Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Travel Entry: Homemade Tandoori Paranthas

This is not exactly a travel entry, but it is something I learnt on my trip to India. After eating the tandoori breads, naans, kulchas, paranthas (also kind of bread) in India, I really wanted to get a tandoor for home. The problem is that they are big and bulky and are not favored to be transported all the way to the US. There are some available in the US but the costs are very high.
In this trip my Mom taught me how I can make the naans and paranthas at home in my pressure cooker. I tried this out at home and you can see they came out very good.
Below are the step my step instructions with lots of pictures.
Basic ingredients are wheat flour dough made from two parts flour and a little less than one part water. It shouldn't be on the very soft side and refrigerating for an hour helps. Also we need some ghee (clarified butter), but I use margarine instead. And some dry flour to assist in rolling.

Apply a little butter on hands and roll the dough in small 2 inch flat balls. I can fit four of these in the pressure cooker, but here Iam showing three.

After dusting with some flour, roll these into approximately 5 inch round with the rolling pin and smear a tablespoon of the clarified butter and sprinkle with a tablespoon of flour. Sprinkle some salt as well. You can put in minced garlic or herbs at this stage too if you want to add more flavor.

Then fold this in pleats till you get a long narrowstrip of folded dough and butter

Then roll this from one end and you will get the following ball of dough.

Again with some flour roll it into a 5 inch round. You can see the layers and these will crisp up similar to puff pastry.

Now for the tandoor, I use my big aluminum pressure cooker. The main thing about tandoors is that they need to get really hot and retain that heat. This has thick walls which help in retaining the heat and the aluminum helps in getting it real hot. So place it on the big burner on high and let it heat real good.

Now place the pressure cooker on the side and slap the bread on the side. To make it stick first apply a little water on the back side of the bread before slapping it on. Turn the pressure cooker and apply all the breads.

Now we invert the pressure cooker over the heat and keep the heat on medium now. If the bread close to flame is browning first then you need to reduce the flame.

This takes approximately 2 minutes for the bread to cook and there you have it. Remove it with tongs. It comes off very easily if the pressure cook was very hot to start with and if it is cooked all the way. Serve hot with butter. :)

I am so grateful to my Mom for teaching me this. Happy Mother's Day! Now I just need to watch my waist line. :)

Do give this a shot and let me know how it works out. If you have more suggestions or ideas for tandoors, feel free to comment.

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Anonymous said...

How clever! We're definitely going to have to try this technique. This is the first method I've seen that approximates a real tandoor without requiring one to build (or buy) an oven. Thanks for the detailed post! :-)


Gayathri said...

Very nice blog. the Photos help understand this very clearly. Thanks to your mom for teaching this and thanks to you for sharing. As always, Hats off to your attention to details and clarity in presentation.

Ann said...

Charan, that's amazing. You make it seem so manageable that I will have to try it!

Dinesh said...

Just for the sheer ingenuity, I got to try this out in the weekend. Cool !

rekha bajpe said...

This is amazing, charan!!! very innovative!!! thanx for sharing it with these beautiful pix!!! yr parathas look YUMMY!!!

CreativewithClay: Charan Sachar said...

I think anything smeared with butter looks yummy and tastes yummy. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Yum!! I want to try this!

Supriya said...

Wow, your tandoori parathas look awesome. I will give them a try.


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