Para-whats? Paratas! Reminiscent of a Mexican tortilla, paratas are my go-to flat bread when it comes to Indian cuisine. They are easy and really quick to prepare; it’ll take about 35 minutes total : 15 minutes down time while the dough sits, 15 minutes preparation, and about 5 minutes cooking time. Now that’s my kind of fast food!
Like many small-town kids, I didn’t have my first taste of “real” Indian cuisine until my first visit to London. Still in high school, I stayed with a wonderful young host family who would never have allowed me to step foot in a regular old Indian restaurant, no sir! My curry-baptism was to be home-cooked, thank you very much, made with love and care. Pauli, aka host-mum and chef extraordinaire, showed me how to make paratas that night – it was the first time I’d ever really done anything in the kitchen other than eat! It was such an amazing evening – and I think of my sweet little host-family every time I have paratas.
Don’t let the directions intimidate you – you’ll see, it’s really easy! Just follow these simple steps :
Our favourite paratas
for 8 paratas
300 g whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp flax seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp sunflower seeds (optional)
2 pinches of salt
200 ml soy milk
8 tsp non-dairy butter
1) Using a wooden spoon, mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl.
2) Add the soy milk, a little at a time, until a smooth-ish dough forms. Knead it just a little bit : if it’s too sticky add a little bit of flour, or add a little soy milk if it’s too dry to stick together.
3) Form into a ball and let it rest 15 minutes.
4) Now divide the dough into 8 balls.
5) Roll out the balls to form little tortillas, about 15 cm in diameter.
6) Put a 1/2 teaspoon of the butter on each disc, and spread it a little.
7) Now roll up the paratas so you get 8 cigars.
8) Let’s make snails!
9) Roll each snail out so that you get again 8 discs.
10) Now cook the paratas in a non-stick pan with a little melted butter over high heat.
11) Paratas are best when served hot from the pan, so serve and eat as soon as possible!
*Sorry for the yellowish pictures…it’s still dark come dinner time!