Medically reviewed by Shahzadi Devje, Registered Dietitian (RD) & Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)
Learn how to whip up homemade paratha (South Asian flatbread) in minutes with my easy and healthy pan-fried recipe. Crispy deliciousness with wholesome add-ins like flax meal and hemp seeds make this versatile paratha recipe one to experience more often. Enjoy piping hot with a lovely cup of masala chai. Oh, that's classic! But you could go all out and serve alongside thick and creamy daal. Why not embrace my go-to pick - for when time is tight - slather with glorious avocado dip, top with a thick veggie-packed desi omelette, roll and tuck in. It's truly irresistible!
What Is It?
There aren't many foods more delicious than homemade paratha. It's a type of South Asian flatbread that you'll find in all shapes and sizes. It's typically fried in oil or butter, but I like to make a lighter version at home - a healthier twist of a classic Pakistani recipe. And I love to have my little man, Master IZ, right by my side, rolling, sprinkling and re-creating worm play in the kitchen. I always picture my 6-year-old self, with my beloved grandma, doing precisely the same. Precious memories come alive now - before my very eyes.
There are endless ways to make them, and this version is perhaps an amalgamation of roti and paratha. It does use minimal oil, and thanks to the protein-rich flax meal and hemp seeds, it's also particularly dense and satisfying!
They can be made plain (like this one) or stuffed with vegetables (for example, potatoes, radishes, cauliflower). Other standard options can include meat also. I love to throw in all sorts of spices to give my recipe different flavour profiles - to shake things up now and then. Besides the options already shared, they can be enjoyed alongside pickles, yogurt, or curries.
Is Paratha The Same As Roti?
In my experience, the main difference is the addition of oil. When making parathas, the rolled-out dough is brushed with oil or butter and folded to make it into a swirl. Each time it is rolled, it's brushed with additional oil, and the process is repeated a couple of times. This builds layers, which create a crispy flat bread. I simply do this once to keep the oil to a minimum. It's then rolled out and fried on a tava (round girdle) or pan. The heat and oil result in a flaky and crunchy texture. And we love it this way!
How To Make It
The Ingredients You Will Need
- I use a standard stand mixer to make the dough. You could absolutely do this by hand. Combine the dry ingredients (Image 1) with salt and water (Image 2) and mix at medium/high speed for about 5 mins (Image 3). Remember to gradually increase the speed to prevent any flour from dusting out of the bowl. You will need to knead the dough for longer if doing this by hand. As the mixture comes together, you will eventually end up with smooth, soft dough (Image 4).
- On a floured surface, divide the dough into 6 equal balls (Image 5).
- Roll out one ball into a small circle, using flour - as needed - for dusting, to prevent it from sticking to the surface (Image 6).
- Add 1 tsp of oil and use your hands to spread evenly (Images 7-8). Dust the dough with flour (Image 9).
- Roll and twist as shown (Images 10-12). This technique will help to add layers to add crunch.
- Flour the surface and the dough swirl, and roll out, dusting with flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface (Images 13-15).
- Heat a tava or fry pan on medium-high heat, and place carefully on the tava or pan (Image 16).
- As it begins to cook, add 1 tsp oil (Image 17) and flip very carefully (Image 18), so it starts to fry on the other side. Be sure to use a spatula to prevent burning your skin (Image 19). I have been making this since aged 10. I can comfortably and safely rotate and flip using my hands - without causing any burns. I would not recommend that you try it yourself at home - especially if you are a newbie.
- Rotate and give it a few minutes to brown on one side before flipping it over to cook the other side (Image 20).
- Adjust the heat to low-medium, and once cooked, carefully remove from the pan.
- Repeat the process until all are cooked.
You Asked: How Many Calories In Paratha?
So many of you are asking this question. The thing is, this depends on your cooking method, how much fat is used for frying and the types of add-ins.
This recipe provides approximately 330 calories. The detailed nutritional breakdown can be found in the recipe card below. Specific nutritional highlights include:
One serving* is:
- An excellent source of fibre; and
- A source of iron
- Net carbs: 33 g
- Protein: 10 g
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Looking for some easy and healthy Indian side dishes? Make sure to check out:
- Bhangra Masala Oven Baked French Fries
- Massaged Kale Salad With Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
- Fattoush Salad With Smoked Salmon
- Za'atar 7-Layer Vegan Salad
- Chaat Salad With Corn
- Warm Beetroot Poriyal Salad
What do you enjoy alongside a piping hot Indian curry? Let me know in the comments below!
If you try this homemade Indian flat bread recipe, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Can't wait to see your photos.
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Flax and Hemp Paratha (Indian Flatbread)
- 2½ cups multigrain flour chapati flour
- ¼ cup flax seeds ground
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds hulled
- ½ tbsp salt
- 1 ¼ cup water tap
- 4 tbsp sunflower oil 2 tbsp for dough and 2 tbsp for frying
- flour for dusting
- In a stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients with salt and water and mix at medium/high speed for about 5 mins. Remember to gradually increase the speed to prevent any flour from dusting out of the bowl. You can make the dough by hand by kneading the dough. As the mixture comes together, you should eventually end up with smooth, soft dough
- On a floured surface, divide the dough into 6 equal balls
- Roll out one ball into a small circle
- Add 1 tsp of oil and use your hands to spread evenly. Dust with flour
- Roll the dough and twist as shown. This technique will help to add layers to the paratha to add crunch
- Flour the surface, and roll out, dusting with flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface
- Heat a tava or fry pan on medium-high heat. Place it carefully on the tava or pan
- As it begins to cook, add 1 tsp oil and flip very carefully, so it starts to fry on the other side. Be sure to use a spatula to prevent burning your skin
- Rotate and give it a few minutes to brown on one side before flipping it over to cook the other side. Adjust the heat to low-medium, and once cooked, carefully remove the paratha from the pan
- Repeat the process until all are cooked
- Be sure to use a spatula to prevent burning your skin. I have been making this since aged 10. I can comfortably and safely rotate and flip with my hands - without causing any burns. I would not recommend that you try it yourself at home - especially if you are a newbie.
- If the dough is too sticky or dry, feel free to adjust the flour and water.
- Add your favourite spices or herbs to change the flavour profile of your recipe.
Please note the nutritional analysis values are estimates and suggestions. This nutrition facts table does not know your life - your body, including your hunger and satiety cues, change daily. It's okay to eat more or less. Say no to food guilt and instead embrace mindful eating.
Shahzadi is an award-winning registered dietitian (RD) regulated by the College of Dietitians of Ontario and certified diabetes educator (CDE), approved by the Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board. A YouTuber and notorious foodie, she's dedicated to helping you end your cooking wars, transform your health, and be the best version of yourself! Shahzadi is an on-air nutrition expert for CTV Your Morning and a regular contributor for Global News and other national media outlets.