From Noreen: “There are a few requests we all have for our mothers on a visit home — parathas make the list for me. A staple of South Asian cuisine for the entire subcontinent and beyond, in many forms and microcosms, parathas are a flaky, layered, and utterly delicious flatbread. They are typically made with atta, a finely ground flour derived from hard wheat — used in many Desi breads such as roti, pooris, and chapatis. It’s truly a comfort to tuck into a handmade warm paratha, whether in the morning with tea and eggs or alongside your favorite salan or sabzi.
The process of making a paratha involves layering the dough, similar to lamination to create flaky pockets with ghee. While we try our best not to stray from tradition or take shortcuts, my mom’s recipe holds up strong to the original ones. She uses “any flour I have on hand, usually whole wheat” and does one round of layering to shorten the process a bit. They are delicious and simple enough for a weekday meal.
Of course I take things in my own direction by infusing the ARDOR chili oil into the dough, bringing beautiful warmth and spice. I also add kalonji (nigella seeds) creating toasty, oniony notes that work magically with any sort of bread. In my pressing need to make a substantial meal from my efforts — I throw in a composed salad with quick-pickled radishes, crunchy cucumbers, shallots, microgreens, cilantro, and fresh chili. To pickle the radishes I use PARASOL, adding brightness and a much needed pop of acidity. A dollop of creamy labneh drizzled with a bit more ARDOR is the contrast I need in my life. Bold, punchy, and textural — exactly what I feel like eating most days and an homage to my mom’s recipe.”
ARDOR Parathas with Quick Pickled Radishes, Crunchy Salad, and Labneh
By Noreen Wasti
Yield: 4 parathas
For the parathas
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 tsp nigella seeds
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp Brightland ARDOR olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup water + more if required*
- Ghee, for frying*
For the pickled radishes
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp Brightland PARASOL champagne vinegar
For the toppings
- 1/2 cup labneh
- 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 red serrano chili, thinly sliced
- Handful cilantro
- Handful microgreens or sprouts
- Brightland ARDOR olive oil, to finish
- Aleppo pepper, to finish
- Flaky salt, to finish
* I used approximately 5 tablespoons of water to hydrate my dough, add more or less depending on the consistency.
* I used 1/2 tsp of ghee to fry each paratha, feel free to use less or more depending on your preference.
In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, nigella seeds, salt, and 2 tablespoons of Ardor olive oil.
Use your hand or a wooden spoon to roughly mix the flour until it resembles sandy clumps. Start adding the water, one tablespoon at a time (I used 5 tbsp), and knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the pickled radishes by placing the sliced radishes in a small bowl with the Parasol vinegar, let sit for 15 minutes.
Once the dough has rested, divide into 4 equal size balls and cover with a damp towel as you work. Working with one ball at a time, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it’s about 6 inches in diameter.
Brush the surface of the rolled out dough with the remaining tablespoon of ARDOR olive oil.
Roll the dough into a tight coil and then roll inwards into a spiral, tightening the edges (it will look like a small cinnamon roll at this point).
Use the rolling pin to roll out the dough again till it’s 6 inches in diameter and transfer the paratha to a plate. Repeat the above process for the remaining 3 dough balls. Use parchment paper or plastic wrap to separate each paratha so that they don’t stick.
Heat a 1/2 teaspoon of ghee in a medium-size skillet over medium heat and fry the parathas one at a time, adding more ghee as needed, until golden brown on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side). Serve immediately.
Add 2 tablespoons of labneh dolloped onto each paratha with a scattering of pickled radishes, cucumber, shallot, red chili, cilantro, and microgreens (or sprouts).
Finish with a generous drizzle of ARDOR olive oil on top with a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper and flaky salt.