Parotta bread is a flaky flatbread that is layered and cooked on a griddle or tawa. Like some other Indian flatbreads, this recipe for parotta is unleavened and served alongside other savory dishes. This crispy Indian bread recipe is super tasty and has the perfect flaky texture!Jump to Recipe
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I love Indian food, and so do my kids! It's spicy, full of flavor, and nothing compliments it better than a good buttery flaky flatbread!
This particular parotta recipe pairs well with this amazing Indian Butter Chicken Recipe. If you are looking for some other flatbread recipes, you can also check out my recipe for Herby Za'atar Bread and Homemade Pita bread!
From naan to roti to this recipe, there are SOOOO many different types of flatbreads to choose from in Indian cooking. This recipe goes by many names in India: Kerala Paratha, Malabar Paratha, Roti Canai (in other parts of Southeast Asia), Laccha Paratha and so forth.
Really, variations of this soft layered parotta bread can be found all over India. It's not just considered a South Indian recipe, but it belongs to all of India.
There are some recipes for stuffed paratha that are filled with cabbage or other vegetables and cooked. But in this particular post, we will be making plain parotta bread that is not stuffed with anything.
So what does it taste like?
Parotta bread is a buttery flatbread that is crispy and slightly crunchy and is likened to an Indian version of a croissant. It dips really well in savory sauces and is also good for scooping up meat and other veggies dishes.
If you have ever been to Flat Top Grill, this is what I would consider to be a copycat recipe for roti bread from Flat Top Grill, though it may even have more layers.
Homemade parotta recipe ingredients are very simple and straightforward:
- all-purpose flour (or maida flour)
- butter or ghee
Just for the record, I want to state that this is a parotta recipe without egg. Some recipes call for eggs, this one does not.
The key to making the best parotta recipe is all in the rolling and layering of the dough!
The ingredients for Kerala parotta bread are so easy and simple, but the flakiness comes by the method of rolling the bread and making the layers.
First, begin by heating up the water until it is steamy. You don't want it boiling, but you do want it hot. Hot water will give the flatbread dough a very elastic consistency, which is what we need in this recipe.
Measure the flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of softened butter into the mixing bowl of a KitchenAid mixer. You can also knead it by hand, but I love using a KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook attachment so that the machine does all of the work!
Add the hot water to the bowl and turn on the mixer and allow it to knead for several minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and it should be very elastic and stretchy. It should be a very soft dough.
Now, you need to cover it with plastic and let it sit for about 30 minutes. It doesn't need to be long. I have read other recipes that say it needs to sit for hours, but that is not the case, especially since this recipe does not call for any yeast.
After it rests, take the parotta dough and pinch off some of it, rolling it into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Make sure you cover the unused dough with the plastic while you work on the dough balls.
You will need a fair amount of softened butter or ghee for this next step.
I always use my hands because it seems easier, but it is important to make sure the dough gets VERY thin! You can use a rolling pin if that's easier. Using your hands and some butter/ghee or oil, flatten the dough ball with the palm of your hand, pressing the dough outward. You can lift and stretch the dough also.
Using oil or butter will enhance your ability to get the dough to stretch to be very thin. You want it to be in a rectangular form and nearly see through. It's ok if it has some holes! you can see mine does.
Once it's super thin, fold one inch of the dough lengthwise up onto itself making a small layer. Repeat that step on the other length of the dough. Keep folding one inch at a time until it meets together in the middle.
You should have one long length of layered dough. Now roll it up to look like a flower. This rolling and folding step is important, because that is what makes the parotta bread flaky and crisp!
Make sure you cover the prepared dough with plastic so it doesn't dry out. Finish rolling and layering all of the dough.
⏲️ Cooking time
Heat a tawa, or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon or so of butter and spread it around the pan. With a rolling pin, roll the prepared dough flat. It's ok that the layers are getting flattened. They will be perfect!
Once the pan is hot and the butter is sizzling, add 1 or 2 rolled flatbreads into the pan. It should sear and begin to bubble slightly. Let it cook in the pan for about 1 minute and it begins to turn golden brown.
Brush the uncooked side of the flatbread dough with melted butter or ghee and flip it over. Allow it to cook for another minute until it gets brown spots on the underside of the parottas.
Remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the paratha dough.
Serve immediately while still hot for best results.
You will enjoy parotta bread the most if you serve it warm and pair it with something saucy and spicy like with this recipe for Indian Butter Chicken (my kids favorite). This would also go really well with this chicken shawarma bowl or also with Mujadarra.
When it comes to how to make parotta at home, really the only equipment you need is a tawa (which is basically a flat pan). You can easily use a smooth cast iron pan or a comal instead! I also use a KitchenAid to do the kneading for me.
This recipe is best served immediately. If you do have any leftover, you can put it in the plastic bag and it can sit at room temperature for up to 2 days. Reheat either in the pan or I found it best to reheat it in an air fryer.
Can I freeze paratha bread?
Paratha bread can be frozen after you have fully cooked it. Make sure it is cooled down completely, wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Reheat in a pan with butter, or in an air fryer.
💭 Top tip
The thinner you get the dough the better! Even if you puncture a few holes in it (which I do quite a bit), it won't matter since your bread dough is layered. It's better if you err on the side of thin dough, rather than it being too thick.
Thin dough is the key to how to make paratha soft and flaky!
Check out these other popular recipes from A Pinch Of Adventure!
- Burrata Bruschetta
- Lebanese Chicken Shawarma: The Best Authentic Shawarma Recipe
- Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)
- Lemon Berry Mascarpone Cake
- Baklawa - The Best Lebanese Baklava Recipe
- Mediterranean Couscous Recipe
- Freekeh with Chicken
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Indian Flatbread Recipe- Parotta Bread
- 4 cups all-purpose flour or maida flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 + 4 tablespoons butter or ghee separated
- 1 ½ cups water hot
- Place flour, salt, 1 tablespoon softened butter (or ghee) and hot water in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and knead it on low-medium speed with the dough hook attachment
- Allow it to mix for several minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and it is elasctic and soft
- Cover it with plastic and let it rest for 30 minutes
- Separate the dough into 12 pieces
- Roll the dough into balls and put some softened butter or ghee on top of each ball
- With the palm of your hand, press the dough down and out from the middle, thinning it out into a paper thin rectangle. It's ok if it gets a few holes. Add more butter or ghee if its hard to stretch it out thin *see pics in post
- Along the length of the dough, fold a one inch piece at the top and the bottom. Fold again until it meets in the middle. You should have a long and thin length of layered bead dough *see pics in post
- Roll the folded dough together so that it looks like a flower. This is what gives the parotta bread its buttery layers
- Heat a tawa or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt more butter in the pan
- When the pan is hot, roll out 1-2 dough flowers until thin and place them in the hot buttered pan. Cook the bread on one side until it begins to bubble and turn golden brown.
- Brush the uncooked side of the bread with butter before flipping. Flip the bread an cook on the other side for about 1 minute
- Brown spots should begin to form on the bread. Flip it once more so that it gets browned on both sides. Remove from pan and serve warm