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Paratha

Paratha is an unleavened bread with rich, flaky layers. The preparation time is quite lengthy and, as the parathas are best served fresh from the pan, you will need to plan your menu well ahead. They can be served as an accompaniment to almost any Balti dish.

ingredients

makes about 8
225 g (8 oz) chapati flour or wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
200 ml (7 fl oz) scant 1 cup water
115 g (4 oz) vegetable ghee, melted

method

1. Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the water, a little at a time, to make a soft, but pliable, dough. Knead well for a few minutes, then cover and leave to rest for about 1 hour.

2. Divide the dough into 8 even portions. Roll each one out on a lightly floured surface into a round about 10 cm (4 in) in diameter. Brush the middle of each with about 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) vegetable ghee.

3. Fold each round in half and roll up into a tube.

4. Flatten slightly between your palms, then roll around your finger to form a coil. Roll out again into a round about 18 cm (7 in) in diameter, dusting with extra flour as necessary.

5. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and slap a paratha on to it. Move it gently around the pan to ensure that it is evenly exposed to the heat. Turn it over and brush with about 5 ml (1 tsp) of the ghee.

6. Cook for about 1 minute, then turn it over again and cook for about 30 seconds, moving it constantly.

7. Remove from the pan and 'wrap in foil to keep warm. Fry the remaining parathas in the same way. Serve warm.

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