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Recipes

Asha's Moringa Lachha Paratha

Recipe By: Asha Loupy

Serves 4

Asha's Moringa Lachha Paratha
Photo by:  

Melati Citrawireja

Lachha paratha—lachha meaning layered—is a delectably flaky flatbread with layer upon layer of ghee-brushed goodness. This version is made with Kudligi Nuggekai (Moringa), giving the bread a pale, green hue and vegetal, subtly herbaceous flavor. They are great on their own, hot and slathered with more ghee or salted butter, but they also make a lovely side piece to anything saucy, from Konkan-ish Squash Curry to Guntur Sannam Chicken.

This recipe details two ways to form and roll out paratha. The first is more of a classic lachha paratha rolling method, while the second takes a page out of the cong you bing book. Both ways result in a superbly buttery, layered paratha.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon Kudligi Nuggekai (Moringa)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, warmed to just over room temperature (about 75–80°F)
  • 4 tablespoons ghee, plus more for cooking and finishing

Methods

Making the dough
  1. Combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, moringa powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and mix well with your fingers.
  2. In a small skillet or the microwave, melt 2 tablespoons ghee and add to the dry ingredients, rubbing the ghee into the flour with your fingers as if you were making a pastry or pie dough.
  3. Add the warm milk and start bringing the dough together with your fingers until a shaggy ball forms. Transfer the dough onto a clean working surface and knead until the dough comes together in a smooth ball, about 2 to 3 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Cover and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.
Forming and rolling the paratha

There are a couple different ways to form and roll the lachha paratha. Here are two ways:

  1. The first way: Take one ball of rested dough and place on a clean, unfloured work surface. Roll the ball out into about a 10-inch round. Brush the top with 1 1/2 teaspoons softened ghee, spreading it into a very thin, even layer. Sprinkle a little flour evenly over the ghee (not a lot of flour, probably about 1/2 teaspoon—this will help create the layers). Starting at the bottom of the round, fold the dough 1/2-inch pleats. You should end up with a thick, accordioned strip. Take the strip and coil it into itself, so it creates a thick, snail-like disk. Repeat the rolling process with the remaining dough and then let the dough coils rest, covered, for at least 15 minutes. At this point, you can also transfer these dough rounds into a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2 days until ready to do the final roll and use.
  2. Alternatively, you can use this second forming and rolling technique: Take one ball of the rested dough and roll it into an oval, about 12 x 4 inches. Brush the top with 1 1/2 teaspoons softened ghee, spreading it into a very thin, even layer. Sprinkle a little flour evenly over the ghee (not a lot of flour, probably about 1/2 teaspoon—this will help create the layers). Starting at the bottom of the long end of the oval, begin to roll the dough up until you have a long rope. Gently pull and roll the rope until it is about 14–16 inches long. Starting at one end, coil the rope in on itself, stopping in the center. Take the other end and coil it the other direction, stopping in the middle. Fold one coil on top of the other and gently press down to create a thick, double-layered disk. Repeat the rolling process with the remaining dough and then let the dough coils rest, covered, for at least 15 minutes. At this point, you can also transfer these dough rounds into a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2 days until ready to do the final roll and use.
  3. For the final roll, take one piece of the rested, coiled dough and roll it into an 8-inch circle. Repeat the final rolling process with the remaining dough and keep covered.
Cooking the paratha
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a spoonful of ghee and allow to melt, swirling it to coat the bottom of the pan. Add one of the rolled paratha, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Flip, cover again, and cook for another 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and cook the paratha, uncovered, until deeply golden in spots, about another 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate and scrunch up a little to reveal the layers. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining paratha. Serve warm with more ghee brushed on top.