Friday, June 20, 2014

Plain Paratha (Pan-Fried Indian Flatbread) - Type 1

Couple of years back a lady posted a "Chapati" post on the website I frequent, it was all good but the bread she posted was really a Paratha rather than Chapati, I tried to explained her the difference. To my surprised, she took it very defensively and told me that she can't be wrong mainly because her neighbor, who is originally from Hyderabad was her teacher in this matter. Who am I to argue with an Indian origin, right?

After that episode I have been meaning to write about paratha and chapati, my plan is to write about three different ways to make plain paratha. And here is the first one.

These are some information I found online about differences between paratha and chapati, here it is:


Roti, Chapati & Paratha are all Indian flatbreads. They are made on a flat top griddle or tawa. They are similar but there are subtle differences:

ROTI is a traditional unleavened whole-wheat bread which, depending on the country and the cook, can be as thin as a "skin" or soft and pliable, closer to a pita. Rotis are eaten mainly in North India but are known as "phulkas" in the West & the South parts of India. Deep fried versions are known as "poori".

CHAPATI is traditionally made from very finely milled whole wheat "chapati flour" and tend to be thin and papery. They are made using a 3 fold process into a triangular shape and then rolled out into a circle. Each layer is well oiled (ghee), resulting in thin layers. This type of flatbread is also known as "poli" and eaten commonly in the Western & Southern regions of India. Nowadays, many cooks add a tbsp or so of yogurt to the dough with the end result being soft chapatis without the excess use of oil or ghee.

PARATHA is a North Indian flatbread that may be stuffed or not. It is usually on the thicker side and may have several layers (8-10) that are well oiled with ghee.

NAAN, which is made from white flour and leavened either with a starter or with yeast. It is traditionally made in a tandoor oven.

BHATURAS are fried versions of naans. They are eaten with chole.



For dough:
2 cup of whole wheat flour (Atta)
1 cup of water minus 1 tbsp    Note : If the humidity is low, do not need to minus 1 tbsp
A pinch of salt


Knead together all ingredients listed under dough to form a soft dough, let it sit for about 30-40 minutes before rolling into bread.

1. Pull out dough the size of ping pong ball, roll it out to form a disc, spread some ghee or oil, and sprinkle a  pinch of flour, lightly and evenly spread the oil to cover the whole disc. Fold into half and half again to form a triangle/pie shape.

2. Flatten it out to about 2-3 mm thick. Pan fry with a little ghee until golden brown in color and you see beautiful brown spots.

Soft and yummy, it goes well with any vegetables and curries.

Other stuffed parathas:

               Gobi Paratha                         Frozen Paratha Samosa                       Paneer Paratha
        Guacamole Paratha                             Aloo Paratha                                Mooli Paratha 


  1. Thank you for clarifying the difference in various Indian flat breads and the video tutorial in chapati making, I would definitely try it someday. I'm a bit confused about the whole wheat flour though, I see "atta flour" in Asian markets, wonder it's the same whole wheat flour in western markets? If not, what's the difference between them, if I use western whole wheat flour will the bread turns out just as well?

    1. The atta flour in Indian/Asian Markets are finer and has less wheat germ in it, the texture is different but I do see that ppl use the whole wheat flour in the western market to make chapati and it turn out alright too.


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