoghurt along with a little of an Indian mango or lime pickle.
These days you can even get frozen parathas in your supermarket, but we highly recommend giving these a try, and doubt you'll ever go back.
Here's Mrs Balbir Singh's famous recipe which will have you experiencing the true taste of one of North India's best breads. It'll be like transporting your tastebuds to Old Delhi where "paranthe wali gali" at Chandni Chowk. The small alleyway famed for its multi-generational paratha stands which turn out some of the best in the world, with a myriad of different fillings.
Parathas (Parautha, Parantha)
Soft, slightly crispy and flakey Indian flatbreads
Category: Indian Breads
+ 230g wholewheat flour (chapati flour / atta) 60 g (8 oz + 2 oz)
of salt A pinch 180ml - 240ml ( ⅓ to ½ pt)
ghee, solidified 60 - 85 g (2-3 oz)
Step 1: make the dough
Sieve the wholemeal or wholewheat flour into a large bowl or flat basin (thali). Make a depression in the centre of the flour, and pour approximately
NOTE: the amount of water may vary from time to time as this is dependent on the particular flour and its absorption properties, so add it a little at a time to get a feel for it.
Step 2: knead the dough
Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, gradually adding the remaining water and alternately pressing and folding the dough. Sprinkle
- you will be looking to make a smooth elastic dough which is soft and pliable.
- if it feels too tight add more water, start by adding 1-2 teaspoons at a time and add more as needed. If it feels too wet or sticky add a little more flour.
- it should end up being smooth. When you press the dough with a finger it should leave an impression.
Step 3: making the parathas
Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and shape them into round balls. Flatten and roll out each of the rounds into a flat circle of about
Coat the upper surface with
Press it gently with the fingers, stretch
Press it down so as to form a flattened ball and roll out into a paratha, about 5″ in diameter. Heat your griddle pan or large frying pan (tawa) on a low heat, apply
Serve immediately as it tends to lose crispness if stored.
If making in advance or storing them:
- Make a batch of parathas and let them cool on a plate covered with kitchen roll (paper towel): then make small stacks of them and place them in either an airtight container or wrapping them in foil or cling film and then into a zip-lok bag. They can be stored in the fridge for about a week like this.
- To reheat the parathas: heat a pan and roast the parathas for a few minutes while flipping them 2-3 times on the heated pan.
- Freezing them: Just let them cool after making them and place parchment or greaseproof paper between each paratha and make a stack. Then transfer the stack into a freezer bag and freeze.
Mrs Balbir Singh
Award-winning godmother of Indian home cooking, and author of Mrs Balbir Singh's Indian Cookery, as featured in "The Best Indian Cookbooks Ever, as Judged by the Experts" - The Telegraph (UK)