Flaky Malabar Paratha or Kerala Parotta

Flaky Malabar Paratha or Kerala Parotta is a delicious layered bread that is a perfect accompaniment to a meal or even tastes great fresh with a cup of chai!

Pile of malabar paratha.

Malabar paratha, also known as Kerala parotta, is a popular Indian bread that originated in the Malabar region of Kerala. They are Malabar laccha paratha so they are flaky, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside

This flaky, layered bread is a type of paratha or parotta.  It is the perfect accompaniment to main dishes or enjoyed on its own. 

Similar to the North Indian paratha, laccha paratha, Malabar paratha has flaky layers. 

The dough is rolled out thin and then used to form pleats.  The pleats make the parotta layers.

Upclose image of layered Malabar paratha.

Malabar parotha does take a little practice the first time but once you do it once you will improve each time.

In this guide, we will take you through the process of making mouthwatering parathas right in your own kitchen.

Explore other Indian bread recipes like Bhakri and Puran Poli popular in Indian cuisine.

Ingredient Notes

Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post. You only need basic ingredients.

Ingredients for kerala parotta.

To make Kerala parotta recipe , you will need the following ingredients:

All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour is the primary ingredient in the paratha dough. Plain flour provides structure and helps create a soft, chewy texture in the parathas.

Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the dough and balances the taste of the bread.

Ghee or Vegetable Oil: Ghee or vegetable oil is added to the dough and used while cooking the parathas. It adds richness and flavor to the bread. Additionally, it helps create the layers in the paratha and promotes a crispy and flaky texture.

Added oil or ghee is needed for the flaky paratha taste. It is key!

Water: Water is essential for hydrating the flour and forming the dough. It helps bind the ingredients together and allows the gluten in the flour to develop, making the dough elastic.

Milk: Adds a bit of fat and the contrasting softness

Sugar: Helps form layers

Extra Ghee or Oil for Cooking: Additional ghee or oil is used while cooking the parathas on the tawa or skillet. It helps in browning the bread, adds flavor, and prevents sticking.

Step 1: Prepare the Dough For Kerala Paratha Recipe

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Mix well.
  2. Add the ghee or vegetable oil to the flour mixture and incorporate it using your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Gradually add water, a little at a time, and knead the dough until it becomes soft and pliable. The dough should not be too sticky or too dry. If you poke it, it will bounce back.
Kerala parotta dough.

You are looking for a soft dough.  Try to make a soft, smooth dough.

  1. Once the dough is ready, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 30 minutes. 

Letting the dough rest is important. This resting period will help the gluten relax and make the parathas softer.

Step 2: Divide and Shape the Dough

After the resting time, divide the dough into small balls of equal parts.

Six paratha dough balls.

Take one ball and flatten it with your hands into a rolled disk. Drizzle it with oil to prevent sticking.

Paratha dough disk with oil drizzled on top.

Roll the flattened ball into a thin circle using a rolling pin. It will be very thin, almost transparent looking.

Rolling out a parotta.

Apply a thin layer of ghee or oil over the rolled-out circle. This will help create the flaky layers in the paratha.

Thin rolled out dough ball.

Starting from one end, fold the circle into pleats like a fan or accordion. Then, roll the pleated dough into a spiral shape, tucking the end of the pleated dough into the center.

Push it through the side gently and turn over.  (It looks like an outie belly button).

Repeat this process with the remaining dough balls.

Alternate Method To Shape Thin Dough Circle

After rolling out the dough, pick up the circle with one hand below and one above at the edge.

Now comes the throwing technique. Hold the dough from one edge and swiftly and gently throw it onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. The dough should stretch and spread out as it lands.

Malabar paratha with dough throwing technique.

Step 3: Cook the Parathas

One by one roll out each parotta. Keep remaining dough balls covered so they don’t dry out.

Rolled out malabar paratha with layers.

1. Heat a tawa or a flat skillet over medium heat. Place a rolled-out paratha on the hot tawa.

2. Cook the paratha for about 30 seconds or until you see bubbles forming on the surface.

Paratha cooking stove top.

