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Flavorful and flaky, this masala paratha recipe makes a hearty breakfast, filling lunch, or satiating snack. With variations for both paratha and roti, this spiced Indian flatbread is sure to hit the spot.
I love whipping up a batch of masala paratha when I am running out of groceries since the dough base is made with pantry-staple ingredients that I typically have on hand. Often made as comfort food, this spiced paratha makes an excellent snack or hearty breakfast.
This simple and flavorful masala paratha recipe is a variation of a traditional paratha. Unlike other forms of paratha, the spices are mixed with whole wheat flour before coming making a dough.
Alternate names: Gujarati masala roti, spicy roti, spiced paratha
What is paratha?
If you have never had paratha, it is an unleavened flatbread traditionally made with whole wheat flour, salt, water, and ghee. Unlike rotis which are soft, parathas are crispy with flaky layers and golden brown spots.
Paratha comes in many varieties, but the two most common include stuffed and layered. Stuffed paratha, like paneer paratha, tucks the filling into the dough during the rolling process. Layered parathas like this masala paratha recipe have spices or fillings added while making the dough.
Looking for a recipe for plain parathas? Learn how to make it 3 ways – round, triangle, and square-shaped.
Reasons to make this recipe
- Keeps you satiated for a long time thanks to the filling whole wheat flour base.
- Versatile – Feel free to change up the blend of spices used in the dough for a variety of flavors your family will adore.
- 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 variety of spices used in the dough results in an absolutely delicious paratha you will want to eat with everything.
- Lasts for 3-4 days without refrigeration – Makes it perfect for long-distance travels or road trips, camping, etc.
Here’s what you need to make masala paratha
- Whole wheat flour – Used in both the paratha dough and for rolling out the paratha
- Carom seeds (ajwain) and Fennel seeds (saunf) aid digestion.
- Spice powders, including Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, dry mango powder, and salt
- Oil – Avocado or vegetable oil works well in the dough.
- Water – Room temperature binds the dough together.
- Ghee – Brushed onto the rolled-out paratha dough before cooking.
General tips while making parathas / Indian flatbreads
- Knead the 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 rolled dough 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 your exhaust fan on when making parathas, or else your smoke alarm may go off.
If you are looking for more ways to make this masala paratha recipe, here are some of my favorite variations to try.
- Fill with spice/ spice powders – Add all the spices and spice powders to a bowl and combine them. Instead of adding the spices to the dough, sprinkle them once you first rolled the dough into a circular shape and brushed ghee on top. You can continue to fold and roll as outlined in the recipe.
- Add other flours – You can substitute 50% of the wheat flour with other flours, such as Bengal gram flour (besan), bajra flour (millet flour)
- Mix up the spice powders – Add a teaspoon of cumin powder, and coriander powder along with the dry ingredients for an interesting twist. You can also add a teaspoon of garam masala powder or 1/2 teaspoon of chaat masala to mix it up.
- Spicy paratha – If you crave a little more heat to this paratha recipe, increase the amount of chili powder, and add 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala.
- Boost the flavor up a notch! Add grated ginger (1 teaspoon) and minced garlic (1 tablespoon) for more flavor.
- Add herbs and leafy greens to the dough – Try fresh or dried methi leaves (kasoori methi), finely chopped spinach, cilantro/coriander leaves, and mint leaves to mix it up.
- Cheesy masala roti – add 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese while making the dough for a delicious twist that your kids will love.
Masala roti vs Masala paratha
Masala roti and paratha use the same ingredients, and the dough is made the same way. The only difference is how they are rolled into circles. Parathas are rolled into a disc and then folded and then rolled again, whereas rotis are rolled only once.
You can see the difference below in how they turn out when cooked – parathas are flakier compared to rotis.
How to prep ahead
The best way to prepare this paratha in advance is to make the dough ahead of time. Follow the steps for making the dough as listed in the instructions, and when it is time to allow the dough to rest, store it in either the refrigerator or the freezer.
- Refrigerated dough stays keeps in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
- The frozen dough keeps for a month.
- Bring the dough to room temperature before rolling out parathas or roti.
Once your masala paratha or roti has been cooled down completely, it can be left unrefrigerated for 3-4 days in an air-tight container. You can also store the leftover paratha in the refrigerator or freezer for longer storage.
- Refrigerator – When cooled and placed in an air-tight container, the paratha lasts for 4-5 days.
- Freezer – Paratha keep for 2-3 months when frozen. I recommend separating them with parchment paper when freezing, 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.
Frequently asked questions
Paratha is a simple unleavened bread made with whole wheat flour (atta), water, salt, and oil or ghee. Some variations of paratha include stuffings, layers, or in the case of this recipe, spices.
Paratha makes a delicious breakfast, snack, or lunch option. It pairs well with raitas, chutneys, curries, and more! This masala paratha recipe also tasted great with a warm cup of tea.
Other paratha recipes to try
Masala paratha / roti recipe
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds optional
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 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
- ¼ cup 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 water. Use your fingers or stand mixer 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.
- 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 round parathas. To make square 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.
- Sprinkle some flour evenly on the rolled-out dough with ghee.
- Start from one end of the circle and roll towards the other until it resembles a log.
- Roll the log inward into a coil. Once you reach the end, pull the edge and tuck it under the coil.
- Flatten the coil until it looks like a disc.
- Dip the flattened disc in the flour.
- Roll out the flattened ball evenly into a circular shape (approximately 7-8 inches in diameter). Dust more flour as needed to help with the rolling.
Cooking masala 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 a bit so as not to make 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.