Do you realize that if you stack round parathas in a square lunchbox, then even with the largest paratha size your lunchbox can accommodate you leave more than 20% of its surface space unused?
Does this er…criminal wastage bother you?
You can’t beat geometry. But you can pack parathas in your square lunchbox without an inch of space going waste. Let me show you how.
What solid shape fits best into a square lunchbox?
That’s right – a square.
So ditch the round. Make parathas square.
How To Make Square Parathas
For 5-inch square parathas:
1. Knead the paratha dough as you would for any layered parathas. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
2. Pluck a golf-sized ball of dough – a little more than you’d use for a regular chapati. Roll it out into a disk as thin as you can. If you can go upto a disk size 8-inch in diameter, nothing like it.
Make strong strokes towards the edge of the disk, gentle towards the centre.
3. Smear the disk surface with a little butter. Fold it symmetrically into a square shape: the top and bottom flaps first, then the left and right.
4. Press the folded ends close and sprinkle some dry flour on both sides. Brush away excess flour. Keep the smooth side face up, folded side down touching the rolling surface.
5. Now the crucial part – retaining the square shape while rolling. Place the rolling pin parallel to the edge. Roll with firm, deliberate strokes in a single direction only – either up or down. No multiple, random movements. The folded square should elongate into a rectangle. Turn it at a 90-degree angle and repeat. Continue till you reach a 5-inch length on both edges.
If you do it right, this should take no more than 4-5 strokes each on either edge.
Want to cheat? After you’re done with rolling, use your fingers to fix misshapen edges. Pull the stubborn bit that refused to stretch, push back that extension jutting out from the straight edge. Pinch the corners pointy. There’s your square :)
6. Put a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Place the rolled-out square paratha in the center. When little brown spots begin to form, turn it around. Spread a little butter, press and rotate gently with a spatula. Repeat the same with the other side. When both sides are cooked evenly, your paratha is ready to eat.
Remove onto tissue paper to absorb excess oil.
Serve parathas with raita/pickle/curry. Or pack the stack snugly into your square lunchbox.
What’s In The Paratha Dough?
So you noticed it isn’t plain atta. I’ll tell you what it is in my next post. Keep a watch :).