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.