Thursday, May 06, 2010

How to Make Paratha

The Indian Paratha or the fried flatbread is perhaps one of most preferred form of breads eaten across Indian households. This variety of flatbread is easy-to-prepare, needs little expertise and doesn't need an accompanying dish. Flatbreads can be easily served with packaged pickles or even yogurt, since their own flavor is strong enough to tantalize the taste-buds of the consumer. However, the Paratha isn't that easy-to-handle for those who haven't understood the nuances of frying it to the required level or flavoring it in the appropriate manner. The following is an easy way of preparing the flatbread:

Ingredients Needed:
• Two cups of wheat flour (whole wheat)
• One teaspoon turmeric powder
• One teaspoon red chili powder
• One tablespoon salt
• Cooking oil
• Three teaspoons Ajwain (Carom Seeds)

Preparation Method:
1. Use a mixing bowl for kneading the flour. Pour the flour and all the accompanying ingredients like salt, carom seeds, red chili and turmeric into the bowl. Using some water, knead the dough until it develops a spongy texture. Don't allow the mixture to develop into a pool of lumps. Keep adding water until the dough gains a shiny, outer texture. This is perhaps the only laborious part of the entire process. You need to knead continuously until the dough settles into one, big ball. Once you have kneaded the dough, put it aside for about 20-30 minutes. Don't refrigerate it since this can hamper its overall suppleness.

2. After the waiting period, take small portions of the kneaded dough and craft them into small balls. Each dough ball should be a bit smaller than the expanse of the palm of your hand. Roll each dough ball until it gains a uniformly-rounded shape. Ensure there are no cracks on the outer surface of these dough balls.

3. Using a dough roller, roll one of the dough balls into a circular shape. Ensure that the edges aren't too thick or else they will hamper the consistent roasting of the Parantha. Ideally, the diameter of the rolled dough should not exceed the 8-inch mark, i.e. 8 inches in diameter.

4. Heat a cooking girdle. Using a tablespoon of oil, coat the entire surface with some oil. Allow the oiled girdle to heat for a few minutes. When the oil starts to smoke a bit, introduce the rolled dough on it. Almost immediately, small bubbles start appearing on the upper surface of the Parantha. This indicates that the heating from the underside is now taking effect.

5. Flip the Parantha, every 20 seconds or so. Ensure that you keep greasing the sides of the Parantha and its middle portion with minute drops of oil. When it seems that the Parantha has gained a brown-colored on all sides and the outer edges have developed a thick, crusty formation, remove it from the flame.

6. Serve this Parantha with a serving of yogurt, chutney or Indian pickles.

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