- Paratha. Flaky, buttery, versatile and a doddle to cook. You could eat these bad boys straight out of the pan, but here's 5 ways to jazz them up.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. One of the greatest incarnations of carbohydrate known to man has been sitting under our noses in the frozen section of most big supermarkets. Paratha. Flaky, buttery, versatile and a doddle to cook (most of them are vegan too). A true gift for those with the patience and perseverance to sift through freezers full of Chicago Town and avocado slices (what's that about?!).
But what exactly is a Paratha? It's a flatbread native to India and lots of surrounding countries. Meaning literally "layers of cooked dough", it's made by filling wheat dough with countless layers of ghee or clarified butter. It's then rolled out into a disc and pan-fried until it puffs up and becomes charred and crispy. It can be a laborious process to do from scratch so luckily the frozen kind are easy to come by.
You could eat these bad boys straight out of the pan as they are, but here are 5 ways to jazz them up and finesse your snack time.
1) The "Love it or Hate it" (10 mins)
Drizzle some marmite all over a cooked paratha and then top it with lots of melted cheese. I used a mature cheddar but anything nice and melty will do. Whack it under a hot grill for a minute or until the cheese has melted and started to brown. Slice it up and enjoy with a few twists of black pepper.
2) The "Thai Style" (5 mins)
Taking inspiration from a classic Thai street food, the banana roti. Although done with a slightly different type of dough, this works really well for a quick sweet snack. Slice up a ripe banana and layer it over a cooked paratha. Top with plenty of sweetened condensed milk and a pinch of salt. If condensed milk isn't to your taste, try it with honey or date syrup. You could even go with peanut butter or Nutella - the paratha is your canvas.
3) The "Bacon Naanwich" (15 mins)
This pays tribute to one of London's greatest breakfast dishes, the Dishoom Bacon and Egg Naan. Crisp up some good quality smoked streaky bacon and fry an egg, sunny side up. On one half of your cooked paratha spread a thin layer of cream cheese or Greek yoghurt followed by your crispy bacon and fried egg. To really top this off (literally), dollop some tomato chilli jam (or spicy mango chutney) and a handful of fresh herbs. Coriander and mint work really well with this but anything you have will do. This is a game-changing breakfast.
4) The "WFH Lunch Special" (5 mins)
I find myself having a lot of these at the moment. This is a great quick lunch using up what you have in the fridge. My go-to uses hummus as a base and some nice fresh leaves on top. Spread some hummus over the top of your cooked paratha. Take a handful of mixed salad leaves and whole leaf herbs and pile it up high in the middle. Top with some seeds, chickpeas, nuts or anything similar you have to hand. Dress with some sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
5) The "Kathi Roll" (15 mins)
This banging Bengali street food dish consists of a saucy curry filling topped with chutney, pickles and fresh herbs. You can make this with almost anything. Try it out with some lightly spiced chicken, paneer or even better - some of our Curry Blocks. I topped this one with some pickled red onion, mango chutney and fresh mint. Fill it up, wrap it up and you're good to go.