Paratha is Indian flat bread that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Paratha is whole wheat flat bread and staple bread in north India. Parathas can be made either plain or stuffed with different fillings. Paratha is an amalgamation of the words ‘parat’ and ‘atta’ which literally means layers of cooked dough.
Paratha is known as palata in Burma while it is known as farata in the Maldives. It is one of most popular unleavened flat breads in Indian cuisine, Pakistani cuisine and Bengali cuisine and is made by frying the flat whole wheat bread on a tawa. The paratha dough usually contains ghee or cooking oil which is also layered on the freshly prepared paratha. Paratha is excellent Indian flat bread which can be made plain or stuffed with vegetables such as boiled potatoes, leaf vegetables, radishes, cauliflower and paneer. They are commonly known as spinach paratha (stuffed with spinach leaves), aloo paratha (stuffed with potatoes), mooli ka paratha (stuffed with radish) and so on….., kheema paratha is an exceptionally delectable breakfast snack from the Hyderabadi and Mughlai cuisine.
A stuffed paratha can be eaten simply with a blob of butter spread on top or chutney, a spicy sauce made from yogurt and fresh herbs (raita), but it is best served with pickles and yogurt, or thick spicy curries of meat and vegetables. Now day’s people very much prefer to roll up the paratha and eat it with tea or they put the curry in the center of the plain paratha adding over some finely chopped onions and green chilies, roll and enjoy the taste. This is commonly known as Frankie kathi roll. It is one of the trendy and classic fast foods, easy to carry, and a popular take away food/ snack. Paratha can be eaten anytime during breakfast, lunch or dinner. It can also be eaten during snack time dipped in tea or coffee. A soft plain paratha is generally cut into small pieces, soaked in milk until soft and fed to kids that are extremely healthy and nutritious.
A paratha can be of any shape like round, heptagonal, square or triangular. In the former, the stuffing is mixed with the kneaded flour and the paratha is prepared as roti is, but in the latter two, the peda (ball of kneaded flour) is flattened into a circle, the stuffing is kept in the middle and the flatbread is closed around the stuffing like an envelope. Traditionally, people make the paratha using ghee but some people also use oil or bake it in the oven for health reasons.
Making the parathas is very simple and easy to prepare at home. For preparing the paratha, firstly bring the butter to room temperature if you are using butter. Mix flour and little salt with required water to make soft and firm dough. Rub oil over and knead until soft. Let it rest for an hour.
With help of a rolling pin, take lemon sized dough and roll this small round ball applying some butter/ ghee to it. Fold into two again and fold the same. Start rolling to form a triangle. Heat a flat pan or tava, when it gets hot, add the paratha and let it cook for a minute. When it starts to get small bubbles turn around and add a small teaspoon of oil around the paratha. When the brown spots appear take it out and keep in a covered box and serve hot.
Now paratha is popularly made all throughout the world. Do try this recipe, do click on the below link for detailed recipe:
Parathas are commonly eaten with yoghurt or with vegetables. They are often consumed with meat dishes, especially chicken, but don't combine well with high oil content foods such as curries.