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Parathas (Flaky Flatbreads with cumin seeds)

May 3rd, 2009

Parathas (Flaky flatbreads with cumin seeds)

A friend let us borrow the most wonderful Indian Cookbook I have used yet.  I just finished making a complete dinner out of the book and wanted to share it with you:

To accompany my dinner I made this delicious Indian flatbread based on a recipe in the book. It was exactly as the description said: flaky! I was curious about spooning on melted butter (or ghee if you have any) in the manner described below, but it turns out it really worked to make the flatbread flaky, not to mention delicious! I loved the aroma of this bread too because it has cumin — which I honestly think should be the secret ingredient to everything! Here’s how I did it:

flaky flatbread ingredients (parathas)


  • 1 cup of plain white flour
  • 1 cup of Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • course ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely crushed in a mortar
  • 1/2 medium sized green chile finely chopped (adjust portions and spicyness according to your spice-tolerance — I used 1/2 jalapeno and it wasn’t spicy at all
  • 1/2 small bunch cilantro (coriander) very finely chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon very finely grated fresh ginger
  • 6 tablespoons butter (or ghee)

folded square one-ninth in sizeMethod:

  1. Combine the flours, salt, black pepper, cumin seeds, chilies and cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. Add the oil and mix
  3. Mix the ginger in the water
  4. Add the ginger water 1/4 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until the dough is wet.  I only needed 3/4 cup but your mileage may vary.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes adding more water if it is too dry or more flour if it is too wet.  Set it aside for 30 minutes or so.
  6. Divide the dough into eight equal balls
  7. Heat up a cast iron pan over a medium-high heat
  8. Roll out each ball, one at a time, until it’s a 6-inch square
  9. Place a teaspoon of melted butter (or ghee) over the top of the square and spread it around evenly
  10. Fold 1/3 of the dough square, then the other 1/3 to form a rectangle 1/3 the size of the original square.
  11. Now butter it again with 1/2 teaspoon
  12. Fold it into 3rds again, this time making a square 1/9 the original size
  13. Now roll it out again (make sure you have your apron on) using flour as you need — into a 6-inch square again.
  14. Place the square in the cast iron pan and place another teaspoon of butter on top of the dough evenly
  15. Flip 4 times or so every 15 seconds, until the bread starts to turn golden brown and is slightly crispy outside, but still soft inside.
  16. Serve immediately or re-heat in a tin-foil wrap.

I hope you enjoy it!

5 Responses to ' Parathas (Flaky Flatbreads with cumin seeds) '

  • Laurie says: [May 5th, 2009 7:21 pm]

    Sounds great! I LOVE cumin and I LOVE Indian food!! If you loved me you’d send me some….. 😀

  • Sweta says: [May 15th, 2009 1:20 pm]

    Hey-this is one of my all time faves.Simple and turns out well every time!!
    Great to know that you are trying your hand at Indian cooking 🙂

  • Sampada says: [June 5th, 2009 10:52 am]

    Wow! that recipe sounds delicious…all you have to do is step outside for some of the ingredients..uphere in U.S. i always have a hard time trying to find ingredients…one of my friend introduced me to a great resource and i thought that i pass great along as well.

  • Gobi Paratha | Making Banana Pancakes says: [July 17th, 2009 2:32 pm]

    […] I am on a paratha kick!  I was looking at the stats on my blog from my original paratha post and searching around for other recipes when I stumbled upon a recipe for ‘Gobi Paratha’ […]

  • Lamb Madras Curry | Making Banana Pancakes says: [August 5th, 2009 10:39 pm]

    […] because of this recipe alone.  I posted another recipe from the book and served this curry with my first batch of parathas.  The pairing goes really well together, but if you like Indian food this curry will also go […]

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Posted in Appetizer, Breads, Dinner, Indian, Snacks | Leave/read a comment (5)

  » By Keith Prickett