Dish With A Difference

We’re talking about: paratha bread

Mayfair fine-dining spot Gymkhana gives this Pakistani street-food staple some high-end flair

7 August 2017
asianbreadbreakfastindianrestaurantsstreet food
  • The Dish: Duck egg bhurji and lobster with Malabar paratha
  • The Place: Gymkhana, Mayfair
  • The Chef: Karam Sethi

What? A bhurji is a very lightly scrambled egg, which in this case is folded with lobster, but the accompanying Malabar paratha is what really caught our eye. Made by baking whole wheat dough that’s then shallow fried, paratha is an unleavened, chewy, buttery flatbread, often made with vegetables, such as potato, cauliflower or green beans. Paratha is an amalgamation of the words parat and atta, which literally mean ‘layers of cooked dough.’

 

Where? At Gymkhana they bake it in-house for added authenticity, and it’s now appearing on fine-dining menus nationwide – at Sholay Indian Kitchen in Bristol it accompanies lamb kebabs. Long beloved of street-food vendors from Wimbledon to Wales, in Harrow there’s been a dedicated vegetarian-friendly paratha joint, Only Parathas, since 2008. But where fine dining goes retail likes to follow, so look out for paratha going mainstream on a table near you.

 

Why? It's packed with flavour, cheap to produce and hugely versatile, that's why! Traditionally eaten for breakfast, they now feature on side plates as accompaniments with every course, at every meal – Nutella-laced paratha hit the Pakistani street food scene last year. If not cooked with traditional ghee, they’re vegan friendly too. If Instagram is anything to go by – a quick search produced 60,312 results – paratha sales will soon be second to naan.

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