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Wholemeal Griddle Bread (Paratha)

Wholemeal griddle bread, otherwise known as paratha. Madhur Jaffrey's delicious Indian flatbread recipe is simple and reliable. It will transform your Indian cooking.

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These are flat, wholemeal breads, best made in a heavy, cast-iron frying pan or griddle.

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100g (4oz) wholemeal flour plus 100g (4oz) plain flour, or 225g (8oz) chapati flour
Additional flour for dusting
½ tsp salt
About 9 tbsp vegetable oil


Put the flour and salt into a bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil over the flour and rub it in with your fingertips. Slowly add about 175ml (6fl oz) plus 1 tablespoon water, gathering the dough together into a ball as you do so.You should end up with a soft dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes and then make a ball. Put the ball in a bowl and cover the bowl with a damp cloth. Set the dough aside for half an hour.

Knead the dough again and divide it into six parts. Keep five parts covered with a damp cloth as you work with the sixth. Make a round patty out of it and then roll it out on a floured surface until you have a 15cm (6in) round. Dust with extra flour whenever necessary. Spread about 1½ teaspoons oil on the top of this round. Gather the edges of the round together, forming pleats as you go. Soon you will have a closed pouch. Give the top of the pleats a small twist to close the pouch. Dust the pouch lightly with flour and put it, pleated side down, on a floured surface. Roll it out until it is about 18cm (7in) in diameter.

Heat a cast-irongriddle or frying pan over a mediumlow flame. When hot, spread a teaspoon of oil on it and slap the paratha onto its heated surface. Cook for about 2 minutes. The top of the paratha should now have turned fairly pale. Spread a teaspoon of oil over it with the back of a spoon. Cook for another minute or so, turning the heat down a bit if necessary. The first side should have developed some pale, reddish-brown spots. Turn the paratha over and cook the second side for about 3–3½ minutes or until it too develops pale, reddish-brown spots. Take the paratha off the fire and wrap in aluminium foil. Make all the parathas this way, stacking them in the same aluminium-foil bundle. Parathas may be reheated in the foil; place in the oven on 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for about 15 minutes.


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From the book: My Kitchen Table: 100 Essential Curries

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