Also known as chapathi, plain paratha is an unleavened bread that's
made with wheat flour. The dough is folded over a couple of
times giving it a puffy, layered, and flaky texture. Parathas are a
staple of Indian vegetarian meals.
1/4 cup vegetable oil or ghee (clarified ghee) for
1/2 cup wheat flour for rolling
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add
water, a little at a time, to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for
4-5 minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky, and should hold
an impression of your fingertips when pressed. Add a little flour if
the dough is sticky. Coat the dough with 1 tsp oil, cover and set aside
for 10-15 minutes.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, coat
your hands with a little oil and knead the dough for a couple of
Heat a tava, (iron or nonstick griddle) on
While the griddle is heating up, divide the dough
into 10 equal portions and roll each portion between your palms to form
a smooth ball. Cover and set aside.
Place one of the dough balls on a lightly floured
surface, and with a rolling pin, roll it to a 3-inch circle. Brush the
top evenly with oil, and fold over to form a
semi-circle. Brush the top of this semi-circle with oil, and fold in
half again to form a triangle. Roll it out approximately 3 more inches
to make a larger triangle, about 7-8 inches, and 1/16-inch thick.
Make sure the tava or griddle is hot (sprinkle a few
drops of water, if the water evaporates quickly, the tava is ready.)
Add 1/4 tsp oil to the tava to coat it evenly and wipe off with a paper
towel or kitchen towel.
Place the plain paratha on the tava. After 10
it starts to puff up a bit, turn it over with a spatula. Brush oil
evenly over the paratha. Turn it over again, and brush oil on top.
Press on the edges of the paratha with the spatula to make it puff up,
and cook on both sides for 5-10 seconds, until you see brown spots on
both sides. Remove on a plate.
Repeat with the remaining dough, adjusting the heat
Serve the plain paratha immediately. Parathas taste
best hot off the griddle. If you need to store them, stack one on top
of the other, and wrap in foil to keep them warm for a couple of hours.
If you don't have chapathi flour, you can use 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat
flour and 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour.
You can use a food processor to mix the dough. Combine the flour, salt,
and oil, and pulse until crumbly. With the machine running, add the
water through the feed tube steadily and process until the dough comes
together into a ball, and comes off the sides of the bowl.
Chapathis stay fresh for a day when wrapped in foil or stored in a
covered container. If you want to store them for a longer period, wipe
the parathas gently with paper towels to absorb any moisture, and then
wrap in foil and refrigerate. They remain fresh for up to 2 days. To
serve, thaw for 5 -10 minutes and heat them up on the griddle.