Indian Food

Parotta Recipe – How to make Parotta

Parotta Recipe ~ Layered Parota in the style of South India

Parotta with vegetable fat

A loyal reader of my blog asked me for a recipe for parotta a few weeks ago, but I never managed to make it, until this week. Soft, flaky parotta, also known as barotta or porotta, is popular in the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It’s an everyday sight, with crowds crowding along the roads to serve piles of layered parodies, hot out of the oven, with curry for breakfast and tiffin or supper in the evening. This popular street food is usually served with salt or kurma. The parottas are accompanied by vegetarian and non-vegetarian dips.

There are many avatars of the Parotta, whose shape and accompaniment vary from region to region. Kerala or Malabar parotta is usually served with vegetable, chicken, egg, beef and mutton curry, while in Tamil Nadu it is served with vegetable or chicken salwa.

 

Parotta dough stretched into a thin sheet and folded into a long strip.

At home I don’t usually make parotta, and only on our trips do I enjoy parotta, kothu parotta and company. I’ve seen the owner of the parotes spit out hundreds of parotes with such ease. The process of making paretta involves mixing the dough, cutting the dough with lots of butter, emptying the dough, pressing tennis ball-sized balls into the dough, crushing each one, and skillfully tossing them in the air to create a super-thin translucent layer that is folded into a long, thick strip, which is then rolled into a circle like a jacket.

 

Rosettes and rolled parottas for baking ~ Warm parotta dish with salna

The slices are drizzled with plenty of oil and rolled into slightly thick concentric roasts and then fried on hot tawa until golden brown. After roasting the parotta, the master spreads a few parottas on a flat surface and crushes them with both hands (clapping) to expose the layers of parotta. These layered parrots are served with hot salted water or turmeric.

I’ve put an eggless parotta recipe online where maize, salt, oil and water are the only ingredients needed to make parotta dough. For those of you who want to learn to make parotta at home but are intimidated by the manufacturing process, let me tell you that it takes one or two tries to make a good enough parotta. It takes some patience and practice to get the perfect steam. Remember, the point is to make the butter dough as thin as possible, and it’s good to have a few cracks in it too. Store the dough/balls well greased and covered with a damp cloth so they don’t dry out. I adapted this parotta recipe, which also has great photographic instructions for making parotta.

Parotta is best eaten on a warm plate with a spicy salsa. I throw caution to the wind and enjoy it from time to time.

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