Paratha, How to Make Plain Whole Wheat Flaky Lachha Paratha

Paratha is the ultimate breakfast pairing with eggs in most Pakistani and Indian homes. Mine was no different growing up. Come Ramadan, it was the only breakfast my family had during Sehri. I always asked my mom to make mine extra salty. But here’s the thing. I don’t recall ever thinking that paratha ought to be flaky, lachhedar and layered. Seeing mom coil the rolled dough on her palm and flatten it before pressing it flat and perfectly round with a rolling pin, I marveled at the process never once stopping to think why she was snaking the dough around like that. At that age, I didn’t realize that she was creating layers. I honestly never paid attention to the flaky layers. I just knew it tasted better than a chapati :p

Here is my take on the tradition nutritious staple!

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Paratha, How to Make Plain Whole Wheat Flaky Paratha
 
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Laccha Paratha with Whole Wheat Flour--a staple in Pakistan and India
Author:
Recipe type: Flatbread
Cuisine: Pakistani/Indian
Serves: 4 medium parathas
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour, make sure its finely ground
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • warm water, as needed
  • ghee and flour, as needed for layering
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix flour and salt.
  2. Pour in oil and mix until flour becomes crumbly.
  3. Next, slowly start adding warm water and bring the dough together until the flour is moistened. I typically end up using ½ to ¾ cups of water but the quantity will depend on the temperature where you're located.
  4. Once flour is moist and you can pick it up in a ball, let it rest for 10-15 mins. The dough should just be a tad sticky to the touch. Dab on some oil so the surface does not dry out while dough is resting. Resting will help the glutens in the dough to relax.
  5. After 10-15 mins, start kneading the dough until it gets visibly soft. Add flour if it is too sticky. At the end of 3-4 minutes of kneading, the dough should be soft and it would bounce back when pressed with a finger gently.
  6. Next, divide the dough in quarters for medium sized paratha (make sure the paratha is not bigger than your pan!) and shape each quarter in a round ball. At this point you can let the balls rest for another 10 mins. Don't forget to apply oil so the top doesn't dry out.
  7. When ready to make paratha, roll out the dough very flat, as flat as you can. It's okay if the dough rips a bit.
  8. Next, smear ghee. I use my fingers to rub it all over the dough.
  9. Next, sprinkle some flour along with salt. The flour prevents ghee from dripping, however, you can omit this since we only use a small quantity of ghee.
  10. To make a flaky paratha, begin folding the dough from one corner like a Chinese fan and then twisting the dough up in a cinammon roll shape. You can also make a slit from the center down to one end and begin rolling the dough from the slit in the shape of a cone and flatten it.
  11. When you're ready to make paratha, roll the layered ball of dough and with the help of a rolling pin, roll it out flat and round. It should not be too thin but enough so that you can easily pick up the paratha and flip from hand to hand without ripping it.
  12. In a hot hot griddle, tawa or pan, plop down the paratha. Instantly, you'll see the high heat will begin to cook the paratha. When you see bubbles form on the surface, flip the paratha and lower the heat to medium. Apply some ghee and smear on the paratha with the back of a spoon.
  13. Flip again, when you see brown spots appear on the underside.
  14. Keep applying a touch of ghee and press down your spatula very gently. Lower the heat further if you think paratha is browning too fast.
  15. Remove from the pan once paratha is speckled with brown spots. Don't overcook, or else the paratha will get very crispy like a "papad." You want to remove it when its nice and soft.
  16. A tip to coaxing out the paratha layers (making it "lachhedar") is to scrunch it up while hot. Place you hands on either side of the paratha and clap them together, scrunching up the paratha. This will separate the layers. I recommend using kitchen paper or cloth to avoid burning your hands.
  17. Serve hot! Paratha and roti are best enjoyed hot off the stove.
 

Mutton Karahi | Restaurant Style Karahi Gosht- Slow Cooked

Mutton/Lamb Curry is such a rich dish! Eat it the next day and the flavors are even richer and more complex.

