- Submitted by Dahlia on 11th Nov 2008
(Eggless Porotta, Barotta, Kerala Parotta, Malabar Parotta, Parotta Recipe Without Egg)
Parotta (also known as Barotta) is a delicacy popular in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is sold in street shops as well as in big restaurants. It's a pretty sight to watch the street side parotta masters (that's how they are called) making parotta. They do it with such high speed and precision. Wow!!
Parotta is made with all purpose flour or maida. The process starts by preparing a soft dough with a good amount of fat. In street side shops, vanaspati dalda is the fat used. It makes the parottas soft and flaky but at the same time unhealthy. At home you can make it a lot healthier by using any refined flavorless oil or ghee or butter instead. Some people like to add an egg while preparing the dough which also add little fat. The dough is coated with oil and needs to rest for sometime after each step to make it pliable and soft. This is a key step which should not be neglected. In shops, the parotta dough is prepared in the afternoon and is allowed to rest in an oily surface till evening. The dough is also coated generously with oil and covered with a damp towel to keep it moist.
Once the dough has rested, smooth balls are formed and again rested for few minutes. After that the traditional 'veechu' (meaning 'to throw) starts. Its the process where the dough is stretched with the hands and then beaten onto the specially greased parotta table. This throwing of the dough on the table expands it until it is stretched paper thin. You can actually see the working table through it. Well, this step requires little practice and that's the reason the parotta experts are called the parotta masters. I am not good at it either. I have a maid who is comparatively good at this. Beginners like me can make it using a rolling pin.
Once the dough is stretched out into a large paper thin sheet, there are two popular ways of proceeding. One type is called the veechu parotta, where the sheet is folded into a rectangle and cooked. Sometimes, an egg is broken in and then the sheet is folded so that when it cooks the egg is stuffed inside. I will be sharing a separate recipe for this later. For the more common surul parotta, which resembles the North Indian Laccha Paratha, the stretched dough is rolled again such that nice layers are formed. After some more resting, it is rolled again and cooked.
Wait, wait, the process doesn't end there. After cooking, another important step is beating the cooked parottas on the same greased working table so as to separate the layers. Now finally you are ready to enjoy these soft, flaky, crispy, out of the world delicious parottas with your favorite salna or curry. Once you put a piece of parotta in your mouth, you will forget the long efforts that you put in to make it. So enjoy!!
Video Instructions for making Parotta
Recipe for Malabar Parotta
Preparation time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 30 minutes
All purpose flour (Maida) - 2 cups
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
Warm Water - 1/2 cup
- Oil (or dalda or ghee) - 1/2 cup
Mix the maida, salt, sugar and warm water together. (Those who do not mind adding egg can add 1 egg while kneading the dough.)
- Knead it to form a sticky dough. Add little extra water if needed.
- Cover the dough with a wet kitchen towel and let it rest for 1 hour. If you keep it longer, you will get better results.
- Grease a working table or platform and remove the dough in that. Punch the dough and knead again by adding 1 tbsp of oil at a time. Add a total of 1/4 cup of oil.
- Continue kneading the dough for 10-15 minutes till you get a soft and elastic dough. You can use the dough attachment of your grinder or a kitchen aid to make this task easier.
- Once the dough is smooth enough, divide into golf ball sized balls. You will get about 5-6 balls. Smooth out each ball, cover each ball with oil and let it rest on the greased working table for another 10 minutes. Cover it with a moist towel.
- Take one dough ball and roll it out into a very thin layer as thin as possible. Parotta masters usually roll by beating it on the work table. Less experienced people can spread it using a rolling pin. The dough may bounce back as you roll due to its elasticity. Apply oil and continue rolling (do not use flour) till you get a very thin sheet like a handkerchief. You should be able to see the rolling surface through the stretched rolled out dough. It need not be in a perfect shape.
Smear a layer of oil all over the rolled out sheet. Beginning with one side, fold it over and under alternatively just like making a paper fan or saree pleats.
- Tap this folded dough on the rolling surface holding both ends with your hands. This will expand and stretch the dough lengthwise.
Now roll it from both ends towards the center. When it meets in the center, tuck in one side of roll below the other to form a spiral shape.
- Repeat the process for every dough ball and place it under the moist kitchen towel. Let this rest for another 10 minutes.
- After resting, we are ready to cook the parottas. Heat a tava on medium high flame.
Now take the above spiral dough one at a time, apply some oil and roll it again using a rolling pin. This time, it has to be rolled thick in about 4-5" diameter . Some people just spread it with their hands.
- Fry these on the tava with enough oil till you see brown spots on both sides. Repeat the same with all the rolls.
- Once 2-3 parottas are done, line up the parottas one above the other in the same greased work counter. Beat it with both of your hands on the sides when it is still hot. It is like clapping your hands with the parottas in between. This will almost crush it, separate the layers and make it super flaky.
- Serve immediately or store in a hot box.
- With left over parottas, you can make kotthu parotta or chilly parotta.
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