A super tasty flatbread made with sweet potatoes, Indian spices and cilantro. This flatbread keeps well in the fridge and freezer and is great with your favorite Indian chutney. Dust off those Indian spices and try this super easy flatbread recipe!
Curious about what is in an Indian cook’s pantry? I made a free printable just for you. If you are just diving into Indian cooking, this Indian pantry list will be helpful to you. You probably already have some of these ingredients. Pro-tip, spices and sometimes vegetables, in an Indian market are much cheaper than at the supermarket.
What Is Paratha?
Parathas are an Indian flatbread that has additional ingredients for flavor or filling depending on your method. Vegetables are sometimes added to the dough or added as a filling and the dough is encased around the paratha. Indian spices are usually added to the dough to give it even more character. Parathas are thicker and more substantial than most other Indian breads such as roti or chapati.
This sweet potato version is also known as Shakarkandi Paratha.
The word paratha derives from parat atta, which means layers of cooked dough in Sanskrit.
Other names for Paratha include:
- parontay (Punjabi)
- porota (Bengali)
- palata (Burma)
- farata (Sri Lanka & the Maldives)
Parathas vs. Naan
A paratha is an un-leavened bread while a naan has a leavening agent such as yeast, baking soda or baking powder. Parathas are usually stuffed with vegetables. This can be done by rolling the dough into a circle, adding vegetables, fold over dough and roll out again. The vegetables can also be added to the dough in the beginning such as with this recipe.
Both paratha and naan are thicker than most other Indian flatbreads; paratha due to the folding and rolling or stuffing, naan due to the leavening agent.
Can You Freeze Parathas?
Paratha keeps very well in the freezer, just stack them with parchment paper in between and freeze for up to a month. When ready to use, place frozen paratha on a hot skillet with a little oil and cook on both sides until warmed and golden.
Which flour for Parathas?
Parathas can be made with atta, chapati, whole wheat, all-purpose flour or a mixture of any these. The texture will differ slightly in the end.
How To Make Paratha Dough?
Paratha dough is easy and usually done by hand. Mash the vegetables in a large bowl, add half of your flour and the water and blend well by hand, keep adding flour until most of the stickiness is gone. Turn out the slightly sticky dough onto a very well floured surface and knead with extra flour until the dough comes together and is no longer sticky. Roll into a log and divide into 8 equal sections, roll each section into a circle. You are now ready to cook the paratha.
How To Eat Parathas
Parathas are treated like a utensil. You tear off a piece and scoop up some Indian food and maybe a little chutney or raita and plop in your mouth to get that explosion of flavor that is so common with Indian food.
You can also treat it like a bread you would eat with your dinner. You can eat your Indian food with a fork or spoon and eat the paratha intermittently like a palate cleanser.
You can also treat paratha like a tortilla, make a taco from it. Scoop the Indian food into the whole paratha and fold over like a taco. Your chutney can be your salsa.
Have you tried making flat breads before? I am finding them really easy to make and add a nice little homemade touch to the meal. Naan is one of my favorites.
Panch Phoran is an Indian spice mix that is super convenient. I keep this on hand when I want to make something ‘Indian’ but don’t have a recipe. I have added it to potatoes, eggs and now this flatbread. When I open the jar, it smells just like an Indian restaurant.
Pro Tip – This spice blend can be convenient for new cooks who are building their spice collection. I sometimes use my spice grinder(coffee grinder) to make this blend into a powder. I like this spice blend also because these are whole spices, not powdered so they keep fresh much longer. Powdered spices go stale fast and have a short shelf life.
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