Parathas

This is the first time I’ve ever tried to make Parathas. I eat curry a lot – as you can probably tell from this blog. I make a curry weekly, and days I’m not posting, truthfully, I’m probably eating leftover curry out of the freezer. I really love curry, but we’ve talked about this before. The thing is, no matter what I seem to do to rice (pilau rice, coconut rice, mushroom rice, lemon rice), I just don’t want to eat it as often as I eat curry. I just don’t. So what do you eat with your curry when you can’t face another bowl of rice?  Bread, that’s what. My favourite bread to eat with curry is naan bread, of course, but I didn’t have the courage to attempt them this time – thinking I would start with what I was promised was – easy!

parathas

Well, sure, its not impossible at all, but I think its something you get better at with practice unless you are a born baker. I found it to be one of those times where the food showed me that actually, I was not boss in my kitchen for once and by the time I had made just 6 pieces, it was definitely time to stop. Still, as a first effort it was fairly creditable and we all have to start somewhere. I would make enough for 2-3 pieces per person so I’ve made 6. If the instructions sound quite complex, they’re really not, you just have to do it and it will make itself clear.

  • 90g plain wholemeal flour
  • 90g plain white flour
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 75 ml tepid water
  • ghee, or vegetable lard, like Trex

Place the flour, salt, water and oil in a bowl. Mix together with your hands until it comes together into a ball- be prepared to add a little more water if its too dry. Its too dry if it doesn’t pick up all the flour in the bowl, its too wet if it sticks to your hands. Anyway, put it on a floured surface and knead, for 10 minutes until its smooth then cover – plastic bag is ideal, and leave for at least 30 minutes. I made mine mid afternoon, put it in a bag and put in the fridge til dinnertime and it was just fine.

When you’re ready to make your parathas, and I would recommend having your main ready to go and warm at this point, because you don’t want to concentrate on anything else, especially if you, like me, are new and/or inept. Get a large heavy frying pan. This is the bit where you need to concentrate.

Divide the dough into six. Put the pan on the heat, and brush it with a little ghee or Trex. Cover the pieces you are not using. Now, roll out the dough into a circle roughly 6 inches in diameter on a floured surface. With a pastry brush, brush some ghee or  melted Trex onto the circle and fold it in half. Brush that half with more fat and then fold it in half again. You should be looking at at triangle. Roll out the triangle again until its 7 inches from top to base. I must confess I wasn’t great at this bit, my triangles were more rhomboid in truth. Now, put the paratha on the hot, oiled pan and cook for one minute. Brush the top of the paratha with more fat (I know, this isn’t for you if you’re on weightwatchers) and then turn it over. The bottom should have brown spots on it. Cook the other side for about 30 seconds, moving it in the heat a few times so its evenly cooked.

Put the cooked paratha on a plate and cover with an upturned plate of bit of foil. Cook until you’ve done all your paratha. Serve with the Beef in Yoghurt and Pepper and Spicy Green Beans.

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