Ajwain Paratha / Roti (Carom Seeds Flatbread)
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Ajwain paratha/roti – This fragrant Indian flatbread made with carom seeds and whole wheat flour is an excellent option when you are in the mood for something different. This aromatic paratha is perfect for dunking in your curries or serving for breakfast or snacks, along with pickle and raita.
This flavorful ajwain paratha is great for when you are in the mood to make something else other than the usual paratha or roti.
Ajwain (carom seeds) have a fragrant and deliciously distinct flavor that makes this paratha unique and irresistible. It goes well with curries and Indian vegetable side dishes, but you can serve it with a side of pickle, homemade yogurt, or a dollop of butter as well.
Not only is Ajwain known for its flavor, but it is also popular because of its health benefits. That’s one more reason to try this ajwain paratha recipe 🙂
Alternate names: In Indian homes, this paratha also goes by ajwain roti, ajwain ka paratha, namak ajwain paratha, carom seeds flatbread, etc.
Carom seeds (ajwain) health benefits
Ajwain is a small seed-like fruit with a strong, slightly bitter, pungent taste with an aroma similar to thyme. It is also called carom seed or bishops weed.
Ajwain seeds contain a small amount of oil (called ajwain oil) that contains thymol which is often used to treat digestive issues. Here’s a few of the health benefits of ajwain –
- It helps relieve indigestion, bloating, and gas.
- Has antifungal and antibacterial properties.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of ajwain help with pain relief tied to arthritis, tooth, etc.
To learn more, read health benefits of ajwain.
Fun fact: In most Indian households, including mine, if anyone complains of abdominal discomfort, the first thing we do is drink a concoction of roasted ajwain seeds boiled in water. It always helps with any digestive issues.
Paratha vs. roti
Though roti and paratha have the same ingredients and are both unleavened, there is one distinct factor that differentiates them….layers!
Parathas, when rolled, are slathered with ghee and then folded. This rolling-out process is quite different from roti. This also makes the parathas flaky, layered, and high in calories.
Reasons to love this recipe
- Ajwain ka paratha keeps you satiated for a long time thanks to the filling whole wheat flour base.
- Can prep ahead – great for meal planning. Since this paratha recipe keeps for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, you can easily make them during your weekly meal prep time and eat on them all week.
- Tastes delicious – The ajwain added in the dough results in an absolutely delicious paratha you will want to eat with everything.
- Needs only a few ingredients – Made with 6 pantry-staple ingredients, this simple laccha paratha quickly comes together any day of the week.
Here’s what you need to make the recipe
- Whole Wheat Flour – I prefer either Aashirwad whole wheat atta or Sujata chakki atta.
- Carom seed (ajwain seed) – the star of this dish is used to add flavor and fragrance.
- Salt – a small amount of salt is added to the dough to provide flavor.
- Oil – I used avocado oil, but you can use another neutral flavored oil like vegetable oil.
- Water – You will need enough water to form a soft dough, which should be at room temperature or warm for the best results.
- Ghee – This is used during the rolling of the dough, as you smear each layer with melted ghee to create the signature flaky layers.
You’ll need the following equipment to make parathas
- [Optional but helpful] Stand mixer or food processor
- Metal / Marble / Wood base with a rolling pin (or Chakla Belan in Hindi)
- Tava / Griddle
- Spatula / Turner
- Paper towel
- Knead the paratha dough until it is smooth, soft, and pliable.
- To fix hard dough, sprinkle a spoonful of water and knead. Add more water as needed until the dough is neither hard nor sticky.
- Sticky dough? Sprinkle a spoonful of dough and knead. Add more flour as needed until the dough is not sticky.
- Rest the dough to allow time for the gluten to form. This makes it easier to roll out the dough and yields softer parathas.
- Make sure to dust off the dry flour from the parathas before frying, or it dries up and turns hard.
- Before storing it in an air-tight container or while packing it for lunch, let the paratha cool down for 5-6 minutes to prevent it from being soggy.
Note: Don’t forget to turn on your exhaust fan when making parathas, or else your smoke alarm may go off.
- Replace ghee with oil for a vegan version.
- Ajwain stuffing – Instead of adding carom seeds or ajwain to the dough, sprinkle them once you first rolled out the dough into a circular shape and brush ghee on top. You can continue to fold and roll as outlined in the recipe.
- Spice it up – Make masala paratha by adding 1/2 teaspoon of these spice powders – red chili powder, coriander, and cumin powder while making the dough.
- Ajwain kali mirch paratha – add about 0.5 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper while making the dough to make this variation.
- Ajwain mirch paratha – to make this add 1-2 finely chopped green chilies while making the paratha dough.
How to prep ahead
The dough stays in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Frozen for a month. Bring the dough to room temperature before rolling out the parathas.
Refrigerator – When cooled and placed in an air-tight container, ajwain parathas last for 4-5 days.
Freezer – Paratha keep for 2-3 months when frozen. I recommend separating them with parchment paper, or they’ll stick together.
