Paratha is made of whole wheat chapatti flour. It is a richer version of chapatti. Freshly cooked crisp paratha, eaten as the cook is taking it off the griddle, is delicious! Makes 10-12-14.
500 gm. chapatti flour
2 tbsp. ghee or butter
2 tbsp. fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. salt
1 level tsp. carom seeds (ajwain)
300 ml. water approximately. Add a little more or a little less until you get a soft dough
Oil for pan frying
Save 2 tablespoon of dry flour in a plate, or use extra, for dusting during rolling out of parathas.
Place remaining flour and all other ingredients, except oil for pan frying, in a bowl. Add enough water and make a firm...ish dough. If you are new at making parathas, it is better to have a sightly firm dough, which is easier to control while rolling out. Experienced Indian cooks prefer a little softer dough, which make softer parathas.
Knead well for 2-3 minutes. Dough can be made quickly in a food processor but this will chops the mint leaves too fine, loosing some of the texture of the leaves.
Leave the dough to stand for 10 minutes or so. Knead briefly again.
Rolling out parathas:
Break dough into 10-12-14 portions (size is a personal choice) and roll them into balls, using a little dry flour to stop the dough from sticking to your hands.
Keep them aside, covered with a moist cloth. Rest of the process is done with one ball at a time. You roll out the next paratha while the previous one is cooking.
Start heating a griddle or tava.
Dip one ball in dry flour kept on a plate and roll it out to 5-6 inches or 14-15 cm. diameter.
Place 1/8 tsp. (a few drops) of oil on this circle and spread it out evenly. Putting oil in the centre helps the parathas to to be crisp.
Fold it like a concertina from one edge to other so you have a log piece of dough.
Now roll it into a coil and press the end gently into the centre. Now you have a flat ball.
Flatten this ball by hand gently. Then roll it into a circle of 5-6 inches or 14-15 cm. diameter. You may need to dip it in dry flour a couple of times on both sides during rolling out. Parathas should not be too thin, approximately 2-3 mm. thick, as very thin ones do not have a 'bite'.
Put the paratha on the hot griddle. Turn it over when it changes colour to semi-translucent and you can see a few blisters on the under-surface.
Cook the other side same way and turn over again.
Brush a little oil on both surfaces. This can be done with a small ladle or a soup spoon.
Press it gently all over, using a flat spatula, pressing it gently with a spatula, unyil crisp on both sides
Cook until crisp and nicely browned on both sides.
Serve hot with butter, pickles, vegetable curries of choice and may be a glass of Lassi or yoghurt.
Parathas can be made in advance, stacked on top of each other and wrapped in Aluminium foil. If you are making them to serve later, do not cook them until too crisp, just nicely browned. They can be re-heated before serving, either individually on a griddle or in a microwave - place 4-5 parathas spread out on a plate and heat for 2-3 minutes on maximum power.
They freeze quite well but should be defrosted properly before re-heating.