Paratha bread is a flatbread that originated in India. It is made with whole wheat flour, ghee or oil, and water. The dough is rolled out into a thin circle, then folded over and sealed to create a pocket. This pocket can be filled with various fillings, such as potatoes, paneer, spiced vegetables, or meat. Paratha bread is then cooked on a griddle until golden brown and crisp.
Table of Contents
Golden-brown, flaky, and buttery, with a variety of yummy stuffings – paratha is an Indian flatbread that is traditionally enjoyed for breakfast. Some might choose to have their paratha as an evening snack, accompanied by a cup of tea.
Depending on the stuffing, parathas can actually become a separate dish as the flatbread is not only tasty but also rich in calories.
Paratha comes in a variety of shapes. A round one is, possibly, the most widespread option, but don’t be surprised, if you ever come across a square, triangular, or even heptagonal paratha.
An Introduction to Paratha Bread
The word ‘paratha’ literally means ‘layers of cooked dough’. However, nowadays, this unleavened bread is not only about the thick dough; parathas are also known for their delicious stuffings.
By the way, the main difference between roti (the most widespread Indian bread type) and parathas is that the former is made only with flour and water, while paratha requires ghee or oil.
That is exactly why the preparation of parathas has a deeper meaning behind it. It takes a lot longer and requires more effort to cook this type of flatbread, in comparison to the daily roti.
A paratha can be prepared as a special dish and is usually served to important guests. Taking into consideration the fact that the bread comes accompanied by melted ghee, lassi, or curry and is stuffed with vegetables – a paratha is a relatively rich and quite an extraordinary Indian dish.
The History of Paratha Bread
The ‘grandmother’ of paratha bread is, perhaps, Puran Poli. It is a type of flatbread that came in different shapes and sizes and was stuffed with a sweet filling.
Puran Poli was already known in 1000 – 1526 AD, according to the book written by Nijjar “Panjab Under the Sultans”. The author mentions that this flatbread was loved by the aristocracy and the nobility in Punjab.
Recipes for stuffed wheat flatbreads that sound a lot like modern-day parathas have also been mentioned in Manasollasa – an early 12th-century Sanskrit encyclopedia that covers such topics as ethics, economics, and governance.
Paratha bread might have also originated in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Ingredients in Paratha Bread
You are going to need only a few ingredients to prepare the actual bread:
- Wheat flour
- Ghee (a class of clarified butter from India)
The ingredients for the stuffing can vary a lot depending on whether you are going for a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian meal.
By the way, the states in the south of India have their own version of parathas – parrota. The main difference is that the bread is made out of white flour instead of wheat flour.
Paratha Bread Nutritional Information
Parathas are known for being high in calories. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons why Muslims from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh choose to have this type of food for breakfast during Ramadan.
The flour and butter mixture in the paratha bread is calorie-rich and thus keeps the people feeling full for longer.
Of course, there are quite a few variations of paratha, but a single flatbread may have around 126 calories.
The good news is that this type of bread is not just calories – parathas are made out of wheat flour which means that they also have fiber, protein, sodium, potassium, calcium, and iron.
How to Make Paratha Bread
All you would have to do is roll out the dough, brush the layer with ghee, fold it, and then repeat the process a few times.
After that, the future paratha is cooked on a buttered grilling grate. The heat will make the layers a bit puffier – this is exactly what gives the bread its flaky texture.
Paratha is unleavened bread. This means that you are not going to need yeast or any other leavening agent to make the buttery deliciousness.
Paratha Bread Recipes
Parathas can be stuffed with a wide range of different ingredients. Boiled cauliflower, potatoes, chili, garlic, radish, ginger, paneer (Indian cheese) – all these products can help elevate the flatbread’s taste.
To go the extra mile, you can serve the bread with chutneys, curry, yogurt, or pickles. In Punjab, for example, the flaky flatbread is traditionally paired with refreshing lassi.
Paratha Bread FAQ's
To make paratha bread, start by mixing whole wheat flour, ghee or oil, and water together to form a dough. Then, roll the dough out into a thin circle. Next, fold the dough over to create a pocket and seal it shut. Finally, cook the paratha bread on a griddle until golden brown and crisp.
Some common fillings for paratha bread include potatoes, paneer, spiced vegetables, or meat. However, you can really use any filling you like.
There is no one way to eat paratha bread. It can be eaten plain, with a dipping sauce, or wrapped around a filling of your choice.
Yes, paratha bread is relatively healthy. It is made with whole wheat flour, which is a good source of fiber. Additionally, paratha bread can be made with ghee or oil, both of which are healthy fats.
Some benefits of eating paratha bread include improved digestion, increased energy levels, and weight loss. Whole wheat flour is a good source of fiber, which helps to improve digestion. Additionally, the healthy fats in paratha bread can help to increase energy levels and promote weight loss.
No, there are no known downsides to eating paratha bread.
There are approximately 120 calories in one paratha bread.
There is approximately 4 grams of fat in one paratha bread.
There are approximately 20 grams of carbs in one paratha bread.
No, paratha bread is not gluten-free because it is made with whole wheat flour.
No, traditional paratha bread is not vegan because it contains ghee or oil. However, there are some vegan versions of paratha bread that use vegetable oil instead of ghee or oil.
No, paratha bread is not keto-friendly because it contains carbs.
Paratha bread is typically available at Indian grocery stores. However, it can also be made at home.
Paratha bread will last for 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Yes, paratha bread can be frozen for up to 3 months.
The best way to reheat paratha bread is in a skillet over medium heat.
Paratha bread that has gone bad will have a sour smell and a slimy texture.
If you cannot find paratha bread, you can use any type of flatbread in its place. Some good substitutes include chapati, roti, or naan.
Some common dishes that are made with paratha bread include paratha rolls, paratha pizzas, and paratha tacos.