Reheat – For refrigerated parathas, reheat in a microwave (15-20 seconds) or reheat in a tava / skillet kept over medium heat. If parathas are frozen, use a tava/skillet to reheat for best results.
Serve it with
You can serve these crispy and flaky parathas with either ginger tea or masala chai with a side of pickle, raitas, or homemade yogurt for breakfast or brunch. You can also make them part of your main course, accompanied by
- Spinach and Tomato Dal (Dal Palak) – a comforting, creamy, and mildly spiced dal that is perfect for scooping up with Ajwain Paratha.
- Aloo Palak – healthy, hearty, and so simple to make, this potato and spinach curry is the perfect vegan side dish.
- Finger-licking Kadai Paneer – with big chunks of paneer and a spicy masala sauce, this quick vegetarian curry is perfect for the midweek!
- Restaurant-Style Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala – an iconic curry that everyone loves and goes so well with both rice and paratha. Grab this recipe to find out how quickly and easily it can be made in the instant pot!
Frequently asked questions
Yes, replace ghee with avocado or any neutral oil.
Let the paratha cool down for at least 5-6 minutes to prevent it from being soggy.
Other easy paratha recipes to try
If you enjoyed this fragrant ajwain paratha, you must try a few of my other paratha recipes, as well as some of my other Indian flatbreads. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Onion paratha – Filled with onions and aromatic spices, this stuffed paratha recipe packs a punch.
- Masala Paratha – a thin, flavorful, and flaky flatbread filled with delicious masala spices.
- Paneer paratha – Another Indian flatbread, but this one is stuffed with yummy cottage cheese and is great any time of day – it also freezes really well!
- Aloo Paratha – An Indian flatbread that is stuffed with potatoes!
- Laccha Paratha – Flaky and crisp, this layered paratha with golden brown spots comes together with five simple ingredients.
The recipe below shares step-by-step pictures on how to make a square paratha. Want to learn how to make this ajwain paratha in a circular or triangular shape? Check out this plain paratha post, where I share how to make round, square and triangle parathas.
Ajwain Paratha recipe
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- ½ teaspoon salt optional
- 2 tablespoons oil (avocado or vegetable) + 1/4th teaspoon oil
- 1.5 cups water or as needed, at room temperature
For rolling out
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour for rolling
- Melted ghee (as needed)
Making the dough
- Add 3 cups of wheat flour, carom seeds, salt, and oil in a large bowl with 1/4 cup of water. Use your fingers to combine.
- Add the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time, and continue kneading until the dough comes together like a ball.
- Add 1/4th teaspoon oil to the dough and knead till the oil is absorbed.
- If the dough is sticky, sprinkle approximately 1/4 teaspoon wheat flour (or more if needed) on the dough and knead again to form a dough that is not sticky. The dough should be supple and soft.
- Cover the dough and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
- Pull a small piece approximately the size of a golf ball from the dough. Place the piece between the palms of your hands and shape them into a ball. Flatten the ball and cover both sides with flour.
- Flatten the ball and cover both sides with flour.
- Roll out the flattened ball into a circular shape (approximately 7-8 inches in diameter).
Making parathas (to cook rotis, scroll down)
- Note: The steps below show you how to make square parathas. To make round and triangle parathas, check the plain parathas post.
- Roll out the flattened ball into a circular shape (approximately 6 inches in diameter).
- Brush the surface of the rolled-out dough with ghee.
- Take 1/3 portion of the rolled dough from the left side and fold it towards the middle. Now fold 1/3 portion from the left till the folds overlap slightly. Brush it with ghee.
- Now fold the top and bottom portion of the rolled dough towards the middle creating a square.
- Dip the square shaped paratha in flour and use the rolling pin to roll it evenly into a square shape paratha using as little pressure as possible.
Cooking paratha / roti
- Heat a pan / tawa over medium-high heat.
- Dust off excess flour from the paratha / roti by placing it on your palm of one hand and then flip it onto the palm of your other hand. Repeat this process 3-4 times.
- Place the paratha/roti in the hot pan. Cook until small bumps form on the surface (approximately 1-2 minutes).
- Flip the paratha/roti onto the other side. Cook for 30-40 seconds or so until you see brown spots. Smear it with ghee and flip it.
- Cook for 20-30 seconds, then brush the side facing up with ghee. Use a spatula to press down the paratha so that it evenly cooks.
- Flip it and cook it for another 15-20 seconds while pressing the paratha/roti down with the spatula.
- Transfer the paratha/roti to a plate. Repeat this process for the rest of the dough.
- Serve it hot with tea or your favorite vegetable dish.
- To fasten up the process, roll out the next paratha as one cooks in the pan.
- Make sure to dust off the excess flour from the paratha before you cook it. This prevents the paratha from getting hard.
- Before storing it in an air-tight container, let the paratha cool down for at least 5-6 minutes to avoid making it soggy.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.