lachha paratha (layered indian pan-fried bread)

by jenna on October 3, 2011

Hi guys! It’s Prerna from Indian Simmer. I’m excited to be guest blogging for you today! As kids my dad used to tell us about how sometimes he misses those thick, piping hot and fresh off the choolha (clay oven) millet roti (flatbread) that my grandma used to make for them everyday. All the kids and my grandpa would sit in a row with their plates and she would carefully roast each roti, smother it with ghee and serve it with hot lentil soup and a side of salad. I have similar memories of hot and soft rotis from my childhood and I am sure many others who grew up in an Indian family do too.

India is a country with so many languages, cultures, beliefs and cuisines that it is almost a large country with so many little countries inside of it. Each region has its own crop or cereal that they grow and so what they eat greatly depends on it. That is what makes the particular region and its cuisine different from the next. Indian breads are basically composed of wheat, rice, corn or lentils. Then the cooking method also varies from region to region. Some make a dough and cook it on the griddle, some usually make pancakes with a fermented batter, some bake it in the oven and some fry it in oil. Name it differently, shape it differently and even store it differently. Even the dishes they are paired with vary and depend on the region it comes from. But no matter what region it belongs to if there is some Indian food being served somewhere then it has to have some kind of bread in it.

Bread is an integral part of Indian cuisine. The whole world now knows and admires Indian breads but still there are many varieties that although are hugely popular back home but still did not get much attention outside. Lachha Paratha (layered Indian pan fried flatbread) is one such bread. So when a blogger like Jenna asks you to do a guest post and give you the liberty to cook anything, ANTHING then why not use the opportunity? I used this one to help one of my favorite Indian flatbreads some popularity! Thanks so much Jenna for the honor. You have no idea how stoked I am!

If you watch some of the expert Indian chefs/cooks you will know making a perfectly layered, soft yet crisp lachha paratha is an art. Throwing a rolled out piece of dough up in the air, balancing it delicately enough to make it paper thin is not everyone’s cup of tea. But don’t worry even if throwing a piece of dough in the air and in return getting a flatbread in hand is not necessarily your forte you still can cook some Lachha paratha. The main trick is in the dough and in rolling it out. You don’t even need a million spices or ingredients for it. Just the four ingredients in the photograph above- Flour, salt, ghee (you can also use olive oil or butter) and ajwain seeds/Carom seeds (this is totally optional so technically you only need three ingredients) plus water.

With the help of a step by step photo description I am trying to explain how to make this flatbread. But first of all you need to mix all the ingredients and knead it into a dough just like you do for any bread like naan, roti, Indian paratha. You can find a tutorial on how to knead a perfect dough for Indian flatbreads here.

Roll it out, brush oil on it. Then sprinkle some flour.

Pleat it, twist it and roll it into spirals. Just like a cinnamon roll.

Tuck the loose end inside. Dust and roll again into a flat bread.

Cook it on top of a tava or skillet cooking each side brushing some more ghee or butter until they are brown and crisp.

After its cooked you generally crush it between your two palms so see all the layers.

Lachha Paratha (Layered Indian Pan-Fried Bread

Print this recipe!

Makes 8-10 parathas

Ingredients: 

3 cups of whole wheat flour or all purpose flour or you can also use half of each.

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ajwain/carom seeds (As I said its optional)

1 ½ tsp ghee or oil to mix with the dough + Extra for brushing and pan frying

Method:

Mix all the ingredients for the dough and adding water a little at a time knead it into a smooth and soft dough. Soft enough for the fingers to penetrate while pressing and smooth enough that it does not sticks to your hand.

Divide the dough into 8 to 10 equal parts. Using your two hands make a ball of them.

Take one dough ball and cover the rest with a damp cloth while you are working on it.

Dust your working space and using a rolling pin roll out the dough into a thin (almost 2-3 mm thickness) circle.

Brush ghee or oil on top of the rolled dough. Dust some flour, some 3-4 pinches and fold it in pleats. Just like a Japanese fan.

