East or west Parathas are the best…
I miss a lot about India, but most of all I miss the food. Especially my mothers cooking. I don’t know what it is about mothers and their cooking, its like a slice of heaven in every bite. One of the things my mum makes are these perfectly square, really simply but utterly delicious namkeen parathas. These bad boys were a perfect accompaniment to delicious curries, dals and subzis (spiced vegetables) from Mumma’s kitchen.
Since moving to Australia I never really made Indian flatbreads at home, after all ordering a butter drenched naan from my favourite takeaway restaurant was easier. Then one day the craving for namkeen parathas struck and it was motivation enough to get my hands dirty.
Now its time for you to get your hands dirty and enjoy the lip smackingly delicious namkeen parathas.
Ingredients: 5 Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves : 6
- 500 gms of plain wholemeal flour
- 250 ml of water
- Plain flour (extra to dust the parathas)
- Ghee or olive oil (to brush the parathas)
- Salt to taste
In a bowl sieve the flour, I recommend getting the flour from your Indian grocer as the plain flour in the supermarkets does not yield soft parathas. Add water and knead the dough (this is such a therapeutic process, particularly if you have had a rough day), let the dough rest for 15 – 20 minutes prior to making the parathas.
Once the dough is rested break it up into six equal parts and roll the dough into a round ball. Then flatten the dough ball by placing it between your palms and dust it with plain flour.
Roll out the dough into a medium sized circle, season with a pinch of salt.
Now its time to layer the parathas to get that perfect square paratha. Take one side of the circle, fold it to the centre and do the same for the other side. Now take the two ends of each side and fold them to the centre. Dust the square with some plain flour and roll it out.
Time to cook our namkeen parathas. Heat a frying pan or tava. Dust the excess flour off the paratha by flipping it between your palms and place it in the pan.
Cook one side for about one to two minutes and flip it to the other side. Once the paratha is light browned on both sides brush it with ghee or olive oil. Cook the paratha on each side for one minute. Your namkeen paratha is now ready!
Place the paratha on a plate and cover with aluminium foil, repeat the same procedure with the remaining five dough balls.
Namkeen parathas can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I served mine for breakfast with Indian style scrambled eggs that were cooked with onion, chilli and coriander and a side of pickle. You can find a similar scrambled eggs recipe with onion, parsley and cheese here, simply replace the parsley with coriander, add fresh green chillies and drop out the cheese for Indian style scrambled eggs…
Enjoy your namkeen parathas, you have earned them!