Although lachha parathas are a popular North Indian bread, the first time I ever tried them was in the South of India! I was very young but it was such a memorable meal. We had been on the road for 4 hours traveling from Chennai to Pondicherry when hunger struck. It was late but we found a roadside “dhabba” restaurant looking like it was about to close up. Being in the south we (naturally) asked (begged) for the dosa menu but alas, as it was closing time, we were told all they could prepare for us were lachha parathas and raita.
A few minutes later we had plates of crispy, buttery & flakey parathas before us and we devoured them as if we hadn’t eaten in days. To sum up how I felt, if it was possible, I would have inserted all variations of smiley emojis here. You get the drift. They were sensational.
Mum had never made them at home before but everything changed when we returned! They’re perfect for mopping up curries, as a base for wraps and rolls or even on their own with some raita and pickles. Try them and let me know what you think!
- 2 cups (approx. 135g) plain flour plus extra flour for dusting
- 1 tbsp oil or melted ghee
- 1 cup water approx.
- Oil and ghee/melted butter for cooking
- Place the flour and oil/melted ghee in a mixing bowl. Rub the oil/ghee into the flour with your hand so they are well incorporated. Now add the water gradually and begin to combine the flour and water to make a rough dough. It should be soft but not sticky. Cover with cling film and rest for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, grease your hand with oil and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until the dough is pliable and smooth. (If it is too sticky, you can add a little dry flour and if it seems to stiff or dry, add a little water and re-knead). It should be soft, smooth and springy.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan and fill a wide deep bowl with plain flour.
- Divide the dough into 6 smooth round balls.
- Press one dough ball in the flour and then turn it over and press the other side. Using a rolling pin, begin to roll out so the dough ball forms a disc approx 7-8" wide.
- Now, generously spread ghee or oil over the surface and sprinkle on some dry plain flour.
- Start making small pleat-like folds, about ½ inch wide, starting from one side of the circle and working toward the other side. The more pleats you make, the more layers the paratha will have. You will end up with a long narrow strip.
- Stretch it out slightly. Now roll up the strip like a Danish swirl.
- Tuck in the end. Press flat and press both sides into the dry flour.
- Now begin to roll out until 7-8 inches wide. Dust off any excess flour by clapping the paratha between your hands.
- Place the paratha on the hot pan. When it changes colour and small bubbles begin to appear, turn it over and cook the other side. Lightly brush the surface with oil and turn it over.
- Repeat on other side and cook until your paratha is golden and crispy. Remove from heat. You can finish by brushing with butter or leave it as it is.
- Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
- If you're making them to serve on their own with raita/pickles, you can add a pinch of salt when making the dough.