Hold the two ends with your hands and twist it a few times moving your hands in opposite direction and stretching the ends at the same time. You will end up making a long twisted rope.

Now put it back on the work space and make a spiral circle. Tuck the end inside.

Press it with your hand, dust and roll it again into a flatbread. It should be approximately 6-7 inches in diameter.

Now transfer your rolled out paratha to a hot griddle and cook brushing with ghee/oil until it gets small brown patches on it. Flip and repeat again.

Your lachha paratha is ready. Serve hot with any curry, chutney or a pickle.

 

 

 

 

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes October 3, 2011 at 8:13 am

Wow, this looks good. What a different fun treat! Your pictures of it are beautiful!

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Alexia (Dimple Snatcher) October 3, 2011 at 8:15 am

OH MY ROTI. It’s one of my favorite things to eat EVER. With some curry or channa (chickpeas)?! YASSS.

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Rachel Wilkerson October 3, 2011 at 8:19 am

GORGEOUS pictures! Checking out your blog now!!

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Sana October 3, 2011 at 8:22 am

I am so proud to be Indian :)

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Mel @ Mel a la Via Paradiso October 3, 2011 at 8:24 am

This looks delicious! I’ve made a few of Jenna’s Indian recipes before and have loved them. I really enjoyed your commentary about India as a country and it’s cuisine as well! Thanks for sharing…can’t wait to try this!

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Emily @ The Finicky Farmer October 3, 2011 at 8:25 am

Prerna, many thanks for such a detailed post and amazing photos. I can’t wait to try your recipe!

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Samantha October 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

This looks so good ! I am definitely going to give it a try, Thanks for your amazing post!

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Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine October 3, 2011 at 8:34 am

This looks and sounds absolutely delicious. Thank you for the recipe!! :)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 3, 2011 at 8:40 am

You’ve got me so hungry right now! This reminds me of when I used to live in the Middle East – we had several Indian friends that would cook us all sorts of similar dishes and they are just SO flavourful. Roti was one of my faves!

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Deva @ Deva by Definition October 3, 2011 at 8:42 am

Oh WOW – I have always wondered how to make this, and now I know. And I have all the ingredients!

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Cait's Plate October 3, 2011 at 8:44 am

Oh my. That’s incredible. I looooove Lachha Paratha but never in a million years would have tried to make it myself. This looks just like the stuff you get at restaurants!

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Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles October 3, 2011 at 8:46 am

OMG I wish you were my next door neighbor so we could be friends and I could conveniently invite myself over for dinner every night. Wow is all I can say.

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Krista October 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

Haha, agreed!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes October 3, 2011 at 8:46 am

This is amazing!! It looks great! Can’t wait to try :)

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Ruth October 3, 2011 at 8:53 am

This looks awesome Jenna – and your photos are brilliant!

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Amy October 3, 2011 at 9:05 am

Ohh what a fantastic guest post! Beautiful pictures and writing… going to check out your blog now. :)

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Krista October 3, 2011 at 9:13 am

That looks amazing, Prerna :D It actually looks easy enough to make in a dorm kitchen… definitely going to have enough lachha paratha for a while– woohoo! I love layered breads. Coming down south for school, I was introduced to a non-layered (aka non-Pillsbury) biscuit.. I was so confused! :P

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Kristin October 3, 2011 at 9:44 am

Gorgeous photos!

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Bev Weidner October 3, 2011 at 9:59 am

Look. At. That!

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape October 3, 2011 at 10:35 am

Wow, this sounds delicious!!! And dare I say–somewhat easy?! I will definitely be trying this as I have an obsession with Indian food!!

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Anne October 3, 2011 at 11:11 am

Indian food is incredible ! One of the best ! I’m gonna check your blog for sure and try your recipes !!

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Jen October 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

Wow – try saying that title 5 times fast! Tongue twister. A co-worker of mine makes Roti bread every day homemade for her family – lunch and dinner. She said it’s a tradition in their family and I guess culture.

