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Paratha [split from Texas]

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This post was split from this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/621539 - the Chowhound Team
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I love a good tortilla. I was reminded of another item from across the globe, that is quite similar to the tortilla this past weekend. The ever flavorful paratha. it is India's answer to the tortilla, and actually is far more versatile, as you can get them stuffed.

Of course you can go to most Indian restaurants and buy these delights. They are buttery, often filled with items like potatoes, paneer (the delicious fresh indian cheese similar to a queso fresco with the consistency of a firm tofu), diakon, shrimp, dal, methi (often used in Indian cuisine, the fenugreek leaves) and so much more.

I have an a fun website to aim ya towards that discusses making these, and I include a picture below. For the record, I have bought these uncooked and frozen (even just this past weekend) and to be honest I prefer the Pillsbury over all the other Indian national brands (inconsistent quality).

http://www.monsoonspice.com/2008/02/f...

 
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  1. As an Indian, I like parathas very much. You can make it at home too, if so inclined. But I agree that Pillsbury is really good.

    1. I love parathay, too. They are so yummy. I don't make them well, but I eat them really well.

      My fave is aloo paraatha and also queema paratha. Great for breakfast or any meal with yoghurt and mixed pickle.

      I haven't had a frozen one for a long time, I used to get those Malaysian brand ones but yes I have seen the Pillsbury, so maybe I'll try them out.

      I had this friend in college whose family was originally from Indian Hyderabad, whose mom made traditional Hyderabadi flaky layered parathas, a style unique to that city. She served them with goat brain curry and beef nehari for breakfast on the weekends. Out of this world. I have never tasted anything like that since. I am not too into brain curry, but the nehari with the flaky paratha was out of this world.

      8 Replies
      1. re: luckyfatima

        How difficult is it to make parathas? I love a good flaky paratha and I realized that per my thread on Desified Western dishes, keema paratha quesadillas might be a novel take and perhaps more convenient than my earlier idea of keema sliders.

        1. re: JungMann

          Pretty easy. I made chapatis for years, and the paratha is same just a few different steps. The frozen product truly are delicious though and readily available. Check out the link in the OP for a recipe, and the youtube link below for a full on video:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV3dYB...

          1. re: DallasDude

            We didn't eat chapatis in my household and the one time I made them, they were not well-received so I lack good Indian bread-making skills. The video was helpful, but it didn't seem like his parathas would turn out flaky. I ended up purchasing Deep brand frozen parathas, though these seem thicker than the parathas my father used to buy, which were as thin as tortillas. The frozen parathas are apparently raw dough so perhaps I might experiment with stuffing these or rolling them thinner and creating flaky layers.

          2. re: JungMann

            I have been showed by various paratha experts how to make them. I cannot make even a chapatti to save my life. It comes out like a leathery sandal in the shape of the African continent. My parathas came out even worse with bits of stuffing peeping out. I have tried various methods: the triangle shape, the play-dough style long snake rolled into a circle then flattened, stuffing by putting two thin ones on top of each other...some people just don't have a hand for it.

            I am just not a bread maker. My husband is more of a rice person, and we usually get diabetic naan from the store anyway, or I order and freeze chapattis. Maybe its a good thing I can't make roti or paratha, otherwise I would be standing over the fire doling out parathas for breakfast every morning.

            1. re: luckyfatima

              Very true. As with any homemade bread item, chapatis seem to never end when making fresh, as with parathas and even a tortilla. They are consumed as fast as you can make them. They are special for sure.

              But for the average bread maker, they are rather simple. I think the proper flour is necessary. it can make or break you.

              1. re: DallasDude

                If you're lucky enough to live near an Indian neighborhood as I do, there are an endless variety of frozen paratha and nan available. Or, if you're lucky enough to have married an Indian as I have, you get freshly made roti whenever you like. My wife is actually from Guyana and Indians there know how to make plain roti which after cooking are clapped between the hands to give them a rough texture. She also makes dal poori, another type of roti filled with dal.

              2. re: luckyfatima

                Thats right. They take a pretty long time to be made.

              3. re: JungMann

                Jung, I use leftover kheema to make kheema quesadillas for my kids, as well as kheema pizzas. For the quesadillas, I use cheddar cheese, a little chopped cilantro, and the cooked kheema all sandwiched between 2 flour tortillas. We use mint chutney and plain yogurt for dipping.

                For kheema pizza, I use frozen naan, defrosted on the counter for about 30 minutes, then spread a little pizza sauce or olive oil (depending on what I have at home), and top with sliced onions, cooked kheema, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. I either bake them or cook them on the grill outside. I've served grilled kheema pizza cut into smal pieces for appetizers before with great feedback.

                As for parathas, I buy frozen malaysian parathas, but I also make parathas from scratch. For stuffed parathas, we make either aloo paratha (potato), paneer paratha (farmer's cheese), aloo cheese (potato + cheddar), or cheddar and onion. I'll also do mixins instead of stuffing the parathas -- I'll mix in fried onions, chopped green onions, curry powder, green chillis, and salt, or I'll do ajwain seeds and salt. We also like dal parathas, where you use leftover cooked dal to mix the flour into, and add some water to make it to paratha dough consistency. Add some extra salt, chopped fresh onion and green chilli for even more flavor.

            2. I am eating parathas right now - the frozen raw parathas I can get at my local supermarket (I am in the UK) cook well in a sandwich maker - I sandwich 2 dough disks with a filling like anchovies, quarter them and pop them in the sandwich maker - in a few minutes I get a puffy crisp pastry.
              Yum!