A paratha (Hindi: पराठा, Urdu: پراٹھا, Bengali: পরোটা ) is an Indian flat-bread that originated in the Indian subcontinent, specifically in the Punjab. Paratha is an amalgamation of the words parat (Hindi: परत, Bengali: পরত, Urdu:پرت ) and atta (Hindi: आटा, Punjabi: ਆਟਾ, Bengali: আটা, Urdu: آٹا) which literally means layers of cooked flour. In Burma, it is known as palata (ပလာတာ; pronounced [pəlata]).
In Burma, paratha is commonly eaten as a dessert, sprinkled with sugar. - wikipedia.org
It is one of the most popular unleavened flat-breads in Indian cuisine, Pakistani cuisine and Bengali cuisine and is made by pan frying whole-wheat flour on a tava. The paratha dough usually contains ghee or cooking oil which is also layered on the freshly prepared paratha. Parathas are usually stuffed with vegetables such as boiled potatoes, leaf vegetables, radishes or cauliflower and/or paneer (South Asian cheese). A paratha (especially a stuffed one) can be eaten simply with a blob of butter spread on top or chutney, a spicy sauce made from yogurt and fresh herbs, but it is best served with pickles and yogurt, or thick spicy curries of meat and vegetables. Some people prefer to roll up the paratha into a tube and eat it with tea, often dipping the paratha into the tea.
The paratha can be round, heptagonal, square or triangular. In the former, the stuffing is mixed with the kneaded flour and the paratha is prepared as roti is, but in the latter two, the peda (ball of kneaded flour) is flattened into a circle, the stuffing is kept in the middle and the flatbread is closed around the stuffing like an envelope. The latter two also vary from the first in that, while the former is like a thick (in terms of width) version of the roti with filling inside, the latter two have discernible soft layers if one "opens" the crispier shell layers.
History and popularity
The paratha was first conceived in the ancient Punjab region spanning northern India and eastern Pakistan, but soon became popular all over India (and even current Pakistan), including southern India. The southern Indian states have their own versions of the ubiquitous paratha, the most popular being the Kerala porotta.
Indian immigrants took this dish to Malaysia, Mauritius (where it is known as farata) and Singapore, resulting in variations such as roti canai and roti prata. In Myanmar (Burma), where it is known as palata, it is eaten with curries or cooked with either egg or mutton, or as a dessert with white sugar. Htat ta ya, literally 'a hundred layers', is a fried flaky multilayered paratha with either sugar or boiled peas (pe byouk). Paratha in Trinidad and Tobago differs from the South Asian paratha in that it is generally thinner and larger. In Trinidad and Tobago it is commonly called "buss up shot", an onomatopoeia referring to the method of making it; generally this involves the finished, hot roti being struck to break it up into smaller strip-like pieces. "Burst-up shirt" is a misnomer used by people unfamiliar with the local Trinidadian parlance, simply because of its similarity in appearance.
Mangalorean-style paratha served with other Indian dishes. - wikipedia.org
Aloo paratha from northern India. - wikipedia.org
Paratha served with tea in Pakistan. - wikipedia.org
Stuffed Bengali-style paratha served in a restaurant in Mumbai, India. - wikipedia.org
Guyanese-style roti paratha. - wikipedia.org
- Plain paratha (layerd roti without any stuffing except ghee & baked with ghee - popular in Uttar Pradesh)
- Qeema Paratha (Paratha stuffed with minced meats, popular in Pakistan))
- Mooli Paratha (Raddish stuffed paratha, popular in Uttar Pradesh and the Punjab region of Pakistan and India.)
- Boondi Paratha (stuffed with salty boondi & baked with ghee)
- Gobhi paratha (stuffed with flavored cauliflower)
- Aloo (pronounced Aalu) paratha (stuffed with spicy boiled potato and onions mix)
- Tomato paratha (stuffed with tomatoes)
- Channa Dal paratha (stuffed with channa dal)
- Paneer paratha (stuffed with cottage cheese)
- Dal paratha (stuffed with boiled and mashed dal)
- Sattu paratha (stuffed with spiced sattu - roasted gram flour popular in Easter Uttar Pradesh and Bihar)
- Kerala paratha (popular version pronounced "porotta")
- Roti paratha (Singapore & Malaysia - highly variable)
- Sugar paratha (layered with caramelized sugar, usually after a meal or as dessert)
- Lachha paratha - Tandoori (Punjabi in origin. Round in shape with multiple layers traditionally prepared in a tandoor)
- Lachha paratha - Tawa wali (Popular in eastern India, triangular in shape with multiple layers interspaced with ghee)
- Keema paratha - (also called Kheema paratha) (stuffed with flavored minced meat. Popular in Punjab)
- Anda paratha (stuffed with egg)
- Podeena paratha (laced with dry mint)
- Ceylon paratha (from Sri Lanka)
- Ajwain paratha (layered paratha laced with ajwain)
- Pyaz ka paratha (stuffed with onion)
- Mughlai paratha (a deep fried stuffed paratha filled with egg and minced meat)
- Mattar paratha (stuffed with boiled, mashed and flavoured green peas)
- Jaipuri paratha
- Chili paratha/Mirchi Paratha (small, spicy shredded pieces)
- Methi wala paratha (stuffed with fenugreek leaves)
- Band gobi wala paratha/Patta gobhi paratha (stuffed with cabbage)
- Meetha Paratha (Stuffed with sugar)
- Palak Paratha
- Tandoori Paratha
- Putthay taway ka Paratha
- Bal wala Paratha
- Parton wala Paratha
- Chicken Paratha
- Pork Paratha
- Mutton Paratha
- Shrimp (large) Paratha
- Shrimp (small) Paratha
- Paratha Pizza Pops (Invented in Cleveland, Paratha stuffed with pizza sauce, cheese and toppings)
- Loki Paratha
- Batuha Paratha
- Gajar Paratha
- Dhaniya Paratha
- Chena Paratha
The original variety of parathas is served within Punjab, however there are many varieties of South Indian 'Parotta'. They are covered in homemade butter and eaten by dipping pieces of the paratha in homemade yogurt. Parathas go best with lassi, a buttermilk drink also originating in Punjab.
Paratha (with yoghurt or pickles) is staple breakfast for a large number people in India.
Parathas are commonly eaten with yoghurt or with vegetables. They are often consumed with meat dishes, especially chicken, but don't combine well with high oil content foods such as curries.
The process of layering the "skins" of dough in paratha can make preparation a difficult process. This, mixed with the popularity of this flatbread has opened the market to several ranges of frozen paratha — especially in Western markets where consumers seek the authenticity, but lack the time required to make a paratha from scratch.