One of the most delicious breakfast dishes to have originated from the Indian subcontinent is the paratha. Like most foods across human cultures all over the globe, parathas too tell you a story , a story of a dish which transcends boundaries in Indian culture’s complexities and social divisions and is both a working man’s dish as well as a regal one depending on the way it is prepared. Besides their delicious taste, parathas are rather easy on your budget, requires minimal preparation and the best part is you can provide your own interpretation and use it like a painter uses a canvas.
Parathas are unleavened, layered, flatbreads which are typically made by baking on a flat griddle called the “tava” finished with oil or ghee. The basic paratha is made with whole wheat flour, however as mentioned earlier it is a painter’s canvas hence a myriad of ingredients including but not limited to coriander, daikon, cabbage, mutton, eggs, corn , garlic, chick peas, paneer (cottage cheese), carrot, green peas, potato, chicken have been used. Varieties differ from region , cities, neighborhoods and households. This dish has also gained popularity outside the Indian subcontinent in South East Asia and the Caribbean courtesy of the Indian immigrants who introduced the dish.
This spicy paratha is a family recipe which involves blending a variety of grain and legume flours along with spices adding a very unique flavor. In some parts of India , parathas are eaten with yogurt, hence serving them with tzatziki makes perfect sense. It retains the yogurt base but packs a bigger punch in terms of flavor complimenting the spicy taste of the parathas
For the paratha
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup Bengal gram flour
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon carom seeds
- 2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
- A pinch of asafetida powder
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/4th cup water
- 2 tablespoons Ghee
- Scallions for garnish
For the Tzatziki
Refer to my earlier recipe for making tzatziki here.
1. In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients and mix properly. Then add the oil and mix again thoroughly.
2.Make a well in the center and gradually add the water and mixing the dough with your fingers and knead till a smooth and firm dough is formed. If the water is insufficient add more water.
3. Divide the kneaded dough into small 1.5” diameter sized balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out the balls into round shaped breads. Ensure that the breads are evenly rolled out prior to frying. The thickness of the breads should not be more than 2 mm (approx, basically they are thin flatbreads ).
4. Heat a flat round girdle pan and add one rolled out dough and cook on dry heat (medium heat) for 1.5 minutes per side and flip over and cook to give a lightly roasted appearance. Please note cooking times vary on the degree of heat. Higher the heat lower the cooking time.
5. When brown spots have started appearing add 1 teaspoon ghee and flip over to ensure the ghee is evenly coated. Remove from the pan and place it on a kitchen towel to absorb any excess ghee sticking to the surface.
6. Repeat for the remaining breads. Serve with tzatziki and scallions as shown in the picture.