Cooking hack: Tips for soft parathas

Parathas are griddle fried, Indian flatbreads. These unleavened breads are easy to make and are a favorite in our home. Made with whole wheat, water, and ghee/olive oil for a vegan alternative, it’s a healthy and delicious alternative to store bought flour tortillas or rotis.

When we got married, Nilesh remembers waking up every morning where the aroma of ghee beckoned him to the kitchen. There the cook barely kept up rolling out parathas as Nilesh would wolf them down as soon as they came off the tava/pan.

Today, the kids and Nilesh relish it anytime of the day – with scrambled eggs for breakfast, rolled up with jam and cheese as a snacks, or for lunch and dinner accompanied with curries.

Making them doesn’t really take much time. And they are so delicious, shape doesn’t really matter. You will need a rolling pin, a pan or griddle to cook it on, whole wheat dough, a dash of salt, olive oil or ghee and you are ready to go.

Here is the recipe along with tips to make them soft.

Warm water: use lukewarm water to knead the dough. Add water in batches. Knead gently. Dough should not be too soft or too firm.

Ghee or olive oil: a tablespoon of warm ghee or olive oil added while kneading not only gives it a different aroma, but will make it softer.

Cover the dough and let it rest: after kneading the dough, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10-30 minutes. Not only will it keep the moisture in, it allows the dough to rise slightly the dough should be semi soft

Add milk or yogurt: adding room-temperature yogurt or warm milk while kneading, enhances the texture and makes and keeps the parathas soft

Rolling the parathas: parathas should be rolled slightly thicker than chapatis

Stove temperature: don’t cook them on too low or too high a flame. Cook on medium flame and add ghee when you see brown spots on the paratha and lower the flame to complete cooking. Move the paratha around on the tava and keep applying a little pressure with the back of a spoon or spatula to cook evenly.

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