by Kris Dhillon
These are made with the same flour as chappatis, but they are layered with ghee before being cooked on the tava with more ghee brushed onto them. Vegetable oil is sometimes used instead of ghee and this is perfectly acceptable although I feel the ghee produces the best flavour. Alternatively you may use butter. This, because of the water content in butter, results in a softer, less crisp paratha which I love. It really is a matter of personal preference and convenience which you use, and you may like to try all three before making up your mind.
Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes approx.
· 8 oz (225g) chappati flour plus extra for dusting (see page 37)
· 4 fl. oz (110ml) water (approximately)
· 6 tablespoon melted ghee
· make the dough as for chappatis and leave to rest for 15-30 minutes.
· Put the tava or cast-iron frying pan onto a medium heat. Meanwhile divide the dough into 6-8 equal portions.
· Take one portion with floured hands and roll into a ball.
· Place the ball of dough into the flour and press flat, dusting on both sides.
· Roll out into a six inch (15cm) round, and brush the surface with melted ghee.
· Now fold by taking opposite sides and folding until they meet in the middle. You should have a long rectangular shape.
· Brush the top surface again with melted ghee and fold, this time bringing in the ends of the rectangle to meet in the middle.
· Brush the dry surface for the final time with melted ghee and fold into half. You should have a square.
· Place this in the flour, press flat, and roll out into a eight inch (20cm) square.
· Pat between your hands and slap onto the hot tava. Cook for about 30 seconds whilst brushing the top surface with ghee. Turn over.
· Again brush the surface uppermost with the ghee and turn over, having given the second side 30 seconds.
· Continue to cook the first side for a further 30 seconds whilst brushing more melted ghee on the top surface.
· Turn over for the final time and cook for a further few seconds.
· Both sides should have reddish brown spots. The frequent turning over ensures even cooking.
· Put the paratha on a plate lined with a large piece of aluminium foil. Fold over the foil to keep the paratha warm while you make all the parathas in this way.
· Like chappatis, parathas are best eaten immediately but are quite good reheated.