Paratha

Paratha (pah-rah-tah) is a layered fried bread made with wholemeal flour and clarified butter. The layers are formed by brushing the dough with clarified butter and folding and rolling it a number of times.

Paratha dough may be prepared several hours in advance and kept, covered with a damp cloth, until required. They can also be fried and then reheated either in the frying-pan or in a hot oven just before serving. Serve with a yogurt salad.

8 oz. wholemeal flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 oz. clarified butter, melted

2 to

4 fl. oz. water

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Add

2 tablespoons of the clarified butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it is all absorbed.

Pour in 2 fluid ounces of the water and, with your hands, knead the mixture until it forms a soft dough. If the dough is too dry mix in the remaining water, a little at a time, until the dough is soft and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead it well for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and pliable. Pat the dough into a ball and return it to the mix- ing bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set it aside for 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it lightly on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and roll out each ball into a thin circle.

Brush each dough circle with a little of the remaining clarified butter. Fold the circles in half, then into quarters.

Roll out the pieces of dough into circles again, brush them with a little clarified butter, fold and repeat the process again until all except

2 tablespoons of the clarified butter has been used up.

Now roll out each piece of dough into a circle about 7-inches in diameter. Set aside.

With a little of the remaining clarified butter, lightly grease a heavy frying-pan or girdle and heat it over moderate heat. When the pan is hot add a paratha and cook it, moving it with your fingertips occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the underside is lightly browned. Brush the top of the paratha with a little of the remaining clarified butter and, using your fingers or a palette knife, turn it over. Continue cooking for a further 2 to 3 minutes or until the paratha is browned all over.

Using a palette knife, remove the paratha from the pan and keep it warm while you cook the remaining parathas.

Serve hot.

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