Bread is an integral part of Indian cuisine. The whole world now knows and admires Indian breads but still there are many varieties that although are hugely popular back home but still did not get much attention outside. Lachha Paratha (layered Indian pan fried flatbread) is one such bread. So today I decided to quickly share the recipe for one of my favorite ways to eat a paratha.
If you watch some of the expert Indian chefs/cooks you will know making a perfectly layered, soft yet crisp lachcha paratha is an art. Throwing a rolled out piece of dough up in the air, balancing it delicately enough to make it paper thin is not everyone’s cup of tea. But don’t worry even if throwing a piece of dough in the air and in return getting a flatbread in hand is not necessarily your forte you still can cook some Lachha paratha. The main trick is in the dough and in rolling it out. You don’t even need a million spices or ingredients for it. Just the four ingredients in the photograph above- Flour, salt, ghee (you can also use olive oil or butter) and ajwain seeds/Carom seeds (this is totally optional so technically you only need three ingredients) plus water. Lets see how.
2½ cups Wheat Flour + extra for dusting (I used durum atta flour)
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp ghee/Oil + extra for rolling and pan frying
1 cup + 2 tbsp milk, lukewarm
Combine flour, salt and 1 tbsp ghee/oil in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add milk. Knead for 5 minutes to form soft dough. Cover with a damp cloth. Set aside for 5 minutes. You can follow these steps for kneading a flour for roti or paratha.
Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead well for 1-2 minutes. Divide into 8 parts. Roll each into a ball.
Dust rolling board with flour. Roll dough ball into thin circle 4½ -5” (11.5-12.7 cm) wide. Brush 1/2- 1 tsp oil on surface. Sprinkle 1 tsp flour. Lift one side of dough and fold into 1” (2.5 cm) pleats, layered one over other. Stretch the two ends elongating the pleated dough. Roll up into spirals from one edge to the other (kind or like the cinnamon bun). Tuck loose end underneath. Press gently with palm. Follow the same method for all dough balls. Cover with a damp cloth. Set aside for 5 minutes. While pleating, substitute 1 tsp (5 mL) of flour with a choice of spice blend like chaat masala or pani puri masala, sugar or herbs to add variations.
Dust rolling board with flour. Roll each spiral into a circle 3½ -4” (8.8-10.2 cm). Lightly dust dough to prevent sticking.
Heat skillet on medium high. Place rolled dough onto skillet. Cook for 18-20 seconds or until dough turns darker and small bubbles break the surface. Flip. Cook for 18-20 seconds. Brush ghee/oil on surface. Flip. Cook for 15-18 seconds or until golden brown spots appear on the surface. Flip. Repeat. Remove from skillet when both sides are cooked.
Serve hot with a side of curry, chutney or raita.