Parathas are a staple in many South Asian households. Similar to chapati/roti, parathas are unleavened flatbread made from whole wheat flour called atta. Atta is flour originating from the Indian subcontinent. Parathas are layered and flakey, usually a little thicker than chapati/roti but thinner than a naan.
There is no fuss of tempering with temperature or yeasts for this delicious flatbread. The process is simple as rolling out dough, lathering with oil, butter or clarified butter and creating layers. Than rolled out again and cooked on a griddle.
Parathas can be made plain or stuffed with potato filling, lentils, ground beef and other combinations. Today I am showing how to make plain parathas.
Specifically, I grew up eating Pakistani food and my mom always made square parathas. Round parathas are also popular and has a different technique to make the layers. I find the square paratha is easier to make and takes less time.
DOUGH FOR PARATHA
The dough for chapati/roti and paratha is the same.
The goal is to make the dough soft, pliable with no lumps. The dough should not be too hard or soft.
Kneading the dough by hand is the easiest way to controlling the consistency of the dough. If you are new to learning this I highly recommend making/kneading dough by hand. When you have mastered the dough for chapati/roti and paratha by hand you can use the a stand mixer with the hook attachment.
I prefer to use lukewarm water so the dough will not be too soft or hard, that can be hard to work with. When I use lukewarm water I end up using 1 1/2 cups water. Depending on the temperature of water you may use a little more or less.
Traditionally a concave griddle called a tawa is used to cook the parathas and chapati/roti on. You can find these at international grocery stores. I use a non-stick flat griddle that works perfectly.
With this recipe I can end up making anywhere from 8-10 parathas.
I store the dough covered in the refrigerator and use it within 2-3days.
These parathas are delicious on their own with a cup of tea. With any curries, omelet or peanut butter/jelly.
Please watch the full detailed video on you tube.
- 2 cups atta (whole wheat chapati flour)
- 1½ cups water, lukewarm
- may need extra water in separate bowl for kneading
- ½ cup extra dry flour
- Oil, butter or clarified butter
- salt in salt shaker
- FOR DOUGH
- Add flour to a bowl. Make sure bowl is wide enough to be able to knead the dough in.
- Start adding water. I add 1 cup slowly using finger tips in circular motion to bring dough together.
- If the dough still hasn't come together in 1 ball keep adding little water. You may or may not end up using rest of ½ cup water.
- At this point dough will be dry/course. If dough is very sticky add few more tablespoons of dry flour. If too dry than add little more water.
- Knead in bowl or clean counter top.
- Knead with knuckles, stretch and fold, Keep repeating wetting your hands in lukewarm water each time. Knead for about 5-7 minutes. Dough should be soft/pliable.
- Place dough in bowl cover with damp paper towel/kitchen towel. Let it rest for about 15 minutes.
- Once dough is rested knead for few more minutes and it's ready.
- Store the dough covered in refrigerator till ready to use. Use within 2-3 days.
- WHEN READY TO MAKE PARATHA
- keep extra flour in a bowl wide enough to dust the rolled paratha.
- If you want you can divide dough into equal parts.
- Lightly dust fingers take a piece of dough little larger than an egg. Bring sides together to make a circular shape and create seam.
- Turn seam side down to palm and roll in circular motion keeping the seam against the palm to create a round shape.
- Dust in flour and flatten into a disc.
- Start rolling out to a 5 or 6" circle
- lather 1-2 tsp. oil, butter or clarified butter all over, sprinkle with little salt.
- From the top end fold the circle towards the center, repeat from the bottom end and overlap.
- Fold right side halfway than left side overlaping completely. You should have a square shape, this will create the layers.
- Dust in flour and roll out evenly to around 7x7 square. Roll equally on all sides to get the square shape.
- Lightly grease the preheated griddle. Griddle should be on medium/hight heat. Place the rolled paratha on the hot griddle.
- Evenly spread another 1-2 tsp. oil on the top. Bubbles will appear on the surface. Flip and drizzle with some oil. Gently press sides with spatula. Both sides will get golden brown, take off.