Paratha

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Paratha
Mintparatha.jpg
Mint parantha (Pudina Parantha) from India
Alternative namesParatha, parauntha, palata, farata, parontay, prontha,
Place of originIndian Subcontinent
Main ingredientsAtta, maida, ghee/butter/cooking oil and various stuffings
Cookbook:Paratha  Paratha
 
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For the similar South Indian dish, see Parotta.
Paratha
Mintparatha.jpg
Mint parantha (Pudina Parantha) from India
Alternative namesParatha, parauntha, palata, farata, parontay, prontha,
Place of originIndian Subcontinent
Main ingredientsAtta, maida, ghee/butter/cooking oil and various stuffings
Cookbook:Paratha  Paratha

A paratha/parantha/parauntha (Punjabi: پراٹھا ) is a flatbread that originated in the Indian Subcontinent. It is still quite prevalent throughout the area. Parantha is an amalgamation of the words parat and atta which literally means layers of cooked dough.[1] In Bengali it is known as porota (পরোটা) while in Burma, it is known as palata (ပလာတာ; pronounced: [pəlàtà]), and is known as farata in Mauritius and the Maldives. However, in areas of the Punjabi region, it is referred to as prontha or parontay.

It is one of the most popular unleavened flat breads in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent and is made by pan frying whole wheat dough on a tava.[2] The parantha dough usually contains ghee or cooking oil which is also layered on the freshly prepared paratha.[3] Paranthas are usually stuffed with boiled potatoes (as in aloo ka parantha), leaf vegetables, radishes, cauliflower, and/or paneer (Cottage-cheese). A parantha (especially a stuffed one) can be eaten simply with a pat of butter spread on top, with chutney, pickles, and yogurt, or with meat or vegetable curries. Some roll the parantha into a tube and eat it with tea, often dipping the parantha.

The parantha can be round, heptagonal, square, or triangular. When it is round, the stuffing is mixed with the kneaded flour, and the parantha is prepared in the same way as roti, but in the latter two forms, the peda (ball of kneaded flour) is flattened into a circle, the stuffing is kept in the middle, and the flatbread is closed around the stuffing like an envelope. The latter two also vary in that they have discernible soft layers, with one "opening" to the crispier shell layers.

History and popularity[edit]

The Paratha is an important part of a traditional South Asian breakfast. Traditionally, it is made using ghee but oil is also used. Some people may even bake it in the oven for health reasons. Usually the paratha is eaten with dollops of white butter on top of it. Sides which go very well with paratha are curd, fried egg, omelette, Qeema (Ground mutton cooked with vegetable and spices), Nihari (a lamb dish), zeera aloo (potatoes lightly fried with cumin seeds), daal, and raita as part of a breakfast meal. It may be stuffed with potatoes, paneer, onions, qeema or chili peppers.

Some sources claim that Parantha originated from ancient Vedic times. The word paratha originated from the Vedic Sanskrit word पुरोढाशम् (pu-ro-dhaa-sham) (purodhasha). Purodhasha's are offered to the fire god during Yajna, Yagna, or Homa ceremonies. Vedic purodhashas are usually stuffed with ingredients like powdered lentils and chopped vegetables. The Southern Indian version is called Parotta.[citation needed][4][5]

Types[edit]

Mangalorean-style paratha served with other Indian dishes.
Aloo paratha from northern India.
South Indian parotta.
Paratha served with tea.
Stuffed Bengali-style paratha served in a restaurant in Mumbai, India.
Trinidadian-style roti paratha.
In Burma, paratha is commonly eaten as a dessert, sprinkled with sugar.
Smashed Paratha, a West Bengal variant served with light vegetable curry. April 2014.

Ready-made varieties[edit]

The process of layering the "skins" of dough in a parantha can make preparation a difficult process. This, mixed with the popularity of this flatbread has opened the market to several ranges of frozen paratha – especially in Western markets where consumers seek the authenticity, but lack the time required to make a parantha from scratch.[citation needed] Ready to cook parantha may also be purchased. These preparations offer one-step preparation and save time. Some of the ready-to-cook products in the market are just the stuffings for making the stuffed paranthas.

See also[edit]

References[edit]