Plain Paratha or Tawa Paratha is an Indian flatbread made using whole wheat flour. It’s prepared in a lot of households almost on a daily basis. Here is how to make it.
What is Paratha?
Paratha is an Indian flatbread made using whole wheat flour. It could be plain like Tawa Paratha or stuffed with various fillings. This bread can be had for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and is quite filling and satisfying.
About This Recipe
Tawa Paratha is a popular Indian bread, which is made in almost every household for either their breakfast or for Lunch/Dinner.
Just like our Rotis, it also needs just three ingredients, but the cooking technique is different as it is shallow fried with ghee or oil to get nice crispy Parathas.
These are mostly made triangle in shape, but you can make these square or round as well. Plain Paratha should be soft from the inside and the outer layer should be a little flaky.
They are perfect to pack for your travels or lunch box, as they tend to last long. Just pair them with a pickle and a dry sabji and you have a heart-filling meal ready.
This Tawa Paratha is,
- Crispy and Flaky
- Soft from inside
- Made with just 3 ingredients
- Perfect for everyday meals
- Great to pack in Lunch Box
For this simple bread, you just need three everyday ingredients – Whole Wheat Flour, Salt, and Ghee.
Whole Wheat Flour is available in most Indian grocery stores or you can even order it online. I use Aashirwad Atta to make parathas.
When making these for everyday use, I skip adding ghee and salt and make these with just whole wheat flour.
I also like to add Ajwain sometimes in the dough, as it is good for the stomach and helps in digestion. You can try that version of Plain Paratha too!
Step By Step Recipe
Add whole wheat flour, ghee and salt in a bowl. Mix well using your fingers.
Add warm water.
Knead a soft dough.
Cover the dough and keep aside for 30 minutes.
Make 8-9 lemon size balls from the dough.
Dust and roll the dough ball to make a 4 inch circle.
Apply oil on the circle and fold the sides to make a semi circle. Apply oil again and then fold to make a triangle.
Dust and roll again to make a 5-inch triangle. It should not be too thin as the roti. It should be a little thick. Try to keep the edges slightly thinner than the center.
Heat a griddle. Transfer it on the hot griddle.
Cook until brown spots appear on both sides. Apply oil and cook again until nicely browned. Keep pressing it with the back of a ladle while cooking. Serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both these bread are made with whole wheat flour, but the style of cooking and shape is different.
While Paratha has layers and is triangular in shape, Chapati is perfectly round in shape without any layers.
Chapati is cooked on Tawa until it fluffs up without ghee or oil and ghee is later applied on the top, whereas on the other hand, Plain Paratha is shallow fried on the Tawa using ghee or oil.
Chapati is also thin and papery, in comparison.
Parathas are prepared with whole wheat flour, but these are pan-fried making it not so healthy. But you can include it in your meals once in a while. If you are preparing it for your meals, I would suggest you avoid oil or butter and make it in desi ghee, for a healthy twist.
If you are looking for a vegan option, then you can replace ghee with vegetable or olive oil to make Plain Parathas.
These Parathas can be stored for a day at room temperature, covered in an aluminium foil in a container. Further, you can store in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days in an air tight container.
Heat it on the Tawa, add a little oil or ghee while reheating to make it flaky again, as they tend to get soft with time.
You can freeze it for later use too. To freeze them, give them the shape and cook from both sides for about 15 seconds without adding any ghee or oil. The motive is to cook them partially. Once done, let them cool down completely.
Next, store them in ziplock freezer bags with a parchment paper/butter paper in between each one. They will stay good for about 1 to 2 months.
Once you want to cook them again, remove it from the butter paper, place it on the heated griddle and cook it fully with ghee or oil.
You can also store the dough for about 3 days in an air tight container in the fridge. All you have to do is roll the dough and make hot parathas out of it.
When you are planning to make the Parathas, take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before rolling.
Pro Tips by Neha
Kneading the dough – Knead the dough using warm water. It will make sure the parathas will turn out soft.
Make sure to rest the dough for 20-30 minutes after kneading. Knead once again after it had well rested and then divide it into balls. This will ensure the gluten in the flour has been worked well and the resulting bread will be soft.
You can flavor the flour with ajwain (carom seeds), cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, or masalas like red chili powder, chaat masala powder, and garam masala powder before kneading.
Adding 2 tbsp of yogurt while making these will also ensure soft paratha. I personally like these slightly crisp and so make my dough a little tighter.
Rolling – Rolling these properly is very important to get perfect parathas.
Dust the dough lightly and roll it using light hands.
The edges of the parathas should be thinner than the center and the thickness should be approx 1 mm. Don’t roll it thin like roti.
Instead of triangle shape, you can make these square as well.
Frying – To fry these, heat the griddle and when it’s nicely hot, simmer the heat to medium-low.
Cooking these on high heat will brown them from outside quickly and they will not be properly cooked from inside.
Transfer them on the hot griddle or tawa and cook until brown spot appears on the bottom.
Now flip and cook until brown spots appear on the other side also.
Apply oil only once the it is cooked from both the sides.
After applying the oil or ghee, keep pressing it with the back of a flat ladle all over.
Keep flipping 2-3 times until it is nicely golden brown from both the sides.
It is a versatile Indian bread that tastes great with any Sabzi, Curry or even Dal.
It can also be served with Pickle, Chutney, Curd or any Raita of your choice.
You can even make a Roll or Wrap with these parathas and fill it with kabab, veggies, sauces, cheese, and spices.
You can also use your leftover sabzis to make these delicious rolls.
Layered – This variation is flaky from outside and soft from inside. It has many layers and has a unique technique to prepare it. There are many layer Parathas such as Kerala Parotta, Laccha Paratha, etc which require different techniques to get the layers.
You can even flavor these with your favorite greens and make Pudina Paratha etc.
Stuffed – These are the most popular version of Parathas, that is made mostly for breakfasts in North Indian households. In this, Parathas are stuffed with varieties of vegetable fillings and shallow fried on the taw to get a crispy texture on the top layer.
Stuffed Parathas are thicker and heavy on stomach as compared to regular ones.
Kneaded – In this version, you can knead the finely chopped and grated vegetables such as Palak, Fenugreek Leaves, Cauliflower, Carrot, Radish etc in the dough itself. Then it is rolled and cooked until nice and crispy from outside.
Tandoori – This can be plain or stuffed with different fillings, and is very popular in Punjab. In this parathas, instead of shallow frying on tawa, they are cooked in Tandoor.
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- 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 tsp Ghee
- 2 tsp Salt
- Water (warm, as required)
- Add whole wheat flour, ghee and salt in a bowl.
- Mix well using your fingers. Add warm water and knead a soft dough.
- Cover the dough and keep aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat a griddle.
- Make lemon size balls from the dough.
- Dust and roll the dough ball to make a 4 inch circle.
- Apply oil on the circle and fold the sides to make a semi circle.
- Apply oil again and then fold to make a triangle.
- Dust and roll again to make a 5 inch triangle.
- It should not be too thin as the roti. It should be a little thick.
- Transfer it on the hot griddle.
- Cook until brown spots appear on both the sides.
- Apply oil and cook again until nicely browned.
- Keep pressing it with the back of a ladle while cooking.
- Serve it hot.