I was craving for crisp, fluffy paratha on these winter days of February when the sky was cloudy, and the snow was piling up in front of my house and my lousy but cute husband of tropical nature bragging about cleaning up the car and how he hates snow and would love to curl up in bed and sleep all day and night. Born in a Bengali household never helped me making stuffed paratha which my north Indian cousin would make with obvious flair. So I avoided kneading flour and was anxious about the right measurement of water & flour, which are the main ingredients for making soft but crisp from the outside paratha (Indian Flat bread) or roti. But gradually as I have tried making them it only got improved with practice and surely the force behind this success story was need. Being alone in USA made me realize that I just can’t ignore my gastronomical soul forever, thus I have started making parathas regularly and now my husband loves them as I do.
My longing for garlic paratha came on a chili night and surely the result was heavenly with warm soft paratha on my mouth, robust smell of garlic lingering in my senses, hot chillies kicking my head and crisp layer of paratha breaking between my tounge and teeth. My work is done …..now you run to your kitchen for this paratha to celebrate last few days of winter and warm up.
For Filling: Garlic 5-6 cloves (chopped)
Green Chilles 4-5 (chopped)
Coriander leaves (¼ cup chopped)
Amchur powder/ Mango powder ½ teaspoon (available from any Indian grocery)
Salt & lime as per taste
For dough: Maida/ Refined flour 2 cups (you can substitute with Atta or whole wheat flour)
Oil ½ teaspoon
Yogurt 1 teaspoon
Salt & warm water as required
Oil/ Ghee for frying.
Mix all ingredients for filling and set aside. Use very little amount of lime as we don’t want the filling to be soggy.
Mix flour with salt, oil and yogurt together. Add warm water in the mixture and kneed well for 5-6 mins or kneed until the dough is smooth and little soft. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and then with a lid and leave it for 15-30 mins. This process makes the most excellent paratha, soft, fluffy and yummy to eat.
After 15 mins of resting, knead the dough for 1-2 mins again. Divide the dough in 6 equal parts and make small ball of each. Make a circle or small cup out of the dough and take small porting of the filling inside the dough ball. Close the circle/ cup around the filling like an envelope. Between your palms rotate the dough again to make a ball.
Start rolling the dough ball using little amount of oil (if you are avoiding oil use flour for easy rolling). Start rolling from center to the edges and try not pressing too hard so that filling stays inside the paratha. Roll the dough into 6-7” circle.
Heat the tawa or flat griddle and place the paratha/ flat bread. Turn the paratha once it starts to change color and gets small blister from heat. Do the same with other side. Press the paratha lightly to make it fluffy and crisp on the outside but soft inside. At the end use little amount of ghee for extra taste or oil on the paratha and flip both side.
Set aside in a closed container until you consume or serve hot with vegetable and yogurt, salad, pickle.