Parathas are flatbreads usually made from wheat flour with or without a savory vegetable stuffing. Paratha is famous food in India, but also in the neighboring countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and beyond.
Variations of this humble flatbread include ones stuffed with a spicy potato filling called Aloo Paratha. Modern renditions even include parathas stuffed with copious amounts of cheese.
Parathas are usually served with mint coriander chutney, thick yogurt, and dollops of homemade butter.
It is a versatile dish eaten during any part of the day. Check out the traditional paratha recipe below.
Paratha/ Indian Flatbread
- 2 cup Chapati flour a fine milled whole wheat flour also known as atta or rotli no lot
- 4.5 tbsp Vegetable Oil or ghee separated
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 /3 cup Water you may need a few extra tablespoons
- 1/2 cup Rice flour for rolling. You can also use all purpose flour or chapati flour instead but rice flour will give you a softer texture
How to Make Paratha:
- In a large bowl, combine the wheat flour or atta and salt. Mix well to combine.
- Add 2 tbsp of oil or ghee. Blend the oil in with your fingers until a sandy texture is formed.
- Slowly add water, a little at a time, and knead the dough. Remember to only add water as needed to ensure the dough is well hydrated but not too watery. If you feel you’ve added too much water, a couple of spoons of flour and kneading should sort it out. It should be soft and slightly sticky
- Knead the dough for a good 5 to 7 minutes, stretching and forming the gluten as this will ensure a flaky and crispy paratha.
- Coat the prepared dough with oil and cover it with a damp cloth, allowing it to rest for half an hour.
- Once the dough has rested, knead it for a few minutes.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts. Form each part into a 4-inch log. Cut the logs into one-inch pieces, creating eight equal pieces of dough.
- Roll each piece of dough between your palms forming a ball and then press the ball between your palms to flatten it, creating a disc shape.
- Take one disc of dough, make sure to cover the rest so they don’t dry out, and press both sides into wheat flour.
- Then roll the disc into about a 4-inch round. Spread a 1/4 tsp of oil or ghee onto the surface and sprinkle a pinch of wheat flour on top. Fold the circle into quarters and then roll it back into a disc.
- Dip the disc back into the flour and roll it out into a 6-inch round. Feel free to dip back into the flour if the paratha starts to stick to the surface as you’re rolling.
- Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet or a tawa (a cast iron pan specifically made for making flatbreads with a heavy bottom) over medium-low heat. Transfer the rolled-out paratha to the pan. Let cook until you see bubbles forming.
- Flip the paratha over using a spatula. Drizzle 1/2 tsp of oil or ghee onto the side that was just cooked and spread it around with your spatula.
- Let cook for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. You will see more bubbles forming and you can check to make sure the paratha is ready to flip by lifting a side of the paratha and peeking under. If you see a few reddish-brown spots beginning to form, it’s ready.
- Turn the heat up to high and flip the paratha one more time.
- This time, press onto the paratha with your spatula for about 30 to 40 seconds. This will help it puff up.
- Flip the paratha back over and press the other side with your spatula for a few seconds.
- Turn the heat back down to medium-low.
- Stack the paratha on a plate and keep covered with a tea towel until ready to serve.