Currently cooking from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark
I’d never heard of a flatbread called paratha, but I love breads, flat or not, and I knew the rest of our meal would need something (we were having the braised lentils, also from this book; watch for that review soon). In the story that goes with this recipe, Clarks says she based her recipe on one from Madhur Jaffrey, the queen of Indian cooking. Now, I don’t own any of Jaffrey’s cookbooks, but I’ve heard of her from lots of people I trust, so I figured these flatbreads were probably going to be pretty good. They certainly looked easy enough.
A simple dough is made from whole wheat flour, melted butter, salt and water. The dough is divided into sixths and each part rolled into a circle. The circles are brushed with more melted butter, sprinkled with nigella seeds (I can’t find nigella seeds around here, so I used sesame seeds. Clark says you could also use poppyseeds), folded into a semicircle, brushed with more melted butter and sprinkled with seeds and folded in half again. The triangle of dough is then rolled out, brushed with melted butter, sprinkled with salt and cooked in a skillet until browned on each side. Did you notice that there is a little bit of butter going on here?
What you end up with is a buttery, flaky disk of crispy bread. I guess, anyway. I ended up with a buttery, gummy disk of bland wheatyness that kept getting stuck in my throat. The problems were probably more my fault than Clark’s. I should have used more salt on them, and I should have rolled them out thinner at the end. If you google “paratha,” you’ll find lots of pictures. I didn’t take any, because I was too busy trying to swallow.
Note: Except for the one I ate, Bryan ate the rest of the paratha. He liked them. I don’t know why.