Feb 25, 2008

Recipe - Spicy Paratha (Namak-Mirch ke Parathe)

(Spicy Flat Indian Bread)


Parata is normally eaten with dal. curries or spicy pickle. Plain parata dough can be used to make Poori's. In North India, spicy parata's are also served as breakfast.

I make plain parata (namak parata) for my kids by adding ghee, ajwain and salt. And make spicy parata by adding chilly powder. I always keep the roti dough ready in my refrigerator, and make parata's out of it according to the demand of my family, spicy/plain parata's or use the dough for plain roti or to roll any kind of stuffed paratas.

Ingredients for the making dough:

For desired results use standard measuring cups:

  • Wheat flour - 1 heaping cup.
  • Water - 1/2 cup (important to know the quantity)
  • Salt - 1 pinch
  • Ajwain (carom seeds) - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Chilly powder
  • All purpose flour or wheat flour- 1/2 cup (to flip the dough while rolling the roti)
  • Ghee (clarified butter) or butter for brushing the roti (optional)


Take one cup of wheat flour in a mixing bowl.

Slowly add water to the flour. It's better not to add all the water into the flour, you may want the dough a little tight (hard) for parathas. Knead it by hand or use any kind of dough mixer/electric appliance. I always do it the old fashioned way by hand, so you can't go wrong! After the dough is kneaded, take a teaspoon of oil in your hand and apply it all over the dough. This way the dough won't stick to the walls of the container the next time you use it, and you can store any leftover dough in any air tight container. Set the dough aside for 20-30 minutes before making paratha.

Method to roll Partha:

Get the tools ready - Tawa on the stove with medium high temperature. Rolling pin to make/roll rotis/parathas. All purpose flour in a 3/4 plate to lightly flour the dough in between during rolling the paratha dough. Salt, Red chilly powder, and carom seeds (if you are using roti dough).

Make a small lemon size ball out of the dough.

Slightly flatten the ball sized dough and dip the flatten ball in the all purpose flour plate which is placed in the side. Place it on the lightly floured/clean surface and slowly roll the dough in a circular motion from the center.

To prevent sticking of the paratha dough when rolling, you can continuously rotate the dough on the surface (lift it up and throw it back down just like a frisbee). Remember not to fling it across the room!

Brush the half rolled paratha with some ghee or oil and sprinkle salt, red chilly powder. Fold the roti in the desired shape, square/hexagan/traingle.

Continue rolling and lightly dust the paratha with flour if the paratha is sticking to the surface. Too much dusting may spoil the taste of the paratha too. It is important to roll the dough on one side only. Make sure not to apply too much pressure while rolling. Try not to roll the paratha too thin (if you're a beginner at this). Soon you will see the small ball of dough expand to 3 inches in diameter (just like a disc)

Method to cook Paratha:

Preheat the tawa/cast iron pan on medium high. Transfer the ready paratha on to the pan and wait for 10-15 seconds. You will see small bubbles forming on the paratha. Flip the paratha on to the other side and wait for 15 seconds.

You will see the paratha puffing up little.

Flip the paratha onto the second side, just to make sure the paratha is cooked well. Do not leave the paratha too long on the tawa or else it will burn.

Transfer the paratha into a plate and brush it with ghee. Parathas taste good when served hot.

To retain the warmth of the Parathas, you can store them in a casserole/hotbox to keep them moist and soft.

# Servings - 2

Recipe - Dal Makhani

Black gram cooked with Kidney beans


Dal Makhani, very rich in nutritional value, can be eaten with rice or roti/paratha. It is a very popular dal in north India.
For busy people, slow cooker can also be used for cooking. In this case, the cooking process has to start 12 - 15 hours before the meal time. The dal has to be pre-soaked for cooking in a slow cooker.

For pressure cooking, pre-soaking the dal reduces the cooking time.


* 1 cup whole urad or black gram lentil
* 1/3 cup kidney beans ( Rajma)
* Red chilly powder (according to taste)
* 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
* 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter or oil
* 1 teaspoon. cumin seeds
* A large pinch of hing (Asafoetida)
* 2 tablespoons grated ginger
* 1 tablespoon grated/minced garlic (optional)
* 1 medium onion (Chopped)
* 2-3 medium tomatoes (Finely chopped)
* 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
*1/2 - Garam masala
* 2 tablespoons - chopped coriander leaves (Garnish)
* 2 teaspoons - Salt to taste
* 6 cups water (to cook Dal)


Wash and soak black urad (bean)and rajma (red kidney bean) overnight. If you decide on cooking without soaking, you will have to pressure cook it for more time.
Pressure cook the urad dal and rajma in 6cups of water (at least 15 whistles) with salt, red chili powder, turmeric, and grated ginger till urad dal and rajma are soft.

If you notice, the dal is still standing out you can always lightly mash it into slight mixture, keep it aside.


Heat oil or butter in a skillet or pan.
Add cumin seeds and hing, allow the seeds to splutter. Add chopped onions, ginger, garlic and cook till light
slightly brown in color.

Add chopped tomatoes and coriander powder and mix well. Saute till tomatoes are well mashed.

Add dal and rajma to this onion and tomato seasoning and little water ( desired consistency).

Cook the Dal on a very slow flame for 10 - 15 minutes. Add fresh cream or milk (optional) and let it simmer for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
Garnish with coriander leaves before serving.

# Servings 6

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Some of the recipes presented here are originally inspired by others. Credit is given to the original postings. I have listed recipes here for my own reference as well as pictures are my addition to the whole cooking experience. Enjoy.