There’s a road-side parotta kadai just across the road from our house and one of our favourite pastimes is gawking at the parotta master in action. He so skilfully tosses the parotta dough into the air instead of rolling it out with a rolling pin, then with quick nifty movements pleats the dough, rolls them up, dabs a bit of oil on top and places them aside, while turning over a batch of parottas cooking on the huge rectangular tawa. The best part and my personal favourite is the last step, when he stacks up the parottas and then smacks them with his hands to fluff up the parottas and bring out the nice flaky layers. Two things to keep in mind while making parottas, knead the dough well making sure it’s smooth and really soft and let it rest for some time. While cooking the parottas, cook them on medium high heat for soft and flaky parottas. Cooking on low heat for a long time can make the parottas tough and chewy.
I’ve made parottas quite a few times at home and my family always finds it extremely amusing to watch me make parottas. I don’t even throw around the dough (I tried once but just tore up the dough), I just roll it out using a rolling pin. The whole act of Parotta making has this simple charm to it, it’s really fun. I love smacking the stacked up parottas, it’s the finishing touch it makes all the difference between thich, tough to handle parottas and flaky, layered parottas. Imagine the irritating neighbour, that lazy procrastinating clerk at the government office, bsnl customer care or annoying telemarketers, close your eye, hold your hands out on either side of the parottas and then smack them together with the parottas in between. Great stress-buster and flaky parathas in one step. I served this with Potato Kurma here. Parotta tastes divine with Chicken Salna which I hope to post soon.
Prep time: 15 mins + 1 hour resting time Cooking time: 1-2 min per parotta Serves: 16-17 parottas
Maida – 1/2 kilo Salt to taste Oil – 2 tbsp for kneading Water as required Oil for frying
1.Add salt and oil to maida and mix well. Then adding water little at a time, knead to a smooth, soft dough. Cover and let rest for 1 hour minimum.
2.Then clear an area of your counter-top and oil the surface well. Make large lemon sized balls from the dough and roll out each ball into a thin rectangular or oval shape. This has to be really thin, as thin as you can go without tearing up the dough. At some places, you might be able to see the counter-top through the rolled out dough. Maida dough is very elastic and will spring back. Once you’ve rolled it out, take the longer edge of the rectangle or oval and start making accordion folds (pleat the dough like you would a saree). Till you arrive at the other edge. Now holding the two end of the rectangular piece with one hand each, roll them inwards, the left end rolled clockwise and in the upward direction the right end rolled downward and in the clockwise direction. You’ll have an S shaped dough ring in front of you. Now just tack the top and bottom halves of the S one on top of the other, dab a bit of oil on top and give it a nice thump with your hand and set it aside.
3.Repeat with all the lemon sized dough balls.
4.Retrieve the stacked S shaped dough and instead of using a rolling pin to roll out into a disc, use your hands to gently pull out the concentric circles of dough from the center until you have decent parotta sized disc that isn’t too thick. Dab some oil on either side of this parotta. Rolling with a pin can flatten the layers.
5.Place the parotta on a hot tawa, drizzle some oil around the edges and cook on medium high flipping over till brown spots appear on both sides. Remove from fire.
6.Stack the cooked parottas 4-5 at a time and then smack them with your palms as if clapping your hands but with the parottas in between. This step helps fluff up the parottas and brings out the layers. Serve hot with Kurma or Salna.
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