Preparing Indian flatbreads at home is, probably, a nightmare for many, though they thoroughly enjoy tucking into these exotic accompaniments for spicy curries and vegetable dishes. The fact is, these flatbreads can be easily made at home if you have one key ingredient – the ‘will’ to do so!
Given here are easy-to-do recipes for two most-popular Indian flatbreads, which anyone can prepare at home.
Caution: If you attempt these recipes just once, you will get addicted to them and your kitchen will soon become your favourite room.
This flatbread is much loved for its layered, flaky texture due to which it can be enjoyed with a curry or vegetable as well as eaten plain as a snack with tea. It is known so in north India where it is popular in restaurants as well as street corner ‘dhabas’ (eateries) as well as in south India where it is known as Kerala/Malabari Parotha.
1½ cups flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup vegetable oil/ghee
Mix the salt in one cup of warm water. Take a large kneading bowl, add both the flours and the salt water and mix well with a tablespoon in a circular motion until the dough combines well with the water. Now, knead it with your hands, adding a little flour, if its too sticky, to form a smooth dough. Coat the dough with a sprinkling of oil and set aside for 20 minutes. Now divide the dough into large lemon size balls.
Take one ball and roll it out with a rolling pin on a flat work surface. Brush the rolled out surface with oil and sprinkle a little dry flour over it. Now, fold over two cm of the top end, then fold the same portion for two cm backwards. In this way, create pleats till the entire rolled out portion becomes a strip of folds. Hold the strip together tightly, pull it along the two ends to make it a little longer, then place it on the work surface and coil it together to form a layered disc. Press it tightly and roll out again to a little more than half the previous diameter. Repeat with all the remaining balls.
Now heat a frypan or hot-plate, Place the rolled out paratha on it and fry both sides till golden. Sprinkle oil on both sides before removing from the hot plate. Serve hot with your favourite curry.
This flatbread with a stuffing is a complete meal and can be enjoyed all by itself. A popular accompaniment is mango/lemon pickle but one can also enjoy it with ketchup or whipped curds. The stuffing involves seasoned, mashed potatoes but this can also be replaced with seasoned, crushed paneer (cottage cheese).
2 cups flour
2tbsp oil or ghee
For the filling
2 small potatoes – boiled and mashed
1 small onion – minced
½tsp red chilli powder
¼tsp turmeric powder
½tsp garam masala
2 green chillies – minced
2tbsp chopped coriander
Mix salt in one cup water and add to the flour. Mix well and knead to form a smooth dough. Divide into four portions and roll in palms to form balls. Cover and set aside.
To make the filling, head 2tsp oil in a pan, add the onion and green chillies and saute for a minute. Then lower the heat and add spice powders followed by the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle salt and chopped coriander and mix well. Set aside to cool.
Now, take each ball and press to form an open shell. Place a spoonful of the filling in the centre and bring all the sides of the dough together to cover it and form a ball. Press all sides together to seal the centre well. Now place on rolling surface and gently pat it to flatten. With a rolling pin, gently flatten it more to form a thick disc, about 12-15cm in diameter. Repeat the same for all four balls.
Heat a hot plate and fry each paratha on both sides drizzling oil or ghee. Remove when golden brown and serve with mango pickle or ketchup.