Paratha: Prepared Practically Perfect

Since we may be relocating soon, mastering a paratha recipe has suddenly become pretty high on my to-do list. In fact, taking careful notes of all the delicious desi dishes that our house helper makes for us suddenly seems like life or death.

 

Indian recipes

 

I had never heard of paratha (or parantha) until we first visited India. It’s a common Indian street food and a popular breakfast or teatime snack, from what I understand. We occasionally have them for lunch and practically gorge ourselves on them.

 

For us western minded folks, I think the best description of a paratha is to call it a stuffed tortilla. Do I have your attention now? *salivates*

 

Paratha Recipe - an Indian dish that's equivilent to a stuffed tortilla!

 

Disclaimer: the recipes that I share on here are going to be laid back but I will do my best to gauge approximate directions. Our house helper is an excellent cook who works from memory and doesn’t measure. Yeah. So if you’re the kind of person who has to follow a recipe obsessively and exactly, well, I’m really sorry this is about to happen to you.

 

Paratha Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • flour (typically, finely ground whole wheat)

  • water

  • cooked vegetable

 

Bear with me.

 

 

There are many kinds of fillings to choose from. Potato paratha are quite common. For that you would peal, cook, and mash your potatoes first and set aside to cool. In this particular instruction we’re going to make cauliflower paratha, one of my favorites.

 

First, grate the raw cauliflower. We had a partial head of cauliflower lying around already.

 

how to make parantha

 

Cook the grated cauliflower in a bit of oil and salt over medium heat. It really only takes a few minutes to give it a quick cooking. Turn off heat and let cool.

 

how to make parantha

 

Now we’re going to make our dough. Start with roughly 3 cups of flour and hand mix in small amounts of water until you have a nice wet dough. When it’s sticky but not a complete messy glob that makes you want to kill yourself, give it a good pounding/kneading for a minute or two. Add more flour or water if necessary.

Are you hyperventilating yet? Okay okay, here’s a video.

 

 

Tada! Now you have a nice dough ball that’s still slightly sticky to touch. Set aside a bit of extra flour to help with our rolling.

 

paratha recipe

 

Pinch off a golf ball sized bit of dough. Give it a little balling up in your hands and then roll it out a couple of times until it fits nicely all the way across your hand. Place the rolled out dough in your hand and add a nice handful of filling to the center.

 

Paratha recipe

 

Pinch the sides up to seal.

 

Paratha recipe

 

And then flatten the pinched up side in your palm to help flatten it again. Dip in your loose flour and, working in a circular motion, hand shape it a little to make it a nice round, flattish shape again.

 

Paratha

 

Now dip it in the loose flour again on both sides and roll until it’s maybe 8 inches in diameter. It’s okay if you can see bits of your filling peaking through at thin spots.

Paratha

 

Now throw that puppy on your skillet/griddle that’s on medium high heat.

 

Paratha recipe

You can clearly see bits of cauliflower peaking through the paratha here. No bigs.

 

Cook for a couple of minutes on one side. Flip. Butter generously. Cook. Flip. Butter. If you’re a pro like our Ayah, the whole procession develops in a nice orderly rhythm and is over fairly quickly. Good luck with that. :)

 

And in case all those words up there are useless to you and you’re a visual creature like myself, below is a short video to make all my recipe rhetoric make sense.

 

 

On this day we also had some cheese paranthas. Same premise, but stuffed with shredded cheese instead of cauliflower. I think we ended up with about 16 parathas total.

how to make parantha

 

Serve hot with yogurt, pickled mango, chutney, or whatever you please.

 

Paratha recipe

Not winning any food blogger photography prizes.

 

It’s really not that complicated, especially if you already know your way around a ball of dough. If you’ve mastered tortillas, parathas should be a cinch.

 

Have you ever tried parathas before?

 

Jessica

Comments

  1. These sound and look very much like what we call “rotie” in Suriname – delicious with potato, even good with no filling. Never tried the cauliflower – that sounds great too. I never made them myself – they were so reasonable to purchase and we were always somewhere where that was possible! Used them to eat with – tear off a piece, use it to pull curry chicken off the bones. It’s making me homesick, just talking about it! :)

    • When we were in Sri Lanka I saw them on restaurant signs as “roty”. But around here roti is chapati. :)

      I haven’t tried to make them myself yet either. But I have made tortillas many times so I’m hoping it won’t be a complete disaster. She makes it look so easy.

  2. Thanks for posting the recipe and tutorial – I think I’ll try it myself now!

  3. Yum! I can only imagine the disaster zone my kitchen will be when I attempt to make these, but I will attempt it! Yum!

    • Well, don’t feel bad if they don’t look perfect and round. Our house helper is a pro with decades of practice. A much younger Indian friend confided in me that her parathas always end up triangle shaped. :)

  4. Nice!!! I will definitely try my hand at this one. Like other already mentioned, It reminds me of roti (which I just learned how to make last week) but possibly even more delicious: thank you for sharing!

  5. Well, as I am from India, all I can say is – perfect recipe. You could replace the cauliflower filling with potatoes or radish or peas or lentils. For non-vegetarians, the filling could well be minced meat or even egg! Try it and enjoy. I just love having them!

  6. Oh yummy. I wish there was somewhere in my town to have something Indian fabulous like this!

  7. Looks delicious! Much like Roti, which is my children’s favourite!

  8. My mom would be so proud of me if I surprised her and made this for her (I’m half Indian).

  9. Oh my gosh! This looks amazing! I would love it with the cauliflower.

  10. I live near little India so I’ve never tried to make this before but it looks delish! Thanks for the recipe – I’m saving it to attempt myself now :)

    • I feel ya, I’ve never needed to make them myself. But I know it’s a skill I’ll want in the future when I’m pining for them. :)

  11. Nicely captured. You should even try the potato parathas (aloo paranthas). My daughter totally digs on those.

  12. This is my kind of recipe, few ingredients and nothing to measure! And it sounds good. I might actually have to give this one a try. I love watching people around he cook, some of them make the most fantastic things look so easy :)

  13. Plain parathas and rotis are common for main course in India..even everyday meals. But yah, I totally love Aloo paratha(potato paratha). Best is when you have it with plain yogurt(jut add salt and pepper) and mango/lemon pickle!

  14. Haha I had a great laugh reading this, you’re funny! :)
    I loooove Indian food and these look delicious!!! I’m definitely gonna try these at home!

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