Parotta is a buttery flaky South Indian flatbread that is made with dough that is pleated with ghee!
Growing up, Malabar Parottas were a treat that we bought from the restaurant when we were craving something indulgent. Parotta or Barotta as my family calls it is a flaky buttery flatbread that originates from the Malabar region in Kerala.
Over the years as my food obsession has grown, it has been amazing to see dishes similar to the parotta like scallion pancakes or buss up shut which is the Trinidadian version that refers to how the flaky layers look like a busted up shirt.
I’ve seen countless recipes for the parotta, some which call for a highly enriched dough with lots of eggs and butter and others that call for semolina to add crunch. In my recipe, I tried to keep the ingredients simple and just use flour, water, salt and ghee.
Parotta Folding Technique
Experienced street vendors use a sling back and slap method to make the dough thinner on every slap. Not having mastered this graceful maneuver myself, I opt to tug and stretch out each corner of the dough which works just as well. It's important to get the dough as thin as possible which yields more flaky layers.
I brush a flour ghee mixture across the papery thin dough. The ghee provides laminated layers much like a croissant and the flour helps keep the layers distinct and separate once cooked.
Next, I pleat the dough from one end to the other so it looks like an accordion. I like to pretend that because I've mastered pleating a parotta, the next time I wear a sari I would magically know how to pleat it on my own. I coil the pleats up into little spirals, roll them out to the size of my hand, and griddle them until there are dark brown speckles all over.
My second favorite part of making the dish is scrunching and squishing the parottas to release their flaky layers that I worked so hard to create. Of course, my favorite part is the satisfaction of ripping it all apart and dunking it into some piping hot korma.Print