Malabar, Laccha, Paratwala, Lachedar Paratha, whatever you call it, this Indian bread is delicious and unique. Parat in punjabi means “layers” which is exactly what this bread has. What makes it unique is the flaky interior and crispy exterior. Think croissant but with less butter and not as labor intensive.
You can easily find these babies at any Indo-Pak grocery stores, typically labeled as “Malaysian Paratha” but you can easily make them at home. Yes, it is a bit more time consuming than your typical roti or chapati but trust me it’s totally worth the effort. Plus you get a good arm workout which does not hurt anyone.
The key is pleating the dough to create those layers. If you’re an expert with pleating a sari, this should come naturally to you but for someone like me who is not an expert with pleats (oops!), it may take some time but it’s definitely doable.
The final key is cooking this on medium-low heat. What you want to do is sear the outside to create the crispy exterior but then slowly cook the inside to create the layers. You’ll end up with a doughy inside if you rush this step.
Also, do NOT leave out the sugar in this recipe. The sugar will not give this paratha any sweetness; it will just brown the outside of it which will not occur if you omit the sugar.
These parathas go well with any curries, vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Now lets get to the recipe! Scroll down to see pictures.
- 1.5C All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp neutral flavored oil (vegetable, canola…), plus extra for rolling out the dough
- ~1C water, you may need more or less
- In a bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix well
- Add 1/2 tbsp and incorporate well into the flour. Make sure to remove any large lumps with your hands
- Add another 1/2 tbsp oil and do same as above
- Add water, little at a time to form a dough
- Knead for about 5-7 minutes. The dough will be smooth and slightly elastic. Smear oil over the dough ball to prevent cracks. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes
- Oil your counter or board and knead dough for 2 minutes
- Divide the balls into 4-5 portions and form smooth balls. Cover with damp cloth and let it rest for 15 minutes
- Oil the counter again and roll one ball out as thin as possible
- Smear lightly the surface of the rolled out dough with oil and sprinkle lightly with flour
- Taking the longest end of the rolled out dough and start pleating it until done. Think of it like fanning out the dough.
- Take one end of the pleated dough and roll it into a spiral shape. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Gently roll out the dough to chapati or roti thickness.
- On medium-low heat, heat up about 1 tsp of oil
- Place the paratha in the pan and cook on one side for 3-4 minutes
- Flip and dribble a bit more oil around the edges of the paratha. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. If the paratha puffs, gently press down.
- Place in a plate and serve immediately with your favorite curry!