Petai Porota (Crispy Indian Flat Bread)

The recipe that I am going to share today is a roadside breakfast recipe, i.e. ‘Petai Porota’. It doesn’t require any costly or fancy ingredients, all it requires is a lot of patience and skill. I have practiced atleast 5/6 time to get near perfect texture of that road-side partha. It is very popular paratha or flat bread available almost every stall adjacent to Jadavpur University and South Kolkata. I first tasted this ‘paratha’ on curiosity while I watched the making of it. It is really interesting one, making the ‘paratha’ and also the way of serving from where the name came… ‘petai porota’. ‘petai’ in Bengali meaning to beat. After roasting the ‘paratha’, it is crushed on the table-top and when it becomes crumble it is been torn into pieces. And it is sold not in pieces but by weight! I will try to share the steps or video of this recipe in future as it is a little difficult to understand from the written recipe.

Ingredients:

  • All Purpose Flour – 400 gms
  • Refined Oil – 250 ml
  • Ghee – As required
  • Salt – To taste

Steps:

  1. Take flour in a big mixing bowl. Add 1 ½ tsp salt. Mix it thoroughly.
  2. Now adding water a little at time make semi soft dough. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 1 hour.
  3. After 1 hour knead the dough once again. If you feel that the dough is sticking in your hands apply a little oil.
  4. Divide the dough into 3 to 4 equal parts.
  5. Keep the dough balls in a bowl and apply ½-cup oil on them. Rest for another 30 minutes.
  6. Now this is the real skill to roll the dough. Roll the dough into a paper-thin roti/disk. It should be so thin that your hands could be seen through it.
  7. Now apply a little ghee on it. Sprinkle flour on it. Spread evenly with your hand.
  8. Now start to fold it from one side giving pleats / folds. The pleats / folds should be 1 cm thick (approx).
  9. Now start rolling from one side to make a round disk. Press lightly.
  10. Repeat the process for rest of the dough. Apply another 4-5 Tbsp oil on the dough balls. Cover and rest for another 30 minutes.
  11. Roll into a round paratha with the help of a rolling pin.
  12. Heat a griddle or tava. Roast the paratha from both the sides. To make the paratha crisp, keep the heat on low-medium. Since so much of oil and ghee is used in preparing the dough ball, you need not to use much oil in roasting the parathas. Just add couple of tea spoon of oil for roasting them. All you need is patience to roast them to get a perfect flaky texture.
  13. From where the name came ‘Petai Porota’, meaning beating, the last step is to thrash it on a solid surface to get the perfect flaky form. Since the ‘Paratha’ made in home is smaller in just size, you just crush with your hands and torn into piece before serving.
  14. Serve with ‘Ghugni’ or any vegetarian or non vegetarian dish with this paratha.
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