3. Flip the paratha and apply some ghee or oil on the cooked side. Press gently with a spatula to cook evenly.

Applying ghee to parotta.

4. Flip the paratha again and apply ghee or oil on the other side. Continue pressing gently until both sides are golden brown and crispy.

Crisp, flakey malabar paratha.

5. Remove the cooked paratha from the tawa and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Use two hands to slightly srunch up the paratha while warm but not too hot. This will help the flaky layers to separate.

Repeat the cooking process with the remaining parathas.

Scrunching together a cooked kerala paratha to help the layers separate.

Tips for Perfect Malabar Parathas

Ensure that the dough is kneaded well and has rested adequately. This will make the parathas softer and easier to roll out.

When rolling out the dough, dust it with flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Applying ghee or oil between the layers and while cooking will give the parathas their signature flakiness and flavor.

Adjust the heat while cooking to prevent burning. The parathas should be cooked on medium heat to achieve a golden brown color.

Storing and Reheating

Leftover paratha can be stored in the fridge.  Reheat on the stovetop for the best flavor.

Have you tried this malabar paratha recipe? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a comment and rate it with stars. It would mean a lot to me to hear how it turned out. If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creation. Thank you for your support!

Pile of malabar paratha.

Flaky Malabar Paratha or Kerala Parotta

Shilpa Joshi
Flaky Malabar Paratha or Kerala Parotta is a delicious layered bread that is a perfect accompaniment to a meal or even tastes great fresh with a cup of chai!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, south indian
Servings 6 paratha
Calories 203 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 large rolling board or work surface

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ cup milk whole milk
  • additional ghee or oil used during preparation process and during cooking of paratha
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp water I used total 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water, it is added gradually so it may vary for you dependent on age/quality of flour

Instructions
 

Step 1: Dough Preparation

  • Mix sugar in lukewarm milk until it melts.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the ghee or vegetable oil to the flour mixture and incorporate it using your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Gradually add water, a little at a time, and knead the dough about 10 minutes until it becomes soft and pliable. The dough should not be too sticky or too dry. If you poke it, it will bounce back.
  • Once the dough is ready, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 15 minutes. This resting period will help the gluten relax and make the parathas softer.

Step 2: Divide and Shape the Dough

  • After the resting time, divide the dough into small equal sized balls.
  • Take one ball and flatten it with your hands. Roll the flattened ball into a thin circle using a rolling pin. It should be very thin, transparent looking. See blog post for pictures.
  • Apply a thin layer of ghee or oil over the rolled-out circle. This will help create the flaky layers in the paratha.
  • Starting from one end, fold the circle into pleats like a fan or accordion. Then, roll the pleated dough into a spiral shape, tucking the end into the middle and pushing through to the other side. Turn over the dough ball.
  • Repeat this process with the remaining dough balls. Cover and let balls rest 10 minutes. This helps the layers set.
  • Alternative to rolling pin is throwing the dough:
    1. After rolling out the dough, pick up the circle with one hand below and one above at the edge.
    2. Now comes the throwing technique. Hold the dough from one edge and swiftly and gently throw it onto a clean, lightly floured surface. The dough should stretch and spread out as it lands.

Step 3: Cook the Parathas

  • One by one roll out each paratha. Cover remaining dough balls so they don't dry out.
  • Heat a tawa or a flat skillet over medium heat. Place a rolled-out paratha on the hot tawa.
  • Cook the paratha for about 30 seconds or until you see bubbles forming on the surface.
  • Flip the paratha and apply some ghee or oil on the cooked side. Press gently with a spatula to cook evenly.
  • Flip the paratha again and apply ghee or oil on the other side. Continue pressing gently until both sides are golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove the cooked paratha from the tawa and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  • Repeat the cooking process with the remaining parathas.

Nutrition

Calories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 5gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 200mgPotassium: 58mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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