A friend and colleague makes her own parathas; I felt inspired to make them and was pleased with the results. Paratha are eaten throughout the Indian sub-continent and come in many variations, often stuffed, This is my attempt at malabar or lachha/lachedar paratha, which are flaky and buttery due to the way they are folded with layers of ghee. They have become increasingly popular in our house and seem to have replaced any other form of wrap.
Makes six parathas
90g melted ghee/butter/vegan alternative – 40g for dough, 50g for brushing the parathas
225g plain flour
½ teaspoon of salt
100ml warm water
oil, to grease your work surface
1. Melt 40g of ghee/butter and mix with the flour and salt in a bowl. Rub the ghee into the flour until you have a mixture resembling breadcrumbs. Add the water, gradually and knead for five minutes, until the dough becomes smoother and softer. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave it to sit for an hour.
2. Once the dough has rested, grease a clean surface and melt the remaining 50g of ghee. Divide the dough into six equal sized balls.
3. On a clean, oiled surface, roll a ball of dough out into an 18cm circle and brush both sides with melted ghee. Roll the circle of dough up into a cigar shape.
4. Coil the ‘cigar’ up into a snail shape. Repeat with the remaining five balls of dough.
5. Put a frying pan over a medium heat and roll one of your snail coils out into an 18cm circle. Brush both sides with a melted ghee before placing it on the frying pan.
6. You’ll see the paratha start to bubble and puff up in places – turn it over to cook on the other side.
7. Once both sides are nicely cooked, put it on a tea towel and brush both sides with more melted ghee. Wrap the tea towel around the paratha to keep it warm while you cook the others.
You can take a slightly messier approach to rolling these – roll the dough out very thin – it’s fine if it’s wonky with thin patches and holes. You can then bunch it up like a concertina and wrap the dough around itself, a bit like a Scandinavian bun and re-roll into a circle.