It’s winter. And the days are a lot shorter here. Which is great since I get to sleep in for longer. But it’s not so when I’m in a flurry to get everything ready by 5pm. Because a flock of loved ones are arriving soon after.
Child minding, cleaning and cooking for one who has very little experience, can I say, isn’t very easy! And it isn’t when you can randomly decide to make parathas an hour and a half before they come! Especially if you’ve had a horrid mess-of-an-experience with their Aloo species before.
This time, though, I decided I’m skipping the “Aloo” part, and sticking to just “parathas”. So I look up a recipe, get bombarded with a million. I chose one randomly, then somehow got mixed up with my tabs and did a chapati-paratha recipe. I read the flour from one, and the oil from the other, and then the milk from one, but water from the other, to the first step from one, and then the other.
I’m amazed it turned out so well after all – hence the post’s title! I put together below the recipe I ended up using, so you don’t face a big mucky mess like I almost ran into!
Serves: 10 (2 for each)
5 cups plain or wholewheat flour
1 1/3 cups milk, plus 1/4 cup more
8 tablespoons of any cooking oil, plus a cup for brushing
A very large pinch of salt and a very large pinch of your favourite curry powder, I used madras curry powder, mixed together.
You will need about half a teaspoon of each of the two for each paratha you make.
There are two ways of doing this.
Measure out about 10 tsps of salt and another 10 of curry powder and add it to the flour.
Mix in very well. Sift the flour if you really want to, but I didn’t.
Add the wet ingredients and knead to form a soft dough.
Add the flour, cooking oil and milk together and knead to a soft dough.
When you are rolling the parathas, rub in the salt and curry powder mixture and continue rolling to disperse the flavour.
I did option two, both give (almost) the same result. Option two gives a more yellow colour colour and nice texture to the parathas.
Leave the dough to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Break into segments, somewhere between a golf ball and baseball in size.
Dip into flour and begin to roll using a floured rolling pin.
Just when you think there’s no more chance of it rolling any thinner, brush with oil and flip, then continue rolling.
Meanwhile keep a hot pan ready. Keep the heat on medium for the entire time, if it’s too hot then the paratha will burn without cooking properly.
Before putting in the paratha brush generously with oil and place it oiled side down on the pan, when it bubbles, before flipping, again brush very heavily with oil. It should be almost soaked, because this is what it keeps it soft and flavoursome.
After flipping, brush the top (cooked) side with a bit more oil.
When it’s ready – a golden colour will appear where it became bubbly, remove from the pan and place in a folded tea towel.
Repeat this rolling/oiling/cooking process until all are done.
Garnish with finely diced coriander and serve with some butter chicken curry and rice.
Rolling isn’t easy. It’s hard making nice circles… :(