Flaky & Delicious Malabar Paratha Recipe

Malabar Paratha
Image credits: su-lin via Flickr

Malabar Paratha

Malabar parotta or paratha is a delicious brad that is made with just a few ingredients. This flat bread is the perfect complement to any spicy curry dish. The bread comes from Kerala, South India, and is often served as a street food, although it is available in restaurants as well. These days, it has become a staple for dishes in the Kerala region. If you’re thinking of trying a Malabar Paratha recipe, the ideal pairing for this flatbread is beef curry.

When you’re learning how to make Malabar Paratha, you’ll need all-purpose flour, which is also called maida. A similar bread, Laccha paratha, is made from whole wheat flour.

Where does Malabar Parotta Come From?

The exact origins of parotta are unknown, but it is believed that this Indian flatbread is based on scallion pancakes, which are popular in China. The paratha and scallion pancakes are both made of layers and are prepared in a similar way, although scallion pancakes are definitely crispier than paratha.

One theory about the origin of paratha is that the flatbread comes from Sri Lanka. Parotta was made popular in Tamil Nadu by laborers in Sri Lanka who were working in Toothukudi port. Later, the flatbread become popular in Kerala. The bread also become popular around 1960 in the Malabar coast. About 20 years later, the flatbread was part of virtually every curry dish in Kerala.

There are several international variations of parotta which include kottu parotta, which comes from Sri Lanka, and roti canai which is popular in Malaysia. Trinidad is also known for a version of paratha called “buss up shut” which got its name because the bread looks like a busted-up shirt. This crumpled and torn paratha is used to scoop up the meat or vegetables in curry dishes.

Ingredients for Paratha

You’ll only need a few affordable items to make paratha. The process is intricate, but you don’t need a lot of ingredients to prepare the bread.

One of the most important ingredients is maida (all-purpose flour). You can use any oil for the paratha, but canola oil is recommended since it has a mild flavor and doesn’t burn very easily. The dough also contains a small amount of oil during the preparation process so you don’t have to use excess oil when cooking.

You’ll also need eggs to make the dough softer. You can skip the eggs if you prefer, but the paratha may not have the same taste and texture as the flatbread served by Indian street food vendors.

Milk is necessary to add richness to the flatbread. You can increase the amount if you want the spread to be a little fluffier.

Water is essential for a paratha recipe as well. Your dough should be about 62% hydrated for the parotta to have the correct consistency.

Sugar and salt are also necessary to add flavor to the parotta. The sugar won’t make the parotta excessively sweet, but will add to the overall flavor and make the bread especially delicious with meals that contain curry.

What to Eat with Parotta

Traditionally, parotta is a side dish for beef curry. While this is a classic combo, you can also enjoy paratha with mutton, chicken, or vegetable curry. People often eat paratha with egg roast or egg curry, which could make a tasty breakfast. The flatbread is served with Salna in Tamil Nadu. Salna is a gravy-type curry dish made with mutton or chicken, but the dish can be vegetarian as well.

How Is Parotta Made?

You’ll make the dough for paratha with all-purpose flour, water, milk, eggs, sugar, and salt. The dough should rest for about four hours before you divide it into small balls coated with oil. After making the dough balls, allow them to rest for about half an hour and then spread each ball into a thin sheet by beating the dough on a work bench. This part of the preparation process is known as “Veesiyadikal.” After beating the dough, wrap the dough into a spiral and set it aside for another half an hour. It takes lots of practice and expertise to make paratha; this method is recommended by Kerala chefs and will likely give you the taste and texture you’re looking for.

To continue preparing the parotta, you should spread each of the dough balls into thin discs and brush them with a combination of flour and oil to keep the uncooked flatbreads from sticking to each other. Place the flattened dough pieces on top of each other and allow the dough to rest for an hour and a half. If you pull the dough carefully, you’ll see the how the gluten has worked through the dough and how much the dough can be stretched. At this point, you can make spiral-shaped dough balls to give the parotta more texture.

After you form the spirals and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes, shape the dough into a six-inch circle. Cook the flatbread in a skillet until the paratha is golden brown on both sides.

Now it’s time to squeeze the parotta. Do complete this step, you’ll need at least four pieces of flatbread stacked on top of each other. You’ll have to beat the stack of bread to allow the layers to separate. This part of the process takes lots of practice. Usually, the squeezing is done by hand, but you can also use a Kitchen Aid mixer to make the dough and then continue the rest of the process by hand. Beating the paratha is also a great stress reliever; the more you beat the dough, the softer it will be.

Pro Tips for Making Paratha

The all-purpose flour for this flatbread can be replaced with maida, which is a white durum wheat flour. You can also use whole wheat pastry flour to give the paratha a texture that is very similar to the authentic recipe.

You can also prepare the flatbread head of time. Cook the paratha and refrigerate the bread for up to three days. If you want to place the Malabar Paratha in the freezer, the bread will stay fresh for up to two months. Defrost the bread if necessary and toast it when you’re ready to serve the meal.

Even though it’s time consuming, resting the dough is an essential part of the parotta-making process. The gluten needs time to rest to prevent the dough from becoming to stretchy. If the dough has too much of a stretchy texture, it will be hard to roll it out and continue the next steps in the preparation process.

While it is not traditionally served for breakfast, parotta also makes a tasty morning meal. They taste great with butter and jam, and you can serve them alongside eggs and sausage.

Additional Considerations

When you’re serving the paratha, squish the bread between your palms to bring the layers to the surface. Serve with your favorite curry meal, or try paratha with potato korma, paneer butter masala, or veg makhanwala.

To perfect the flat bread, be sure to knead and soak the dough well. You can also add about two tablespoons of rava to the dough to make the paratha flakier. Add oil liberally to the bread to give it the right texture. Paratha tastes best when served warm.

Now that you know how to make Malabar Paratha, you can impress your family and friends with this authentic flatbread that adds the perfect flavor accent to rich Indian dishes.


What is the difference between Lachha paratha and malabar paratha?

The only difference between Malabar Paratha and Lachha Paratha is that Malabar Paratha is made with maida and Lachha Paratha is usually made with atta or whole wheat flour. Laccha. Lachha Paratha is usually enjoyed with Shani Paneer, Dal Makhani, or butter chicken.

What is the difference between parotta and Malabar Paratha?

The main difference between paratha and parotta is that with parathas, you roll and fold the dough to form layers. Parotta is a sub-type of paratha in which the dough is rolled into a ball, formed into a long rope, coiled, and rolled out again.

How many calories are there in Malabar paratha?

There are about 196 calories in 100g of Malabar Paratha. The dish also has 30g of carbs and about 5g of fat.

Is Malabar paratha made of maida?

Yes, usually this dish is made from maida, also known as all-purpose flour. This gives the paratha the correct texture and flakiness.

What goes well with malabar paratha?

This dish goes great with butter chicken, but you can also enjoy the paratha with Kerala stew or Chilly Chicken.