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Mint parantha (Pudina Parantha) from India
|Alternative name(s)||Paratha, parauntha, palata, farata, parontay, prontha,|
|Place of origin||India, Pakistan, Bangladesh|
|Region or state||South Asia|
|Main ingredient(s)||Atta, maida, ghee/butter/cooking oil and various stuffings|
A parantha/paratha/parauntha (Urdu: پراٹھا) is a flatbread that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is quite prevalent in the Pakistan and Indian region of Punjab, Northern India and Bangladesh. Parantha is an amalgamation of the words parat and atta which literally means layers of cooked dough. In Burma, it is known as palata (ပလာတာ; pronounced: [pəlàtà]), while it is known as farata in Mauritius and the Maldives. However, in areas of the Punjabi region, it is referred to as '"prontha, parontay"'.
It is one of the most popular unleavened flat breads in Punjabi North Indian cuisine and Pakistani cuisine and is made by pan frying whole wheat dough on a tava. The parantha dough usually contains ghee or cooking oil which is also layered on the freshly prepared paratha. Paranthas are usually stuffed with vegetables such as boiled potatoes (as in aloo ka parantha), leaf vegetables, radishes or cauliflower and/or paneer (South Asian cheese). A parantha (especially a stuffed one) can be eaten simply with a knob of butter spread on top, with chutney, pickles, and yogurt, or with meat or vegetable curries. Some roll the parantha into a tube and eat it with tea, often dipping the parantha.
The parantha can be round, heptagonal, square or triangular. In the former, the stuffing is mixed with the kneaded flour and the parantha is prepared as roti is, but in the latter two, the peda (ball of kneaded flour) is flattened into a circle, the stuffing is kept in the middle, and the flatbread is closed around the stuffing like an envelope. The latter two also vary from the first in that, while the former is like a thick (in terms of width) version of the roti with filling inside, the latter two have discernible soft layers if one "opens" the crispier shell layers.
History and popularity 
The Parantha is an important part of a traditional Pakistani, Punjabi Indian or Bangladeshi breakfast. It is claimed by some to have originated in Punjab, while others claim it originated in Kashmir. However, it can be encountered in many parts of southern Asia. Traditionally, it is made using ghee but oil is also used. Some people may even bake it in the oven for health reasons. Usually the paratha is eaten with dollops of white butter on top of it. Sides which go very well with parantha are curd, fried egg, omelette, Qeema (Ground beef cooked with vegetable and spices), Nihari (a beef dish), jeera aloo (potatoes light fried with cumin seeds), daal, and raita as part of a breakfast meal. It may be stuffed with potatoes, paneer, onions, qeema or chili peppers.
Some sources claim that Parantha originated from ancient Vedic times. The word paratha originated from the Vedic Sanskrit word पुरोढाशम् (pu-ro-dhaa-sham) (purodhasha). Purodhasha's are offered to the fire god during Yajna, Yagna or Homa ceremonies. Vedic purodhashas are usually stuffed with ingredients like powdered lentils and chopped vegetables.
The Southern Indian version is called Parotta.
Pakistani / Indian immigrants took this dish to Malaysia, Mauritius (where it is known as farata), and Singapore, resulting in variations such as roti canai and roti prata. In Myanmar (Burma), where it is known as palata, it is eaten with curries or cooked with either egg or mutton, or as a dessert with white sugar. Htat ta ya ("a hundred layers") is a fried, flaky multi-layered paratha with either sugar or boiled peas (pè byouk).
- Ajwain paratha (layered paratha laced with ajwain)
- Aloo paratha (stuffed with spicy boiled potato and onions mix)
- Aloo Cheese Paratha
- Anda paratha (stuffed with spiced egg)
- Bal wala paratha
- Band gobi wala paratha/Patta gobhi paratha (stuffed with cabbage)
- Batuha paratha (Lamb's quarter, Chenopodium album)
- Boondi paratha (stuffed with salty boondi & baked with ghee)
- Ceylon paratha (from Sri Lanka)
- Chana paratha (chick peas)
- Channa dal paratha (stuffed with channa dal)
- Chicken paratha
- Chili parotha/mirchi paratha (small, spicy shredded pieces)
- Dal paratha (stuffed with boiled, spiced and mashed dal mostly available in northwestern and western India)
- Dhaniya paratha (coriander)
- Gajar paratha (carrot)
- Gobhi paratha (stuffed with flavoured cauliflower)
- Jaipuri paratha
- Kerala paratha (popular version pronounced "porotta")
- Lachha paratha - tandoori (Punjabi in origin. Round in shape with multiple layers traditionally prepared in a tandoor)
- Lachha paratha - tawa wali (popular in eastern India, triangular in shape with multiple layers interspaced with ghee)
- Lasuni Paratha (Garlic flavoured)
- Lauki paratha (bottle gourd)
- Makka paratha (corn)
- Mattar paratha (stuffed with boiled, mashed and flavoured green peas)
- Meetha paratha (stuffed with sugar)
- Methi paratha (stuffed with fenugreek leaves)
- Mooli paratha (radish-stuffed paratha, popular in most regions of northern India and the Punjab region of India.)
- Mughlai paratha (a deep fried stuffed paratha filled with egg and minced meat)
- Mutton paratha
- Palak paratha (spinach)
- Paneer paratha (stuffed with cottage cheese)
- Parton wala paratha ( Lachha paratha )
- Plain paratha (layered roti without any stuffing except ghee and baked with ghee – popular in most regions of India)
- Podeena paratha (laced with dry mint)
- Putthay taway ka paratha
- Pyaz ka paratha (stuffed with onion)
- Qeema paratha, (stuffed with minced meat (keema), usually mutton, mostly available in Punjab, Hyderabad in India, and Myanmar)
- Roti paratha (Singapore & Malaysia)
- Sattu paratha (stuffed with spiced sattu – roasted gram flour popular in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar)
- Shrimp paratha
- Sugar paratha (layered with caramelized sugar, usually after a meal or as dessert)
- Tandoori paratha
- Tomato paratha (stuffed with tomatoes)
Ready-made varieties 
The process of layering the "skins" of dough in a parantha can make preparation a difficult process. This, mixed with the popularity of this flatbread has opened the market to several ranges of frozen paratha – especially in Western markets where consumers seek the authenticity, but lack the time required to make a parantha from scratch. Ready to cook parantha may also be purchased. These preparations offer one-step preparation and save time. Some of the ready-to-cook products in the market are just the stuffings for making the stuffed paranthas.
See also 
- Chili parotha
- Gali Paranthe Wali
- Green onion pancake (Chinese variant)
- Kerala porotta
- Kothu Parotta, the South Indian variant
- Roti canai, the Indian Malaysian and Sumatranese variant
- Roti prata, the Singaporean variant.
- Mughlai Cook Book - By Neera Verma
- Climbing the Mango Trees - By Madhur Jaffrey
- Breadtime - By Susan Jane Cheney
- Magical Flavors of Chandni Chowk
- "Why the 200-year-old taste shop won’t budge". The Times of India. Apr 22, 2012.
- Recipe for Aloo Paratha / Flatbread Stuffed with Spiced Potatoes
- Recipe for Mughlai paratha
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Paratha|
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