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Paratha Three Ways

If these flaky, slightly crisp flatbreads are a favourite of yours, you’ll be delighted to know you can prepare and cook them in minutes. There is a knack to them, but you will pick it up very quickly. These are two of my favourite parathas, but you can add anything you like.

Paratha Three Ways

Makes 10 breads

200-220ml water
300g chapatti flour (atta), plus extra to dust
small bowl of vegetable oil, ghee or melted butter
good pinch of salt

Mix the water into the flour and knead until you have a smooth dough. Make a long log from the dough, then divide it into 10 balls. Cover.

Heat a tava (an Indian flat griddle pan) or a non-stick frying pan. Taking one ball of dough at a time, roll it out into a 15cm circle, using a little extra flour.

Spread ¼ tsp of oil, ghee or butter over the surface, sprinkle over a little salt and a fine scattering of flour, plus any flavourings you want to use (or simply leave them plain).

Starting with the far edge of the bread, roll towards you into a very tight log (Swiss-roll style), then use your palms to roll this log a bit longer and thinner.

Coil the log on itself in a tight circle and pat down into a thick disc. Flour both sides and roll out into a 15-17.5cm circle again.

Pat off the excess 
flour and place on the hot pan, increasing heat to medium-high. Cook until light brown spots appear 
on the underside, around 
10-15 seconds.

Turn over and spread ¼ tsp more oil, ghee or butter over the surface. (I spread it with the back of a spoon.)

Flip the bread again and repeat with more oil. Using the edge of a knife, make small slashes over the bread (this will help it crisp up).

Turn once again and repeat the slashes. By now the bread should be done, with some lovely golden brown spots on both sides.

Keep the bread warm by wrapping in a napkin or some foil and keeping it in a low oven while you make the rest.

Serve parathas hot or at room temperature.

Flavour variations

Spicy
Sprinkle a pinch of each of carom seeds and chilli powder over each bread with the salt, then flour, roll and cook as in the main recipe.

Mint
Sprinkle ¾ tsp dried mint over each bread with the salt, then flour, roll and cook as in the main recipe.

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