These fried Indian breads are delicious not made very often as they are fried in butter/ghee, so we save them for a special occasion. They are heavier than roti, flaky and crispy and one is often enough, especially if you are filling it. You can serve these as an accompaniment to your rice and curry or have it for lunch.
3 Cups flour (You can use 2 cups of plain flour and 1 wholemeal, or chapatti flour if its available)
½ tsp salt (optional)
1 tbl melted ghee/butter and extra for cooking
1 cup quite warm water
Sift the flour and make a well, add the ghee/butter and the water and knead into a soft pliable dough. Knead for 8-10 min and then place in a bowl and cover for 20 min.
Divide the dough into 8-10 portions, roll each portion out into a circle, 16-18 cm (it does not have to be perfect. Brush the entire surface with the melted butter /ghee (at this point you can add your flavourings) and then starting at the edge of the bread roll into a tight log (a little bit like a Swiss roll). Then coil the roll into a tight disc, flatten with your palm and roll out again into a circle, dusting with flour as you go. Aim to get around 16-18 cm circle.
Heat a non-stick pan or flat griddle pan and add some melted butter or ghee, gently add the paratha and cook for about 10 sec, flip over and drizzle more melted butter/ghee around the edges, tipping the pan so its evenly distributed, flip with a spatula again until its golden and crispy, set aside and cover with foil, you can leave in a warm oven until you have cooked them all.
Some favourite flavourings are -:
1 tsp whole cumin and a small bunch of ground fresh coriander mixed with the melted butter/ghee to brush before rolling into a log
1-2 tsp of dukkah mix added with some chilli flakes (optional) for a spicy kick, again mixed with the melted butter/ghee to brush before rolling into a log
Spicy and tangy mash potato – boil 3-4 small potatoes with salt, once soft, add ¼ tsp of chilli powder and a squeeze of lemon juice, and a small handful of fresh finely chopped coriander or spinach (optional), mix well. Using a spoon gently spread a thin layer on a rolled out paratha, and then roll into the swiss roll log, coil and flatten and roll out. It is important here not to stuff too much onto the paratha as it will end up with holes and not roll out smoothly, with the topping leaking out. Once you have done this a few times, you can experiment with other boiled vegetables or finely minced lamb or beef.
Enjoy. Till next time.