Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kerala Parotta or Porotta


If anything worked out well in 2012, it was the whopping profit that the Kerala State Beverages Corporation made by way of taxes, thanks to the relentless efforts of the malu. The malu probably wishes to discover what lay at the bottom of a Vodka bottle, and after emptying kupi after kupi, you would think he was accomplished in this regard. Perhaps he does discover the secret but forgets all about it (along with his hangover) as he downs a glass of beaten curd the next morning, thus prompting him to give a shot another shot soon enough. Or maybe each bottle reveals a different magical secret; while one shows him a vision of his wife in the arms of another man, another gives him the courage to call his boss a few well chosen names.  Other than giving his imagination wings, alcohol keeps the traffic police, doctors, marriage counselors, religious counselors  divorce lawyers and so many others busy and in business. It is a win win situation, so I simply don't understand why the fuss about alcohol abuse. Luckily the love story of the malu and the bottle grows stronger by the day.

If there is anything the malu likes almost as much as his spirit, and rather more than the wife, it would be the parotta and beef fry. Kerala Parotta/Porotta is a layered bread made out of plain flour, lots of oil and egg and is a thattu kada (road side eatery) best seller. Have you seen those shirtless guys waving dough around till it gets stretched into what resembles mini flying saucers? This art requires a lot of practice to master and since I don't see myself mastering it anytime in the near future, I am going to make the porotta using an easier technique. And I am making them using wheat instead of plain flour taking the health needs of the non drinking community into consideration, though the plain flour version tastes and looks a lot better.

First, you need to mix together your wheat flour (or plain flour), egg, sugar, salt and a touch of baking soda. Add milk slowly, and work the dough till it is soft and pliable.

Once the dough has rested for a couple of hours, divide it into small portions.

Roll out each portion and spread some oil or vanaspathi (food shortening) on it. 

Pleat it lengthwise from one end to the other, the way you used to make paper fans in school. Roll into a ball. Flatten it out gently with a rolling pin or using your hands and cook on a hot griddle.

(Adapted from Vanitha)
500 grams wheat flour (or plain flour or a mixture of both)
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 tablespoon curd
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk (approximately)
1/2 cup vanaspathi, melted (or any other food shortening or oil)


Mix together wheat flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Make a well in the middle and add beaten eggs and curd. Slowly mix in the flour.

Mix in milk little by little into the flour. Knead the dough for several minutes till it is soft and pliable. Cover with a wet cloth and let the dough rest in a covered container for two hours.

Divide the dough into 15 equal parts. On an oiled surface, roll out each portion thinly. Spread 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanaspathi on the surface. Pleat the rolled out dough from one end to the other and twist it into a ball. Repeat for all portions. Cover with wet cloth and let the dough rest for another 15 minutes. (As you work with each portion of dough, be sure to keep the rest covered so it doesn't dry out)

Flatten each portion of pleated dough gently with you hands, or roll it out gently. Do not use too much pressure, so that you do not iron out the pleats.

Cook each side of the rolled dough on a hot griddle till lightly browned. You can add a teaspoon of vanaspathi as you cook each side to make the parottas softer. 

Stack together 4 parottas and compress them between your palms so the layers become separate and evident. 

Serve hot with beef fry or chicken curry.



  1. ah what id give for a kerala porotta and chilli beef..ultimate thattukada fare. :)

  2. lovely tutorial and the parottas looks swell; happy 2013 !

  3. lovely parottas and perfectly made, what gorgeous clicks, love the simplicity in them

  4. Flaky & nicely layered..haven't tried making these at home as we don't like these much because of maida & oil..but this looks more healthy with wheat flour:)
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  5. I didn't know that kerela paratha required egg in the dough! My fav way to eat kerema paratha is with egg masala, spicy one!

  6. The north indian version laccha paranthas are made in a similar way, using dahi instead of egg. Our cook in Kerala used to make great kerala parottas and his were the only ones I actually liked when made with whole wheat rather than maida. Love the step by step pictures:)

  7. Hi Indu,
    Visiting your blog for the first time. I was searching for a Whole Wheat Kerala Porotta recipe and I am impressed. I didn't even think it was possible to make anything similar. Your pics look so good. I am going to try this recipe sometime soon.

  8. Hi Indu.This is my first visit to your site. I read your profile and was very much impressed. How you started taking interest in cooking and now you are a perfect cook giving advice to others.I am keen to learn Kerala cooking. I do prepare Kerala food but only the basic preparations . I read the recipe of Kerala Porotta and will definitely make it today.

  9. thank you for this recipe! I visited Kerala earlier this year and become obsessed with this bread. Very excited to try making this.


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