Sunday, 31 January 2016


It's the day before I start my little boy in daycare and go back to the office full-time. How to prepare? Cook the entire week's dinners, of course! Since I find the flavours develop in the fridge and it's easy to mix and match what I want, I made three different kinds of curry, and sealed them up in tupperware. None of them were particularly amazing -- Rick Stein's aloo gobi is rubbish compared to mine --- but I did take a little time out to make parathas for the first time. Skipping chapatis: go straight to the flaky version!

I was a bit nervous because the only time I made decent naan, I did it by accident. So I expected these to come out terribly. Fortunately, they are really really easy, and they came out totally deliciously! They also were easy to make ahead and then fry quickly just before serving. I bet they would freeze perfectly as well. I think next time I make them I will enlist a helper, and then the process would be really fast. Otherwise you're constantly switching back and forth between rolling (floury) and brushing (buttery) and everything gets a little sticky. The following quantity serves four people with curries.


  • 250g chapati flour (finely milled wholewheat flour), or half wholemeal, half plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp melted butter, plus ~5 tbsp for brushing
  • 120-150ml warm water

In a bowl, mix the flour with the salt, then add the melted butter and 120ml of the water. Mix together, adding a little more water if needed, until you have a soft but not sticky dough. Knead in the bowl for a minute then cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Set out a ramekin of the ~5tbsp melted butter with a pastry brush, a ramekin of plain flour and a rolling pin, plenty of kitchen paper (great for mopping up butter spills), and a plate with a wet tea towel to cover your parathas as you make them. Lightly flour a surface and the rolling pin, and give yourself plenty of room. (mis-en-place is super important here!)

Divide the dough in half, then each half in half again, and again, to make eight pieces. Roll out a piece of dough to a circle about 13cm in diameter. Brush the top thinly with butter, dust over a little flour, then fold in half over the butter to form a half-moon. Repeat the brushing, sprinkling, and folding again, to form a triangle. Roll the triangle out so that each side is about 13cm long. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan and fry each piece of dough 1-2 minutes each side; they should become golden, slightly singed, and puff up a little as they cook. If you like you can brush the sides with yet more butter as you do this! (I didn't, and they were still yum.) Remove them to a warmed plate, cover with a (dry) tea towel,
and serve as soon as you can.

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