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock October 3, 2011 at 11:42 am

I simply love Indian Cuisine! This bread looks scrumptious ;)

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Jacki October 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it, and I”m heading over to your blog to find some other recipes :)

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Corey @ Learning Patience October 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm

How perfect…Don’t know if you are aware but I estimate over 1/3 of Trinidad is Indian…I just met a NYer on my flight black to Trini and then took him out for a true trini day….including ROTI… Man, if you have never had really amazing roti…you are missing out!

Here’s a link..
http://thehinzadventures.blogspot.com/2011/10/say-hello-make-new-friend.html

My goal is to try and learn how this amazing meal is made…soon – very soon!

xoxo from Trinidad

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Scott October 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I absolutely love Indian breads. I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to visit southern India several times and one of my favorite things is the FOOD! Most people know what naan is but when you start talking about roti, paratha, , chappathi and puri their eyes glaze over and roll to the back of their heads. Here in Boston it’s hard to find great, authentic Indian food, but I know a few places and I always look forward to the breads! Thanks for sharing your recipe and technique for paratha!

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Holly October 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I’ve been wanting to make this ever since eating the side bread at Flat Top Grill – which I believe emulates this bread. Thank you for sharing. This recipe actually looks and sounds very simple!

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen October 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm

So nice to see Prerna over here! Her recipes are as wonderful as her beautiful pictures.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Prerna I love your blog (read in stealth mostly) but also follow all your tweets and this recipe looks awesome. And your photography is great. As usual :)

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JenATX October 3, 2011 at 8:08 pm

gorgeous pics, I love the deep, rich colors. Well done!

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Kelsey @ aslolife October 3, 2011 at 8:24 pm

wow, this looks so good! I just had the opportunity to see Aarti from Food Network this weekend and am totally inspired to make some indian food!

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Anne @ Baking Me October 3, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Can’t wait to try this!

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Prerna@IndianSimmer October 3, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Thanks Thanks Thanks you all! Thank you Jenna for sharing this gorgeous space of yours with me for a day and thank you all lovely people for such great response. I am on cloud nine right now :-)

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Kulsum at JourneyKitchen October 4, 2011 at 5:40 am

So good to see Prerna here. Such a fabulous post and recipe. One of my favorite breads too :-)

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Jenna October 4, 2011 at 9:45 am

Great post, Prerna! Glad to see you guest-posting over here. Your recipes and pictures are always mouthwatering.

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I_cook October 4, 2011 at 11:06 am

Prerna, Wonderfully explained post with tempting pictures and pictorial. May be you want to change salt quantity from 1 tbsp to 1tsp because for 3 cups flour 1 tablespoon salt is too much.

@Jenna, Thanks for presenting Indian Laccha paratha recipe.

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Prerna@IndianSimmer October 5, 2011 at 12:13 am

Hello I_cook. Thanks for the suggestion but the paratha should be salty enough so that you can eat it by itself and hence I add around 1 tbsp.

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Grishma October 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I love Lachcha paratha!! Goes very well with your Dahi aloo or any curry. Great work Prerna :)

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torviewtoronto October 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm

lovely post delicious looking paratha

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Anna October 5, 2011 at 7:21 am

Two of my favorite bloggers in one place! Neat :D

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The Healthy Apple October 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm

This looks fabulous; so happy to see you post on here and excited to read your blog!

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Khushboo @ Two Megapixel Food October 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Amazing pictures, Prerna!

I usually add about 2-3 tbsp to increase “flakiness” and leave the dough balls to rest for about an hour or so. That way, the layers are more defined.

My ma used to be a professional chef. She beats the heck out of the dough to make these. Of course, I can’t match her :)

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tomer December 19, 2011 at 9:18 am

I love it – it looks so great.
Where can I find the recipe for the green sauce that we can see in the pictures ? – it looks spicy and delicious.

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