As the name suggests this dish is a speciality of Kerala and it is very popular in this state. You will get to taste it at the Thattukadas (small road side eateries) and the famous chain of Indian Coffee house. A certain amount of expertise is required to make the parotta in the typical Kerala style. The Kerala parotta though otherwise, relished with mutton/chicken stew or korma is very often accompanied and associated with beef fry as a favourite. This dish is a demand item among the non-vegetarian items for marriages and religious festivals. Almost all non-vegetarian Keralite, away from Kerala, longs for this dish as much as they long for their hometown.
When I was newly wed, we had gone to Kerala to visit my husband’s relatives. There I was introduced to this exotic dish. Being an Anglo-Indian, to me the dish ‘beef fry’ was common (though the preparation slightly varies from ours) but for the first time I had tasted the authentic ‘Kerala Parotta’. The eggs, milk, ghee and maida combination make the parotta soft and tasty. Usually in hotels and at the Thattukadas the parotta is prepared by beating the dough well. So instead of the expertise beating and preparation of this bread, my husband’s grandmother prepared it in her own style which I found was a lot easier than the usual lengthy preparation.
Though six years of married life has passed, I cherish the warm welcome I received in Kerala and still say my favourite among the varieties of food we were served was the ‘Kerala parotta and Beef fry’. So with a sudden crave for this dish, I decided to attempt the authentic Kerala Parotta recipe and surprise my hubby. With some help from my mother-in-law the dish was a success. Though the procedure seems lengthy, it is worth the effort as the end result is ‘a gift to your taste buds’.
Ingredients for the dough:
- Maida – 2 cups
- Luke warm Water – as needed to prepare the dough
- Veg Oil/Dalda/Ghee – 1 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
(Whisk milk and egg together and mix with the other ingredients for the dough)
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough together thoroughly just like you prepare chappathi/roti dough. Keep it for 1 hr-covered with a wet muslin cloth or else the top of the dough may become dry.
- Divide the dough into 10 equal portions of size a little less than tennis ball.
Take a portion and apply some oil on it.
- In a flat surface apply oil again and preferably pat the dough as flat as you can with the hand or as an option roll out(with a rolling pin)the portion to the maximum. (Make it as thin as possible both lengths wise and width wise, no need to be worried about the shape. Even if it breaks in between, it’s ok. The objective is to make it as thin as possible. We are doing this instead of the excessive beating required to prepare porotta.
- Then holding at one end of the pleated dough, rotate it in a spiral design. Keep aside.
- Repeat the above procedure for each portions (Its not as difficult as you read the recipe). Again use wet muslin cloth to cover it.
- Heat a flat pan/girdle until medium hot. Roll out each portion just like you do for a roti, but it should be rolled out thick do not make it thin. Parotta should be a medium thick. Remember do not apply any flour on it; apply some oil/ghee if you like.
- Apply a little more oil over the rolled dough.
- Using both hands make pleats on the rolled dough (just like saree pleats) starting from one end.
- Cook each side with a little butter/ghee for 1 or 2 minutes, turning frequently, until speckled brown and firm.
- Now transfer the cooked parotta into a muslin cloth.
- When 2 or 3 parottas are done, gently beat the muslin cloth (with the cooked parottas in it) on a clean flat surface. This will loosen-up the folds to form a spiral layer like design.
This procedure does not add anything to the taste, as such. It is mainly to make it fluffy and add a different appeal to the parotta.
The preparation time depends on how fast you master the dish. A few practices and the parottas will turn out well.