Celebrity chef Shipra Khanna shares secret to make the perfect lachcha paratha
Lachcha paratha can be made easily at home, but to achieve the perfect crispy from outside and soft from inside texture, one needs to keep certain tips in mind.
Lachcha paratha, the crispy and fluffy flatbread made with whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour has origins in the Indian state of Punjab and transform any meal into a luxurious one. The flaky Indian flatbread can be savoured with chutney or curry. While all parathas originate out of the same dough, how you fold or roll them can make all the difference. In case of lachcha paratha, the dough is folded into quarters and then re-rolled, and acquires a flaky, and layered texture. Lachcha paratha can be made easily at home, but to achieve the perfect crispy from outside and soft from inside texture, one needs to keep certain tips in mind. (Also read: Easy and tasty snacks to relish with your evening tea)
Masterchef Shipra Khanna in an interview with HT Digital shares a delicious recipe of lachcha paratha that you can try at home along with useful tips that will help to create the best version of it.
Recipe for Lachcha Paratha
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or oil
Water as needed
Extra ghee or oil for cooking
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Mix well.
2. Add the ghee or oil to the flour mixture and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Gradually add water, a little at a time, and knead the dough until it comes together. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky. Adjust the amount of water as needed.
4. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes.
5. After resting, divide the dough into small equal-sized balls. Take one ball and roll it into a thin, round disc of about 6-7 inches in diameter using a rolling pin.
6. Spread a thin layer of ghee or oil over the rolled out disc.
7. Starting from one end, make small pleats or folds along the length of the disc, like an accordion.
8. Coil the pleated disc tightly from one end to the other, forming a spiral.
9. Press the coiled dough gently and roll it out again into a flat disc of about 6-7 inches in diameter. Be careful not to press too hard, as it can cause the layers to stick together.
10. Heat a tawa or a griddle over medium heat. Place the rolled out lachcha paratha on the hot tawa and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until you see bubbles forming on the surface.
11. Flip the paratha and cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes. Apply some ghee or oil on both sides of the paratha while cooking to make it crispy and golden brown.
12. Once cooked, remove the lachcha paratha from the tawa and keep it warm. Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls.
13. Serve the hot and flaky lachcha parathas with your favourite curry, chutney, or yogurt.
Enjoy your homemade lachcha parathas.
Secret to make the perfect lachcha paratha
Here are some special tips to make lachcha paratha:
Use melted ghee: Instead of adding solid ghee or oil while kneading the dough, melt the ghee and then incorporate it into the dough. This helps in distributing the fat more evenly and results in a flakier texture.
Let the dough rest multiple times: After kneading the dough initially, allow it to rest for about 15-20 minutes. Then, knead it again for a few minutes and let it rest once more. Repeat this process at least two to three times.
Resting the dough multiple times helps in developing gluten strands and enhances the flakiness of the layers.
Roll out thin paratha as it's crucial to roll out the dough as thin as possible without tearing it. The thinner the parathas, the more layers you'll achieve. Aim for a thickness of around 2-3 millimetres.
Apply flour between layers: While folding the dough to create layers, sprinkle a little dry flour between each fold. This ensures that the layers separate easily while rolling out the parathas and prevents them from sticking together.
Use a heavy-bottomed pan: When cooking lachcha parathas, it's best to use a heavy-bottomed pan or tawa. The heavy base distributes heat evenly, preventing the parathas from burning and ensuring they cook uniformly. Press gently with a spatula: While cooking the parathas, lightly press them with a spatula or the back of a spoon. This gentle pressure helps in cooking the layers evenly and promotes puffing.
Flip multiple times: Unlike regular parathas, lachcha parathas should be flipped multiple times during the cooking process. This ensures that the layers cook uniformly and acquire a golden-brown colour on both sides.
Separate the layers after cooking: Once the parathas are cooked, gently separate the layers using a fork or your hands. This step helps in showcasing the beautiful flaky layers and makes the parathas look even more appealing.