This is a classic, healthy, nutritious, and delicious flaky Indian layered flatbread made with whole wheat flour and methi leaves along with spices. This makes a comforting meal when served with dal or yogurt and with spicy Indian achar/pickle.
Methi aka fenugreek finds an important place in Indian cuisine. The seeds are used as a spice in curries and spice mixes. The fresh green leaves are used as a herb for garnishing as well as in curries as the star ingredient ( like Aloo Methi), or in breads and grains (Butternut Squash Methi Pulao) to make the main meal. The leaves have a great aroma and slightly bitter flavor. Methi seeds and leaves are well known for their blood glucose lowering properties and aids in making diabetic friendly meals. Fresh leaves are available during winter and spring, though frozen ones are available round the year. When using fresh ones, make sure to pick the leaves alone without the stems, wash thoroughly to remove any dirt, and then use in the recipe. Dry methi leaves are also used in many recipes like pulao, Pumpkin Methi Luchi, and Bajra Methi Poori, or used for garnishing curries.
To make this flaky paratha, the following ingredients are required:
Whole wheat flour - This recipe uses whole wheat flour like any classic Indian roti/chapathi.
Salt - Adds flavors
Water - Enough to knead a smooth and soft dough.
Methi leaves - This recipe uses fresh methi leaves. Frozen methi leaves can also be used.
Make sure to adjust the quantity of water as the frozen ones may contain ice crystals adding to the wetness of the dough.
Turmeric - Adds to the nutritional value and health benefits.
Carom seeds - aka as ajwain (in Hindi) enhances flavor and aids in digestion.
Cayenne - Adds to the spicy kick. Adjust quantity as needed to make it spicy.
Oil - A little oil added to the dough aids in soft texture.
Ghee - Adds to the flavor and flaky texture of these parathas.
How to make the layers?
Ghee is smeared (a little goes a long way) on the flattened dough and then gathered in accordion folds. Then it is carefully stretched and elongated to twice or thrice the length, and made into a coil. This is then rolled to a flat circle. The layers may look smashed but they will separate with a beautiful flaky texture while cooking. Alternatively, instead of accordion folds, the flattened dough can be rolled into a log, coiled, and then rolled into a circular paratha like in Garlic Butter Paratha, or into a triangular paratha like Pumpkin Paratha, or Spicy Masala Veggie Paratha.
To enhance flavor cumin can also be added to the flour mix. Also, green chilies can also be finely chopped and then added to the dough for extra heat. A little garam masala, or cumin/coriander powder can also be added to the dough to enhance flavor.
What to serve with these paratha?
These parathas are amazing to eat as such or with a cube of soft butter. A dollop of spicy mango pickle, or this garlic pickle (if you are a garlic lover), or any achar makes the milk heavenly. When served with a side of dal like, Instant Pot Veggie Dal and some fresh yogurt, this would be a great brunch or dinner.
Is this recipe vegan?
No, this recipe is not vegan. Ghee is used in this recipe. For a vegan version oil could be spread on the dough before making accordion folds. Coconut oil would add extra nutty flavor and aroma. Any oil of your preference can be used.
These lachha paratha can be stored at room temperature for a day. Reheat on a pan, and serve warm. They can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple more days. Pack these paratha with parchment paper in between each paratha and freeze them for 3 months. Reheat the parathas on a pan or griddle and then serve.