Flaky Saffron Paratha with dozens of crisp layers. This Indian bread is delicious with curry, daal and even as wraps for Shahi Paneer Tikka.
Learn how to make the flakiest paratha with my simple step-by-step recipe video for making this diamond of an Indian flatbread. The secret to the flakiest paratha is revealed in this post and video.
These Flaky Saffron Paratha..
- Have restaurant level layers and perfect flakiness
- Are easy to make
- Freeze well
- Are perfect for eating with curry or daal
My recipe calls for a beautiful saffron-infused dough but you can easily leave it out for plain paratha.
What are Paratha?
Paratha are a type of unleavened flatbread from the Indian subcontinent, but popular across all of Asia and in some parts of the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean. With so many different methods of preparation, paratha go by a number of names, depending on local language. Some of these names include: Parotta, Roti Canai, Chapati or simply, roti.
Main ingredients in Paratha
You’ll need wholewheat flour, gram flour, oil, milk, salt, sugar and ghee. The saffron is optional but I love the flavour and it adds. Paratha are very simple to make, but do require some time for kneading and resting, so be sure to give yourself a few hours to get everything ready.
How to serve paratha
Paratha pair well with any curry or daal. You can also use them as wraps for rolls such as Kathi Rolls, Frankies and Shawarmas.
How to make and roll Paratha (recipe card below)
1. Make the dough and allow to rest
Combine all the ingredients for the dough and knead for at least 10 minutes, until smooth, stretchy and elastic. If you’re using a stand mixer, you can knead with the dough hook attachment for 5 minutes. This long kneading time will help to develop the gluten for a dough that can be stretched thinly to create many layers.
Cover the dough and rest it for 1 hour. Don’t skip the resting, it is a crucial step.
2. Create the layers and allow to rest (how to make paratha layers)
We will use the Jalebi Paratha method. Roll the dough out into the thinnest circle possible. Spread with a small amount of softened ghee (or oil) and sprinkle with flour). Next, make a cut from the centre, to the outer edge. Roll into a spiral cone shape before standing it up and pressing down with your palm. Cover and rest the dough once more, this time in the fridge for 30 minutes.
This is the way my Nanabapu (maternal grandfather) used to make them for his clients as a chef in Nairobi, and then in the UK.
3. Roll the paratha
Dust the dough balls with flour and roll out until they’re around 2mm thick.
4. Cook the flaky saffron paratha
Cook both sides of the paratha on a pre-heated pan. I tend to opt for non-stick frying pans due to the amount of ghee in the paratha. As much as I love my aluminium tawa, it gets far too smoky for this. Once one side is lightly toasted, brush with a small amount of ghee to encourage the layers to separate, then turn and repeat. The side you brushed will ghee will toast up beautifully.
Wrap in a clean tea towel and stack the cooked parathas on top of each other. Before serving, clap the parathas in the tea towel between your hands to separate the layers for maximum flakiness.
Flaky Saffron Paratha recipe card
For the saffron paratha dough
- 600g plain flour
- 2 tbsp gram flour
- 3 tbsp oil
- 350ml warm milk
- 12-14 strands saffron
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
For rolling and cooking the paratha
- 125g softened ghee
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- Combine all the dry ingredients for the dough. Soak the saffron in the warm milk and stir well. Pour this into the dry ingredients, along with the oil and knead for at least 10 minutes, until smooth, stretchy and elastic. If you're using a stand mixer, you can knead with the dough hook attachment for 5 minutes. This long kneading time will help to develop the gluten for a dough that can be stretched thinly to create many layers. Cover the dough and rest it for 1 hour.
- Divide the rested dough into 6 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough out, using a little extra flour if necessary. Try to roll the dough out into the thinnest circle possible. Spread with about 1/2 tsp of softened ghee (or oil) and then sprinkle over 1/2 tsp flour. Next, make a cut from the centre of the circle, to the outer edge. Roll into a spiral cone shape before standing it up and pressing down with your palm. Cover and rest the dough once more. Repeat for the remaining dough balls. Rest them again (covered) for 30 minutes, this time in the fridge.
- Pre-heat a frying pan over a medium heat. One at a time, roll a dough ball with flour and roll out into a large circle, until it's around 2mm thick.
- Cook the Paratha lightly, on both sides. Once one side has been lightly toasted, spread over a small amount of ghee to encourage separation of layers and to help the paratha brown. Turn and repeat on the other side.
- Wrap in a clean tea towel and continue to roll and cook the remaining paratha. Stack the cooked parathas on top of each other. Before serving, clap the parathas in the tea towel between your hands to separate the layers for maximum flakiness. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 675Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 422mgCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 14g
How to make vegan Paratha
To make vegan laccha paratha (parotta), simply swap the ghee and milk in this recipe with oil and water. You could also use your favourite plant-based butter and milk if you prefer.
If you like Flaky Saffron Paratha, you may also enjoy these other Indian bread recipes…
- Aloo Paratha recipe
- Cheese Naan recipe
- Super Soft Roti Recipe
- Paneer Kulcha recipe
- Garlic and Coriander Naan recipe
- Quick Buttermilk Naan recipe
- Peshwari Naan recipe
- Soft Spinach Roti (Chapati) recipe
- Masala Poori recipe
- Pull-Apart Samosa Bread
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If you like this, you’ll love my recipe for Shahi Paneer Tikka