Last week it was International Women’s Day and I was honoured to do a presentation at my local networking event. I got to do the two things that I love - cook and talk!...Oh, who am I kidding, I love shopping too!..Well, it was a 9.30am start, so I decided to make Indian breakfast tasters for the guests. I made Paratha - this is a flatbread made with wheat flour and layers of butter, a bit like an Asian croissant - if you will. A paratha is so filling that it keeps you going all day, I suppose it’s as filling as a full English breakfast but not a sausage in sight!
This recipe was taught to me by mother. This was her signature dish and nobody can make parathas as good as she used to, believe me we have all tried.
Even at the age of 50 when I had a long day ahead of me, mum used to rustle up a few parathas with sweet chai to fuel me up for the day - and they did.
Try it for yourself and let me know how you get on. A word of warning, they are as filling as a full English.
500g chapatti or plain flour
250ml water - cold
250g butter - cold
½ tsp of salt
METHOD - makes approx. 4
1. Place the flour and salt into a deep mixing bowl. Slowly add the water, mixing together to make a dough. The dough will be a little sticky at this point. Cover with a cloth and set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Knead the dough for 2 minutes until it is smooth and soft. Store in an airtight container and keep at room temperature.
3. Divide the dough into eight equal portions and shape each one into ball.
4. Two balls at a time, place onto a clean floured surface (image 1). Roll each ball to about 5cm diameter (use the dry flour to stop the dough sticking to the surface). Using a knife, add 2 teaspoons of butter onto one of the 5cm discs of dough (image 2). Place the other disc on top, pressing the edges together (image 3).
5. Heat a griddle or a shallow frying pan until warm. Lay the paratha on the pan and cook for about 1 minute or until the surface bubbles slightly. Spread a teaspoon of butter onto the paratha and then turn it over with tongs or a fish slice (image 4). Add another teaspoon of butter on the surface as it cooks. Turn over one last time and cook for another 30 seconds.
6. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the rest of the dough balls. Stack them as you are cooking them, separating each one either with tin foil or greaseproof paper.
For more recipes and Parveen’s cook book, go to www.ParveenTheSpiceQueen.com