If you are a paratha lover and also gluten-sensitive, here is what will help: making a perfect gluten-free paratha. Although it comes with practice and patience, there are some important tips and tricks that can be of help. I hope this column answers all your doubts.
Here are some key points to know before you start rolling a millet paratha (stuffed millet flatbread):
1. Always remember, when you are kneading gluten-free dough, you have to always use the fresh dough. The concept of storing the dough in the fridge equates to a bad-tasting paratha, if at all you are able to roll through the stiffness.
2. If your flour is homemade, make sure you sieve it. No matter how tasty grainy millet paratha sounds, rolling out a nice paratha is still a dream for many beginners in this millet journey.
3. Do not underestimate the power of measurements. Usually it is 1:1 ratio of boiling water and millet flour, but be open for some last-minute adjustments for the perfect dough consistency.
4. Once the dough is formed, quickly move to the rolling process for fresher and softer parathas. Millets are rich in fiber. They absorb water faster than other grains like whole wheat and rice. The dough will turn into a stiff mass if not put to use instantly.
5. You can go eco-friendly and ditch the parchment paper. The palms and fingers will do the job beautifully if you know the technique. Do check the video attached.
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6. As you start to roll, keep a bowl of water nearby. Wet your fingers and start spreading the dough as shown. With some extra drops of water, your high-fibre grain will spread better, and you will have lesser cracks.
7. Once you have added the stuffing and as you flatten the dough, use your palms to spread it further. Be slow because many cracks will need your attention. Fix them before they start getting bigger.
8. Now, about the stuffing — the trick is, make it fine and smooth. If you are adding any veggies to the stuffing, make sure everything is finely chopped.
9. Once the disc is formed between your palms, fix the cracks again. Avoiding this step may lead to a bigger mess.
10. Do not attempt full rolling between the palms. Transfer the half-rolled paratha to the pre-heated iron griddle. Here, follow the process of spreading the dough like I have shown in Bajra Dodoh recipe on my Instagram IGTV. Please remember, you have to be gentle; keep your fingers wet while spreading.
11. Once rolled, know that it is a millet paratha and you cannot flip it too quickly. Flip only when one side is cooked.
12. Keep trying and improving at it. Winters is the best time to enjoy hot parathas with your favourite pickle and a cup of tea.
Please note, if you are a beginner on millet journey, limit your consumption of millets for the initial 2-3 weeks. Try sticking to one millet (grain) for at least two days and avoid mixing the grains. Once you learn the hack of kneading a gluten-free dough, you can explore tacos, nachos, millet puris, and more.
Benefits of millet paratha
It manages diabetes, promotes good gut health as the fibre content works as a prebiotic. It is a good source of antioxidants that will keep cancer at bay and will also keep your heart healthy.
(Shalini Rajani is a millet coach and the founder of Crazy Kadchi. She holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups.)