A couple of weeks ago, in response to my column on fish curry, a very good friend of mine insisted that the roti for his curry must be hand-clapped. Such a statement might lead one to wonder – is there any other way? Well, yes. The other methods are – pounded (wrapped in a kitchen towel and bashed a few times with a rolling pin), shaken (put into a jug with a cover and energetically moved up and down) or (and this is the closest to hand-clapped) slapped together with two flat wooden spatulas, called dablas.
Each method alters not only the appearance of the paratha but it also impacts the texture. The pleasure of eating paratha roti is about the texture. For me, it is about tearing at soft, light, leafy layers of roti, flimsily held together. It is about dragging pieces of torn roti through the sauce of fragrant curries and draping it over morsels of meat to transport to my mouth; daubing at fried pumpkin, callaloo, baigan choka etc. Therefore, the best method (for me) to facilitate this kind of enjoyment is with hand-clapped roti. I am not knocking (no pun intended) the other methods because I would not refuse a good paratha but hand-clapped is how I like my paratha finished.…to continue reading this article, please subscribe. Already a subscriber ? Sign In.