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Plain Paratha
Plain Paratha, a type of flatbread, is staple food in many parts of India. It is popular in other South Asian countries as well. The paratha is lightly oiled and salted and made with unfermented whole wheat flour dough. Each meal in a typical Indian household includes a curried vegetable or meat and is eaten with either rice or Indian flatbreads. Plain Paratha is the most common type of Indian flatbread that complements the vegetable and meat dishes.

For making parathas, the dough is divided into small equal-sized balls that are flattened with a rolling pin. When flat and round, it is then cooked on a flat griddle.

Making dough and rolling into flatbreads is really simple. However, you need to practice a few times to get the best results. This is one of the healthiest breads you can eat and serve, and is worth trying.

Happy Cooking!
Ingredients
Serves 3 to 4
Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup for dough and 1/2 cup for rolling
Salt
1/4 teaspoon
Water
1/2 cup (8 oz cup)
Olive Oil
3 tablespoons
Carom Seeds
1/8 teaspoon or a generous pinch
Method
Step 1
Please note that in addition to the ingredients listed above, you'd need a rolling pin, a rolling board, and a cast iron or non-stick flat-round griddle (also called tawa) for making any Indian flat bread.

We will start with making dough for the parathas. For making dough:
  • Put the wheat flour in a mixing bowl.

  • Add the cumin seeds and salt to the wheat flour, and mix the ingredients well.

  • Pour water a little at a time (about an ounce) to the flour, and mix properly with hands until the dry flour is all absorbed.

Depending on the brand of whole wheat flour, you may need a little less or more than 1/2 cup of water to make dough with 1 cup wheat flour.

Make sure that the dough does not stick to your hands and to the sides of the bowl. If it sticks that means the dough is more moist than needed. To fix this, sprinkle some flour to the dough and mix again.
Step 2
Now, knead the dough by pressing it with your fist to stretch it out, and then fold it back. Repeat this 4 to 5 times, until the dough is smooth and uniform.
Step 3
Cover the dough, and let it sit for 10 minutes for making smooth textured parathas. After about 10 minutes:
  • Divide the dough into equal lime sized portion. Dough made with 1 cup flour can be divided into 5 lime sized portion.

  • Take each portion and roll it between your palms to make smooth and round dough balls. Then slightly flatten it between your palms. Smooth dough balls make smooth textured parathas.
Step 4
Now, start rolling the dough balls into round flat breads, parathas. To roll parathas:
  • Take a flattened dough ball and coat it with dry flour.

  • Place the coated dough ball on a rolling board, and then with the help of a rolling pin roll it into a round 2 inches diameter disc.

  • Then coat the little dough disc again with dry flour and roll it bigger into a 4 inches disc.

  • Coat it again with dry flour and finally roll it into a 5 to 6 inches disc.
Similarly, roll a few more parathas before you start cooking them. Rolling takes more time than cooking on a griddle. It will be convenient if you have already rolled parathas in advance.
Step 5
Now, set the griddle/tawa on medium-high heat. The griddle needs to be hot enough for making parathas. To check if the griddle is ready, hold your hand at about 3 inches above the griddle. If you can feel the heat on your hand, your griddle is ready to cook.

Parathas will be tough or chewy if cooked slowly on low heat. It takes about 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high heat for the griddle to be ready for cooking.
Step 6
For cooking parathas:
  • Put one rolled paratha on griddle. In a few seconds, you will see bubbles on the surface facing griddle.

  • Flip it over and spread 1/2 teaspoon oil evenly on the surface, and cook for about 30 seconds.

  • Flip it over again and spread 1/2 more teaspoon oil on the other side. Bring the heat down to medium and cook for another 30 to 40 seconds by pressing the paratha with a spatula to cook it evenly.

  • Flip the paratha a few more time and cook by pressing with spatula. When you see golden brown spots on both sides, your paratha is ready.

  • Set the heat again to medium-high before putting your next paratha on griddle.
Repeat steps 4 and 6 to roll and cook all parathas.
Step 7
Enjoy your parathas with vegetable or meat dish of your choice. Or stuff them with your favorite meat, vegetable, or beans to make rolls.

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