Growing up I had an aversion to the smell of mutton and refused to be in the kitchen especially on the three days of Bakra Eid when the women of the household were hovered over the stove, stirring a big pot of Mutton Karahi, while the men ushered in more freshly slaughtered cuts of meat. In retrospect, I think I borrowed that aversion from my eldest sister. (Have you ever adapted to someone else’s likes and dislikes without allowing yourself to develop your opinion and tastebud first?)
Today, this is the one dish I always order when I’m eating out at a Pakistani restaurant and go out of my way to cook in my own kitchen👩🏽‍🍳 And, ahem, can I just say that restaurant mutton or lamb karahi will always leave a little more to be desired?

 

Continue reading “Mutton Karahi | Restaurant Style Karahi Gosht- Slow Cooked”

Masoor Daal (Red Lentil)

Daal, not dull! Hah I tried.

It’ s a proud moment for this blog because I have finally mastered the art of cooking Daal. After many failed attempts (partly because I didn’t own a presuure cooker), I have finally nailed Daal Chawal. This recipe is a version of the one my cook in Pakistan used to make and is admittedly a tad spicier. I also took the liberty to deepen the color but don’t worry, I’ll share the more classic yellow daal very soon!

If you’re in the same boat as I was a few weeks ago, this is for you! Just get yourself a mini pressure cooker featured in this video and you’re golden!

Continue reading “Masoor Daal (Red Lentil)”

Sheer Khurma Recipe

 

Sheer Khurma is a popular Pakistani dessert prepared around religious holidays to add just the right amount of sweetness to the Eid table. Similar to desserts like Kheer and Kulfi, Sheer Khurma is also made with milk that is thickened slowly with the help of roasted vermicelli. Essentially, vermicelli is a type of pasta (not similar to rice noodles) and the starch allows milk to thicken. Continue reading “Sheer Khurma Recipe”

Homemade Kulfi with Khoya

Pakistani Kulfi

Living in the states, I have yet to find a place that makes authentic kulfi–a creamy, grainy textured icecream with just a hint of cardamom. I picked one from a grocery store I get my meat from AFTER I made this kulfi. I inspected the ingredients, reassured that condensed milk was not listed and took a bite. Oh let me tell you that that sorry piece of kulfi did not even come close. I’m not saying it was not good. It was good but it just wasn’t kulfi.

Pakistani Kulfi-Rookie With A Cookie

The key ingredient in kulfi is khoya. Khoya is essentially those milk solids you see clinging to the sides of the pot when you let milk simmer for a long long time. Unless you want to stand over the stove and seduce the milk, I suggest you get a nice big 350g block of Khoya or Mava from a South Asian store. It’s about 7 bucks. For this recipe you will only need about 1/3 of that block so you can triple the recipe if you like.

Pakistani Kulfi

 

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Homemade Kulfi with Khoya
 
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The best Kulfi needs a little touch of cardamom and a crumbling of khoya! This is how I make it.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Pakistani
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 6 tbsp Sugar
  • ¾ cups crumbled milk solids (Khoya)
  • ¼ tsp crushed cardamom seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts, optional (almonds and pistachio)
Instructions
  1. In a stainless steel saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and sugar to a simmer until sugar has dissolved-- a couple minutes.
  2. Lower the flame and add in the crumbled milk solids.
  3. Continue cooking the milk on a low heat for 30-40 minutes so the milk solids can dissolve. The texture will remain a bit grainy. Make sure to stir every once in a while to ensure that the milk doesn't catch at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add in the crushed cardamom seeds and nuts.
  5. Pour the kheer in any freezer-safe molds (kheer molds are available online) and place in freezer for a few hours until the kheer is frozen.
  6. To unmold, place a toothpick or popsicle stick into the center of the frozen kheerand place the mold in hot water for 10 seconds. Run a knife along the edge of the mold to loosen the kheer using the popsicle stick.
  7. Enjoy!