Mint Tawa Parathas

  • The Washington PostTo make flaky Mint Tawa Paratha, the dough is first rolled into rounds, pleated and gathered together. It is then curled into a spiral and rolled out again.

    The Washington PostTo make flaky Mint Tawa Paratha, the dough is first rolled into rounds, pleated and gathered together. It is then curled into a spiral and rolled out again.

 
Posted4/23/2014 5:30 AM

Dough

1 pound whole-wheat flour, plus more for dusting

 

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for optional brushing

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Paste

4 ounces (packed 2 cups) fresh stemmed mint leaves

1 cup vegetable oil, plus more for brushing

½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the dough: Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and oil, using your fingers to work those ingredients into the flour. Add 1 cup of the water and continue to blend; the mixture will be crumbly. Drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water as you knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp dish towel to rest for 20-30 minutes.

For the paste: Combine the mint, the cup of oil and the salt in a food processor; puree to form a pesto-like mixture. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

To form and cook: Divide the dough into 8 equal parts, shaping them into balls. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Lightly dust 1 ball with flour, then use a rolling pan to roll it into a 7- or 8-inch disk.

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Use the back of a spoon to spread a thin layer of the mint paste on one side of the disk. Then dust the mint paste with a little flour. Pleat/create regular folds in the dough, pushing the left and right sides toward each other (like an accordion). Wrap the pleated dough in a spiral, tucking the last bit underneath.

Heat a skillet or a griddle over medium heat. Lightly dust a work surface and the top of the spiraled dough with flour as needed. Use a rolling pin to roll out the spiral to a 6- or 7-inch disk that's as thin as possible (less than ⅛ inch).

Place the disk on the griddle or in the skillet; cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until deeply golden spots appear. For a crisp paratha, brush one side with a little oil and flip over to cook for a bit longer (seconds, not minutes). Transfer the disk to a plate and cover it loosely with a clean dish towel to keep warm. Wipe out the griddle or skillet.

Repeat with the remaining dough and mint paste; use parchment or wax paper to separate the stacked parathas. Serve hot, with your favorite curries or vegetables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Serves eight.

Cook's note: For these refreshing flatbreads, use either regular whole-wheat flour or atta, a more refined whole-wheat flour available at Indian markets.

Nutrition values per serving: 470 calories, 32 g fat (4 g saturated) 43 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 0 sugar, 8 g protein, 0 cholesterol, 490 mg sodium.

Adapted from Vikram Sunderam, executive chef at Rasika in D.C.

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