You know that, people who ask you what your favorite food is? As a foodie , that’s just not it. at. to do. Yet Indian cuisine comes dangerously close. Varied, spicy and real comfort food: yup, we are fans.
We have been eating naan with our curries for a while, but today we are introduced to another Indian flatbread: paratha.
Paratha was eaten centuries ago by Indian sultans, and is still very popular, especially in Northern India, but also Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.
What is paratha?
Paratha is a combination of parat , meaning ‘layers’, and atta , meaning (whole wheat) flour. It is a form of unleavened flatbread, which is made in a somewhat similar way to puff pastry: the dough is rolled out and refolded several times, with ghee in between. The bread is therefore thicker than, for example, chapati.
Fun fact : parathas are often round, but sometimes also have geometric shapes, partly due to traditional folding techniques.
Paratha is eaten ‘loose’, but is often also filled. A well-known dish is, for example, aloo paratha: aloo means potato and refers to the spicy potato mix with which the flatbread is often filled. Lentils, paneer and vegetables are also often folded through or between the dough.
Incidentally, not all paratha dough is made into layers; when the dough is filled, this is often omitted. The customs of dough and filling also differ per population group.
The dough is baked on a tawa, a kind of (stone) frying pan that is also used to make roti. Then it is fried in a small layer of oil; hence the golden brown color.
How is it eaten?
Parathas are mainly eaten for breakfast, but are sometimes also served with tea (and even dipped in it!). It is often simply served with a knob of butter, but can also be eaten with chutney, ketchup or raita for example .
Sometimes it is even served as a dessert, with butter and caramelized sugar. Do you want!