Malabar parotta – A layered flatbread
The mild flavored recipes of the Malabar region are most certainly the pride of south Indian cooking, and parotta is one such dish. Although there are many popular types of Parottas that are enjoyed in South India, Malabar parotta takes the top position.
A visit to the South India is incomplete without a meal of Malabar parotta and beef curry as this, flaky, flat-bread uses the most basic ingredients to create something quite spectacular and yummy.
The delicious Malabar Parotta is a dish that brings immense joy in form of texture and flavour to those who eat it. Distinct from its North Indian cousin Lachcha Parantha and closer to its Malay counterpart, Roti Cannai, Malabar Parotta is flaky yet fluffy, crisp yet soft.
But … have you ever wondered its origin and how it made its way to India?
Well… Parotta was introduced by the Sri Lankan Moor working in the Tuticorin harbour in the 1970s, from which it spread across the state to neighboring states and Malaysia as well. Parottas are usually available as street food as well as in restaurants across south India. This layered flatbread made from maida flour then grew to become very popular in Southern India. It is a common street food in southern India, especially in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and of course…. the neighboring country- Sri Lanka, from where it was originated.
The most popular of all the South Indian varieties, it takes much practice to make the perfect Malabar parottas as they are a flakier and more layered. It is prepared by kneading maida flour, eggs, generous amounts of oil or ghee and water. The dough is beaten into thin layers and later forming a round spiralled into a ball using these thin layers. The key to getting the perfect Malabar parotta lies in letting the dough rest, and also in stretching the dough as thin as possible so that more layers can be incorporated. Once the parotta has been fried, the sides are gathered and given a quick crush that opens up the layers making it flakier.