“I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese, I’m just through with the guilt.” said Julia Roberts in the wonderful movie Eat Pray Love based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s book by the same name. This new form of diet rebellion pleased the foodie in me no end. I marked by allegiance to it by ordering my favourite laccha paratha with the Chef’s special Paneer Amritsari on our next visit to this awesome Punjabi restaurant we frequent. Even the waiter failed to hide the look of surprise in his eyes when I made a switch from my customary tandoori without butter order. 😛
Laccha paratha is a well-known North-Indian paratha recipe made from wheat flour. Other Punjabi rotis like tandoori, naan or kulcha are baked in a tandoor while this is tava-roasted. The beautiful layers that unfold with every bite of this paratha make it a visual delight. It has a generous amount of fat (ghee, oil or butter) which makes it soft and crisp. Rich Punjabi gravy recipes pair superbly well with these delectable melt-in-your-mouth treats.
We traditionally make triangular-shaped parathas at our home. Back when I started cooking I had fun trying out different shapes as well. It made absolutely no difference to the taste, of course. Yet, my family consistently gave me gentle caveats to restrict my flair for creativity to my own plate. I sometimes feel inclined to hold them culpable for me not being a Michelin Star chef right now. Sigh! If my kids ever show a proclivity for cooking, I intend to handle it better. 🙂
I was a tandoori/naan person and discovered laccha paratha on a trip to Rajasthan of all places. Toddler A Jr had shut his mouth off for everything other than crying for most part of the trip. The terrible heat was playing havoc with his health too. I requested the Maharaj ji at a restaurant to make a soft home-like paratha for him. If only it had struck me then to take a picture of what he served us. It was a lovely golden-brown coloured paratha and was beautifully garnished with kalaunji and chopped coriander. Its aroma was simply delicious! *remembering dreamily*
Since then my kitchen became a battleground as I waged a war to get that same taste and texture. I scanned recipe books and surfed the internet tirelessly. If that wasn’t enough, I called and pestered people for tips. A blogger friend of mine, Vidhi, gave me excellent pointers on how to make the layers unfold. I might’ve had a few imperfect misses at first but A and A Jr graciously accepted them as parathas, albeit with no lacchas. I’m the hardest one to please though, even myself. I didn’t rest until I was proud of the final outcome. 🙂
Here’s an anecdote you’ll enjoy or may be identify with too. We visited my bro-in-law’s new home shortly after he got married. Eager to please us with her cooking skills, his new wife planned to make laccha parathas for everyone. I observed with much amusement when her back started giving out but she wouldn’t let me help. We did make the rest of the elaborate meal together, after all. Anyway, halfway through, out of exhaustion, she forgot what those parathas were called (and possibly her own name too). 😀
When our mother-in-law asked her, she looked at me pleadingly and I promptly gave the answer. “What lacchas these people are making? We should’ve wound up lunch by now.” our MIL muttered under her breath and left. As I saw all the excitement vanish from her face, I winked at her and added good-naturedly, “Welcome to the family!” Till date we laugh at this episode and now smartly divide our respective roles in the laccha paratha making process. 😉
I won’t call myself an expert as yet but am getting better. Do you like laccha parathas too? Have you tried making laccha parathas at home? How was your experience? Would love to know.
This post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z and #AtoZChallenge for April 2019