One of my favorite meals is paratha with butter chicken or paneer or another great Indian style sauce. Whereas I like the sauces, the best part really is the paratha. When eating it with rice it simply doesn’t taste as good. Paratha is a type of roti pretty characteristic to Trinidad & Tobago. It’s super flaky, rich and delicious in taste, but a challenge to make.
In the end I finally managed to make a decent batch of paratha. Not as good as I’d eat when made by others, but good enough for us at home. Still delicious. Since this is not a commonly known food, I decided to step off the beaten track and discuss something less basic than jam and bread.
Magic of Trinidadian paratha
The main trick of making Trinidad paratha is to create a very flaky flatbread. This flakiness is made by creating layers of fat between the flour. The principle is very similar to that of scones, pie crust and especially croissants. However, instead of using solid butter, softer ghee is used and a smart rolling technique.
Also, because the dough is softer than the examples just mentioned, it can ectually be broken up slightly to increase the flakiness even further!
Trinidadian paratha is not easy to make on your first go, especially if you’ve never seen anyone make it before. The recipe below has been slightly adjusted from Ria’s kitchen. I would adivse visiting her blog if you’re looking for extra photos on the different steps!
|Trinidad paratha - super flaky flatbread|
- 440g flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 240ml water (don't add all at once, it will depend on the flour used how much you need exactly)
- Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the water gradually to make a dough. The dough will be pretty wet and slightly sticky, it will stretch out easily.
- Leave to rest for about 15 minutes (best to start making the sauces/other courses now).
- Split the dough into 4 separate balls (the number of balls will depend on the size of your pan, the large the pan, the larger the bowls).
- Roll out the dough in flat circles. It will be sticky, so use ample flour.
- Cover the dough with a thin layer of ghee, make sure to spread it out evenly.
- Now make a cut from the center of the dough circle to the outside and start rolling the dough from that cut in a circle to the other side of the cut (see link for photos below). Make a little ball of the dome shape you've made, don't knead it though.
- Leave to rest for another 15-30 minutes.
- Heat a flat baking surface on a medium heat.
- Roll out the balls of dough and bake on the flat surface. When the top starts getting drier, turn the dough around. Cover the top with a thin layer of oil. Flip again and cover the other size with oil.
- Once both sides seem cooked (ideally you turn only twice) take two spatulas and crinkle up the paratha. You want the different layers to separate, so crinkly and beat until you see them coming apart. The paratha is ready now!