Kerala Porotta/ Layered Flat Bread

Layered Porotta

PorottaThis is a flat bread which is flaky and made of several layers to become a fancy bread. It is mainly a street food in Kerala and slowly it has turned into a celebrated food. It is now served in high-end restaurants too, due to its popularity. Normally, it is made with white flour and a lot of oil…very unhealthy but addictive like all things evil! A combination of white flour and fat can make everything irresistible and yummy! No wonder, it has gained undue recognition and attention!

It is available as Malabar Porotta, in the frozen food sections in Kerala stores. The common accompaniments that go with Porotta range from spicy tomato fry, green peas masala, vegetable or meat kurma, egg curry to plain yogurt and pickle.  I have met people who are  crazy about this porotta and consider it as an absolute delicacy.

The most interesting part is to watch it being made in small road side stalls called ‘Thattukada’. I have stood there wide eyed, looking at the tactics and techniques used by the cook. The usual method employed in street shops, is to knead white flour (Maida) using a lot of oil and allowing it to rest for sometime. Then the Porotta Master, (title given to the expert cook) flattens it by hand stretching the gluttonous dough and spreading it out on the work top as a paper thin sheet. Adding more oil, he gathers it as folds and stretches it again and spirals it as a ball. It involves a lot of skillful maneuvers to get the right texture. It is again left for a while covered by a wet cloth and then rolled into disks and cooked.

Porotta has gradually moved from an eat-out treat to a home made special food. It was considered difficult to recreate it at home without the expertise of a trained cook. With a little creativity and kitchen skills, home cooks have transformed it to a family favourite meal. A lot of oil and simple modifications made it possible. I used to roll the dough thin and make fan like gathering before rolling it into a disks to create the layers. It was still a poor imitation of the original.

I came across a different method of making it, using very little oil on beyondcurries which was quite fascinating. Less oil and the whole wheat flour (Atta) to make layered porotta was something worth a trial.

First, I made some whole wheat flour Porotta to give it an acid test. It turned out to be great with the desired texture and perfect peel-able kind of layering.

wheat porottaIngredients

  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • warm water
  • oil
  • Some flour for rolling the porotta
  1. Take 1½ cups of whole wheat flour in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add enough salt to 2 tbsp water and dissolve it.
  3. Pour this into wheat flour and mix well and then add enough warm water to make a soft dough.
  4. Knead it until it is a soft, pliable dough.
  5. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into 5 balls.
  7. Take a ball and roll it into a thin chappati.
  8. Sprinkle some oil on it and dust it with wheat flour.
  9. Cut the rolled dough into 5-6 strips using a pizza cutter or knife.
  10. Roll the first strip like a paper roll and continue overlapping with the remaining strips.
  11. After all the strips are rolled up, it will look like a flower.
  12. Press it down into a disk and flatten it with the hand to get the layers.
  13. Fatten it gently, using a rolling pin without fusing the layers.
  14. Cook this on a hot pan (tawa) flipping to the other side for even cooking.
  15. When blisters appear on the porotta, drizzle some oil and repeat it on the other side.
  16. Continue with the remaining dough balls.

porotta rolling   poporotta with curd After trying with whole wheat flour, I made it with all purpose flour just to compare the texture and quality. It was definitely better. If you want to indulge without a care and get closer to the real street food taste, this is the one to try.

flakyIt turns out tasty and flaky whichever way you choose to go! I made it many times now and enjoyed this layered delight and I vouch for this method.

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About coconutcraze

I'm obsessed with coconuts!
This entry was posted in Breakfast, Main dish, Pack-and-go lunch, Paratha, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Kerala Porotta/ Layered Flat Bread

  1. Amanda says:

    This is beautiful. Gorgeous photos and a wonderful recipe. I really want to try it.

    Like

  2. coconutcraze says:

    Believe me, it is good!

    Like

  3. apsara says:

    wow! Awesome work, Sridevi. I never knew the porotta could be made with whole wheat too. The tutorial is excellent!

    Like

  4. My all time fav:-) loojs yummy..loved ur step by step pic

    Like

  5. Balvinder says:

    I love the layering part, Sri. Glad to see you on g+ but still you don’t have a google share button on your blog. It helps others to share your post.

    Like

  6. Making laccha paratha has always been a trial for me. I have tried it once or twice with poor results. Your step-by-step tutorial makes me want to try again.

    I love the pic of the piece of the paratha where you can see the layers perfectly.

    And you have beautiful fingers. 🙂

    Like

  7. coconutcraze says:

    These porottas made me happy with the result!
    Thank you for the compliment! 🙂 My fingers go through a lot but with a little maintenance they could cope up!

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  8. Woooooow It’s incredible u just nail mine doesn’t come so well but with ur tips has to try once

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  9. coconutcraze says:

    Give it a try…you will be pleased with the result!

    Like

  10. Reblogged this on and commented:
    I will try this one but with organic spelt flour, trust it has the same baking qualities and more important it’s wheat free!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Namrata says:

    Gorgeous!! My dad is a big fan of kerala parotta and Ive tried it a couple of times, but they are never as flaky and layered as they should be, Yours look great Sridevi!

    Like

  12. coconutcraze says:

    Thanks, Namrata! It is a sinful treat from the street but in our kitchen it can be brought under control!

    Like

  13. These look great! I love these parothas! And like you said they so evil… But oh so good! My mouth is watering. I know what i will be making for breakfast tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This porotha looks great Sridevi especially since you used whole wheat flour. i am going to give it a try! Thx for the step wise instructions:)

    Like

  15. coconutcraze says:

    Thank you, Indu! Hope you enjoy it!

    Like

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