Short-cut Lachha Paratha
We all know how frustrating it is not to have easy access to a decent Roti Prata/Canai (Paratha) when we are living overseas. The Teenager is particularly fond of this fried Indian bread and often asks me why I wouldn't make him any.
He has been home sick this week. Bronchitis and ear infection. In his first week of school. My poor baby.
Actually he's really happy to be missing school as you can jolly well imagine.
I honestly couldn't be bothered to start kneading, oiling and flipping dough to make paratha like the Indian mamaks in Singapore. The amount of oil/ghee required to make this operation a success puts me off. Especially the thought of the oil on my hands. But if you want a crispy and flaky paratha you will have to live with it.
I have been thinking about this for a day or two this week. Then it occurred to me that the paratha is similar to the puff pastry in that it is supposed to be light and have layers. What if I use store-bought puff pastry (readily available here), work it like a paratha and fry it?
With this I was able to serve a few pieces of crispy and flaky Short-cut Lachha Paratha with Chicken Curry to my eldest son for lunch yesterday. He was very happy, of course, and I am delighted to have discovered an easy way to make roti prata.
Short-cut Lachha Paratha :
1 roll of fresh Puff Pastry
Vegetable Oil or Ghee
Cut the puff pastry into squares or rounds. Brush the surface with a bit of oil.
Fold it like a Chinese or Spanish paper fan.
Turn it so that it folds into a coil-like dough. Oil the surface again and set it aside while you make more of them.
Gently flour a working surface and place one dough on it. Sprinkle a bit of flour on it and roll it out into a flat disc. You may see rings on the disc that will give you the layers. Brush a little more oil on the surface and set aside. Do the same to the rest of the dough.
Heat some oil in a crepe or frying pan and fry each disc on both sides till crispy.
If you wish, stack the parathas one on top of the other and gently crush them in 2-3 movements (open your hands sideways and then bring them towards the middle) with your palms so as to bring out the layers.
Serve with a curry or with sugar as a dessert. I also love stuffed parathas. And if you can find whole-wheat puff pastry, it'll even be quite healthy!