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Archive for February 12th, 2010

Sometimes it is good to eat Indian style food with a bread, such as Naan or this simple to make Paratha Roti, in place of the more usual rice.  If the meal has a sauce a bread makes it much easier to thoroughly mop up the plate, in any case.  It is important to think ahead slightly to allow enough time for the yeastless dough to rise.  Paratha roti can take a little practice to get absolutely right, but it is definitely worth persevering.

This recipe for Paratha Roti was featured in chef Gary Rhodes’ TV series Rhodes around the Caribbean, which I really enjoyed: learning about the islands, their history, culture and above all, their diverse foods.  Paratha Roti comes from the cuisine of Trindad, which enjoys spicy Indian style dishes, but would not be out of place at a meal on the Indian sub-continent where it would have originated.  The quantities given are for four circular roti, but I found them rather large.  On subsequent occasions I have halved the quantity and was still able to make four smaller circular roti: in fact I have used 200g flour and adjusted the other ingredients pro rata to make three roti, one each.  Certainly if this is one of many dishes then these smaller size breads would suffice, but if I was making the full quantity I would prefer to make them smaller and let diners choose how many they wanted.  They can be made in advance of a meal and kept warm for a short while, but not too long as they lose their soft, light, flaky texture.  A small paratha roti with a serving of Prawn & Tomato Korma makes a delicious light meal or a starter, especially when you are serving rice for the main course.

100_7989 Paratha Roti

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Paratha Roti
(Makes 4 large breads)

600g/1lb 5ozs plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1tsp Baking Powder
½tsp salt
400ml/14fl ozs water
10g/½oz Butter, melted, for brushing and cooking (use ghee if you wish, or vegetable oil)
1tsp vegetable or sunflower oil, aprox

1.  Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.  Make a well in the centre, pour in the water and mix well.  Knead well in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface until you have a smooth and fairly soft dough.  You may need to add a little more water or flour if the mixture is too dry or too sticky.

2. Sprinkle a little flour on the work surface to stop the dough from sticking. Divide the dough into four equally sized pieces (or one per person if you are adjusting the recipe). Roll each piece of dough into a round of about 15cm in size.

3. Brush the top surface of the circles with melted butter. Sprinkle with a little flour. Make a single cut from the centre to the edge of each circle.  Opening up the slit you have made start to roll, going around the circle, until you hae a cone shape with the point at the top. Place on a dish with the point of the cone at the top, press the point towards the centre of the paratha roti and flatten slightly. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. (I put them in the airing cupboard to aid rising.)

4. Sprinkle a little more flour onto the work surface and onto the rolling pin. Roll the dough cones into circles roughly 0.5cm thick.

5.  Using a medium heat and a large frying pan, melt together a little more butter and some vegetable oil, which helps prevent the butter from burning.  (If you have a baking stone, a tawah, then this can be greased and used.)  Cook one piece of the paratha for around 1 minute on the first side, until it starts to bubble up.

6. Turn over, lightly brush with a little more butter and cook for another minute.  There should be a few brown spots on the cooked paratha roti.  Remove paratha roti from the heat, place inside a clean tea towel and gently scrunch up to expose the layers inside the bread.  It can be broken up and served in pieces if you wish. Repeat with the remaining dough cones.

7.  Serve hot as a side dish with curries.

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