I haven’t made Flaky Roti, or Paratha as some know it, in a while, that’s because it’s a little more effort than our South African Roti. Also this paratha has to be eaten straight out the pan. It will lose it’s flakiness once is stands for a while. You can make them in advance if you really have to and reheat them but trust me it’s not the same.
The great thing about normal Roti is that it can be made ahead of time and heated up when it’s time to eat. It is soft and remains that way. Parathas can also be re-heated but I just feel that it just doesn’t taste the same as eating a freshly made one. If I have the time I make it and if I don’t then I take the easy way out.
So if you have loads of time on your hands then you can have Flaky Roti for dinner tonight. Butter is great on everything and of course, this paratha is also totally delicious with loads of butter. I must be honest I have not used a whole lot of butter because as much as I love it, I do want to live a little longer…lol! If you still young and healthy I say use as much butter as you wish.
I also find an overload of butter doesn’t make this flaky roti very pleasant, just my personal opinion. And yes I will have a paratha but I stick to just one.
Unlike the South African Roti this Flaky Paratha is made with normal water, not boiled like you do for roti. The weather is quite cold up here in Johannesburg so the water straight out the tap is also much cooler so I add about 2 tablespoons of hot water to my tap water. Or should I say filtered water, I do not trust the water straight out the tap. That brings the water to room temperature. If the water is too cold I find it a struggle to get my dough soft and smooth.
Usually for 2 cups of flour you will need about 1 cup of water, slightly more some days and other days less. Remember, I always talk about altitude, climate, weather. It all plays a role in the amount of liquid we need. So as much as recipe developers would love to give you an exact amount it is difficult if you are following the recipe in another city or country.
As you mix the dough you will get a feel for it. Yes, most doughs start out a little sticky but improves on kneading. This is a forgiving dough, you can add more flour if required, add more water if you need. Unlike roti this one is not a fussy dough. Sounds like I am talking about my kids here…Lol!
I absolutely love working with this dough, it is so soft and pliable. Even when it’s being rolled out, it stretches easily and you can roll really thin without much hassles. There are a few techniques to get the layers. I prefer the fan technique, you fold the dough like a fan. It’s easy for me.
The other technique is where you cut the dough into thin strips with a pizza cutter. Bring the strips together and roll into a circle. Finally you can also make a slit in the dough, from the edge just until the middle of the circle and then roll into a circle.
You can use whatever works for you. When rolling out the dough after it has been cooled in the fridge, try to roll it only on the one side. This sort of helps keep the layers intact. When frying you can brush with butter or you don’t have to. The choice is yours.
More Indian Breads to try:
- 2 cups cake wheat flour or all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp soft butter
- 1 cup water
- 4-5 tbsp extra butter for spreading and toasting
- Add flour to a large bowl, add the salt and rub in the soft butter. Use your fingertips and rub in the butter until it's well incorporated
- Slowly add in the water, until you form a soft dough
- Knead for a couple of minutes. Dough will be soft and pliable
- Rub some oil on the dough. Cover the dough with a cloth or clean kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes the dough should be silky smooth and soft
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll them into neat balls
- Roll each ball into a circle, as thin as possible. Use your hands to stretch the dough as you go along. Brush each circle with butter, sprinkle a little flour on top
- Fold the dough like a fan
- Roll the dough into a circle and tuck the edge underneath. Place the dough on a plate dusted with flour, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for half an hour
- Remove from refrigerator and roll out the dough into a circle, about 16cm in diameter. Try rolling the dough on one side only and not too thin as you want to see the layers when toasted
- Toast each paratha on a hot pan, on medium heat. Brush each side with butter if you prefer. Place on a cooling rack and keep warm in a warm oven. Serve immediately
- Unlike Roti for this flaky roti or paratha normal tap water is used. If your water is too cold, especially in Winter add a couple of tablespoons hot water to it
- Altitude and weather will affect the amount of water required so please use your discretion
- You can toast your paratha in advance and re-heat it on the pan when ready to serve. However, the results will not be exactly the same as freshly made