It's a South Asian breakfast classic. It's crispy, oily, hearty and most importantly, deliciously satisfying - the mighty paratha. For many, especially in Pakistan, their mornings don't start well if a cup of chai is not accompanied with a glossy piece of hot paratha bread.
Most commonly associated with cuisine from Pakistan's eastern province of Punjab, this bread is eaten across the country. Often this type of flatbread is stuffed with fillings such as vegetables, cheese, meat or enjoyed plain, depending on the region's preferences.
Gulf News spoke to Saira Ahmed, a Pakistani expat and Managing Director at Little Lahore restaurant in Dubai, who hails from Punjab and shared her guide to making the perfect plain flaky paratha as well as a potato-filled version.
500gm wheat flour
50ml vegetable oil
Salt to taste
To prep: Mix all the ingredients and knead for five minutes. Leave it covered with a cloth on a bowl for about 10-15 minutes.
Roll out the dough in balls with your hands
For lachedaar paratha:
1. Flatten the dough ball in your hands and dust it with some wheat flour.
2. Roll it into a thin circle, similar to a chapatti or flatbread. Try to roll it as thin as possible.
3. Grease the chapatti with oil and sprinkle wheat flour over it once again.
4. Now, pleat it and then fold it into a Swiss roll. Stretch it as much as you can. Start folding it into a coil.
5. Secure the end by pressing gently.
6. Take the rolled ball and dust it with some wheat flour and start rolling it into a thin circle.
7. Now, on a hot chapatti pan, or tawa, place the rolled paratha carefully, avoid tearing it.
8. After a minute of cooking it on one side, flip it over.
9. Once golden brown spots start appearing on both sides, brush it with oil and cook it till it’s golden brown from both sides.
For aloo (potato) paratha:
You can use the same dough as the lachedaar paratha.
Ingredients for the potato stuffing:
500gm boiled potatoes Onion 1 small chopped
20gm whole coriander seeds
30gm cumin powder
3-4 chopped green chilies
20gm black pepper
10gm crushed red chili flakes
10gm red chili powder
Salt to taste
1. Mash the potato and add all the ingredients and mix.
2. Make two dough balls, flatten them and spread some potato filling on one round chapatti and cover with another. Seal corners the and roll it out.
3. Cook it on a hot chapatti pan and add oil on both sides and cook till brown and crispy from both sides, similar to the plain paratha.