How to mnake fluffy, layered parathas

This style of paratha turns out crispy and with several layers. It is the perfect accompaniment for any thick-gravied dish.
Lachcha Paratha (layered Indian bread)


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • Water to make dough
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup ghee (clarified butter)


  • Mix the flour and salt and knead into a soft dough with a little water at a time. Keep aside.
  • Mix 3 tbsps of ghee with 1 tbsp of flour and keep aside.
  • Divide the dough into equal-sized balls. Divide each ball into 2 portions.
  • Take each portion and roll into a long, finger-thick noodle shape.
  • Coil the first shape into a spiral.
  • Flour a rolling surface lightly and very gently roll out the spiral into a flat circle about 5″ in diameter (1/3″ thick).
  • Grease the top surface with the ghee-flour mix.
  • Roll the next shape in the same way and place over the first circle. This makes one Lachcha Paratha. Make up all the remaining dough the same way.
  • Heat a flat pan on a medium flame.
  • Fry each paratha like this: After placing it on the pan the first time, turn after 30 seconds. Spread ghee on the top surface and turn again. Grease the side now on top. Turn often and fry till crisp and golden.
  • The resulting paratha will be crisp, layered and flaky!

Spicy Minced meat Parathas

Made Masala Kheema (spicy minced meat) and got some left over? Make Kheema Parathas then. It’s meat and bread all rolled into one!


  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups Masala Kheema (spicy minced meat) – made with 1/4 kg minced beef
  • Ghee (clarified butter) to pan-fry the parathas


  • Using water, a little at a time, knead the whole-wheat flour into a smooth, medium-soft dough and keep aside for an hour.
  • Prepare the Masala Kheema (spicy minced meat) as per recipe.
  • Divide all the dough into equal sized balls. Flour a clean surface and roll each ball out into a circle about 3″ in diameter.
  • Put about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon of the Masala Kheema into the center of the circle and fold the edges over to cover the filling completely. Gently press to seal.
  • Roll out into a circle of 7-8″ diameter. For convenience roll out as many parathas as you like, stacking them, ready to cook with a layer of cling film between each paratha.
  • Heat a griddle and fry the parathas one at a time like this: Put a paratha on the griddle. Do the first flip when you see tiny bubbles rise on the surface of the paratha. As soon as the first flip is done, drizzle a bit of ghee on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip again in 30 seconds and drizzle ghee on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
  • Serve with your favorite pickle or chutney.

Stuffed Red Chilli Pickle

This pickle from North India’s Uttar Pradesh sounds fiery but it is a classic case of more bark than bite! The best part is, it’s easy to make.
Bharvaan Laal Mirchi ka Achaar - Stuffed Red Chilli Pickle


  • 1 kg large red chillies
  • 2 cups mustard oil
  • 2 tbsps mustard seeds
  • 3 tbsps cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsps aniseed/fennelseeds
  • 5 dry red chillies
  • 8-10 tbsps mustard powder
  • 4 tbsps raw mango powder
  • 15 tbsps salt
  • Juice of 5 limes
  • 1 tsp asafetida


  • Wash and thoroughly dry the chillies. Trim the stems.
  • Slit the chillies upto just under the stem. Do not cut right throught them. Scoop out all the inner flesh and seeds and discard. Oil your hands a bit before you do this and you’ll save yourself from the chillies’ burn!
  • Roast the dry red chillies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and aniseed/fennel seeds on a slow fire. Cool and grind coarsely.
  • Mix with the mustard powder, raw mango powder and salt. Add the lime juice to this mix to make a thick paste.
  • Stuff each chilli well with the paste.
  • Put the chillies in a dry, wide-mouthed glass pickling jar (the glass should be able to withstand hot tempratures).
  • Heat the mustard oil in a pan and when very hot add the asafetida and immediately turn off the fire.
  • Pour this oil over the chillies in the jar.
  • Seal the jar and keep it out in the sun for a week to ten days. The longer you keep it out in the sun the better the pickle tastes! Shake gently each day to make sure the oil coats the chillies well.
  • Serve with plain chapati (flatbread) or rice.

Pickled crunchy Carrots…Indian

Pickled crunchy carrots make a terrific accompaniment for just about any meal. I love to eat this Achaar (pickle) with plain rice and yogurt


  • 1/2 kg/ 1 lb (approx) carrots, washed and patted dry
  • 6 tbsps mustard oil (use any vegetable oil if you cannot get mustard oil)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsps fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsps kalonji/ nigella
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt/ salt
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger minced/ chopped very finely
  • Juice of 1 lime/ lemon


  • Cut the tops and tails off the carrots and then cut them into small 1/2″ cubes.
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan, on medium heat, till very hot. Add the whole spices and fry for 30 seconds or till popping and spluttering stops.
  • Add the carrots, salt and ginger. Mix well. Stir often and cook till carrots are slightly soft. Remove from fire.
  • When cooled slightly, add the lime/ lemon juice. Put the pickle into a sterilized jar with a tight lid. Keep in the sun daily for 2 weeks. This will cause the pickle flavors to develop nicely.
  • The pickle will keep outside the refrigerator, for a month. To store longer (not more than 8 weeks) keep in the fridge. Stir the pickle with a dry spoon every few days.

Green Mango Pickle

There are countless versions of mango pickle in India with each region having its own host of recipes. This one is from the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh and is often eaten with stuffed parathas (Indian bread) and yoghurt.
Aam Ka Achaar (mango pickle)


  • 1 kg raw green mangoes (cut into 4-8 pieces each)
  • 1 cup white sea/rock salt
  • 3 tbsps aniseed/fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 3 tbsps kalonji (onion seeds)
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 5 tbsps red chilli powder
  • 2 tsps turmeric powder
  • 3 cups (710 ml) mustard oil


  • Sterilise and thoroughly dry a glass pickling jar.
  • Put the mangoes in the jar and cover with salt. Mix well and cover the jar tightly.
  • Leave the jar out in the sun for a week so that the mangoes soften.
  • Mix the aniseed/fennel, mustard, onion and fenugreek seeds, chilli powder and turmeric together.
  • Add this spice mix to the mangoes.
  • Heat the mustard oil till it smokes and then turn off the fire. Allow the oil to cool fully.
  • Pour this oil over the mangoes so that all the pieces are submerged. Mix well.
  • Put the tightly covered jar back in the sun for two weeks. Stir everyday to mix well.
  • Eat with stuffed parathas and yogurt or with chapatis (Indian flatbread) and any vegetable dish.

Sri Lankan Rice and Curry Class 28th July at Russell Island


Class will be held at the Bay of Island Community Centre, 55 Jackson Road, Russell island.


Cooking rice, chicken and potato curry, lentil and vegetable yellow curry,onion salad, coconut sambol,yoghurt and mixed greens. You may choose to dish out your meal onto a banana leaf lamprie style….or use a plate as usual.
After cooking we sit and eat the meal..


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