Parathas or pan-fried Indian flatbreads of any kind are perfect served by themselves but even better when eaten with pickle and yogurt! You can also serve them as an accompaniment to any main course vegetarian or non-vegetarian dish.
Ajwain parathas are so simple and easy to cook. They have a lovely fragrance and an earthy taste thanks to the carom seeds (ajwain). They are best made and eaten fresh for breakfast, lunch or dinner but can also be made in advance and frozen if you put a sheet of baking paper between each paratha and then freeze. When you are ready to eat, simply reheat on a hot pan. My recipe will make approximately 8-10 parathas.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. ajwain/carom seeds
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp. warm water (more as needed)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola/sunflower cooking oil or ghee)
Take a deep mixing bowl and put the flour, salt, ajwain/ carom seeds, turmeric and red chili powders into it. Mix well. Now make a well in the center of the flour.
Add the water, a little at a time and mix continuously. The mixture will start getting lumpy. We are aiming to make a smooth, medium firm dough so add water only as needed. Once the whole lot of flour is lumpy, start to knead it into the dough as mentioned above. The more you knead, the smoother the dough gets. The heat generated from kneading, also helps the ajwain/ carom seeds release their flavors into the dough!
Once the dough is prepared, set it aside for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions and roll between your hands till they are smooth and without cracks.
Very lightly flour a rolling board or clean counter surface and roll each ball into a circle of 7-8" diameter (5-6mm thick). For convenience roll out as many parathas as you like, stacking them, ready to cook with a layer of cling film between each paratha.
Heat a griddle and fry the parathas one at a time like this: Put a paratha on the griddle. Do the first flip when you see tiny bubbles rise to the surface of the paratha. As soon as the first flip is done, drizzle a bit of the oil/ghee on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip again in 30 seconds and drizzle oil/ghee on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
Serve with chilled yogurt and your favorite pickle or chutney.