Laccha paratha is a popular north Indian flatbread. It is an unleavened (no-raising agent) flatbread made with simple ingredients. As an accompaniment, it is ideal for many dishes, particularly those with which you need something to scoop it up.
Of course, it is easy to buy laccha paratha in the supermarket's frozen food section; however, it is much more fun and satisfying to make and healthy. Don't worry; it's relatively simple and quick to make too.
This flatbread is often made with plain, all-purpose flour. However, I like to make mine with chapati flour because it is wholewheat and contains healthy fibre. I want to support small sustainable businesses, so a shout out to Shipton Mill, where I buy my flour.
A feature of this flatbread is its flakiness. The video in the recipe card illustrates that folding and pleating the dough creates this characteristic.
Laccha Paratha's origins are in 12th-century India. Specifically, Punjab and North India are the central regions associated with it. However, you will find various versions across the sub-continent; indeed, you find it beyond India - in China as scallion pancakes, or Malaysia as roti canai, for instance. It is an extremely popular flatbread and very versatile.
- Chapati flour
- Olive oil
- Vegan butter
Please see the recipe card for quantities.
In a bowl, add the chapati flour and olive oil.
Add the water and mix to form a dough, ensuring no dry bits of flour.
Transfer to a countertop and briefly knead.
Put the dough back into the bowl and set aside to rest for 20 minutes
Separate the dough into eight equal portions.
Dust the countertop with chapati flour and roll out each ball as thin and round as possible. Using a brush, coat the surface with melted vegan butter.
Fold from the top, making pleats like a fan, right up to the other end.
Roll from one end to the other, forming a spiral.
Tuck the end bit under the roll.
Start from the centre and, using your fingers, press outwards.
Using a rolling pin, roll the paratha into a disk. Please don't press it down too much or roll it too thin. If you roll it too thin, the layers will be lost. If the dough gets too sticky while rolling, dust it or the rolling pin with flour. Repeat this with all the other portions.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Transfer a rolled-out paratha to the hot pan and cook each side. The colour will change, and you will have a few brown spots.
Then brush with oil and continue cooking both sides until done.
Remove from the pan and brush with vegan butter. Fold from the outside in to reveal the layers.
Chapati flour is best for this parantha as it has fibre. You can use all-purpose flour / plain flour; however, you may need to adjust the water content. I suggest adding water slowly to the amount required to bring the dough together.
For a laccha paratha with an exciting twist, you might like to look at my laccha paratha with wild garlic.
I prefer not to add salt to the flatbread, but feel free to add some to your taste if you wish.
Laccha paratha is best eaten fresh and hot. You can store it in the fridge wrapped up; however, it does get tough when cold. You will need to reheat it in a microwave or the oven wrapped in foil.
Laccha paratha can be frozen if you want to make a big batch. After rolling it out the second time after folding, put the paratha between parchment paper, put it in a freezer-safe container or reusable zip lock bag and freeze. When you want to use it, cook straight from frozen over medium heat.
Laccha means loop or coil, and paratha means layers of cooked dough. While making the laccha paratha, a flat disk of dough is pleated and then rolled into a coil. Then, it is flattened and rolled flat. This is what creates the layers and gives this flatbread its flaky nature.
Laccha paratha accompanies many dishes with gravy or sauce that needs scooping up! the paratha makes a great vessel for it. So they are a great side serving for curries and daals. It can accompany raita and pickles too.
Laccha paratha goes well with my keema matter, and I have some delicious daals: Arha (toor) daal, chana daal, aubergine daal, and saag daal and kaali daal.
There are many Indian flatbreads, over thirty. Here is a beginner's guide to the more common varieties.
Chapati: Households in India use this flatbread daily, making it one of the most popular. The meaning of chapati in Hindi is slap. To make the chapati, one slaps the dough between the hands, forming a flat disk. For most of us, though, a rolling pin is fine!
Roti: Made with wholewheat and unleavened. If you want a light flatbread, roti is a good choice, as opposed to the leavened, heavier naan. Cooking is usually on a flat griddle.
Parotta: Basically, this is the south Indian version of laccha paratha. Indeed, they look the same, and both are flaky.
Naan: Yoghurt and milk are key ingredients in this unleavened flatbread. This makes it softer and heavier than others. The traditional way of cooking it is in a tandoor by slapping it in the sides of this clay, charcoal-heated oven.
Puri: Made with wholewheat, it is unleavened and deep-fried. This cooking process releases steam, making the dough puff and giving it its characteristic shape. It is a famous bread for breakfasts, snacks and light meals.
Bhatura: This is a leavened, deep-fried flatbread. Like Puri, it puffs up when cooked—classically served with chickpea curry.
Laccha Paratha Flat Bread Recipe
- Digital scales
- 500 gms Chapati flour
- 300 ml Water
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- 40 gms Vegan butter From a Block
- In a bowl add the chapati flour and olive oil.
- Add the water and mix to form a dough, ensuring no dry bits of flour.
- Transfer to a counter top and briefly knead.
- Put the dough back into the bowl and set aside to rest for 20 minutes
- Melt the vegan butter.
- Separate the dough into eight equal portions.
- Dust the countertop with chapati flour and roll out each ball as thin and round as possible.
- Using a brush coat the surface with vegan butter.
- Fold from the top, making pleats like a fan, right up to the other end.
- Bring it all together and roll from one end to the other forming a spiral as you go. Tuck the end bit under the roll.
- Repeat this with all the other balls and set aside.
- Dust the counter top with some chapati flour and press down the prepared roll.
- Start from the centre and using your fingers press outwards.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the paratha into a disk. At this point, we don't press it down too much or roll it too thin. If you roll it too thin, the layers will be lost. If the dough gets too sticky while rolling, dust it or the rolling pin with flour.
- Repeat this with all the other portions.
- Heat a frying pan over a medium high heat.
- Transfer a rolled-out paratha to the hot pan and cook each side. The colour will change, and you will have a few brown spots.
- Then brush with oil and continue cooking both sides until done.
- Remove from the pan and brush with vegan butter and fold from the outside in to reveal the layers.
- Serve hot.
In a professional kitchen, food hygiene and safety are a top priority, and from the beginning of training, I practised good habits and routines. Of course, practising good food hygiene and safety at home is also essential. Here are some fundamental practices to adopt in the kitchen.
- Wash your hands regularly while preparing, handling and cooking food.
- Wipe down countertops and high-contact points regularly.
- If you cook meat and fish, do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for meat and fish. Wash your chopping boards immediately after use.
- Thoroughly cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods (more than 2 hours).
- Store food correctly.
For more details regarding food hygiene and safety in the home, visit the UK Government's Food Standards Agency webpage.