Take the flour in a large bowl and mix it with salt.
Add the oil. Mix it with fingers so that it forms into small crumbs. You can also use butter or Ghee for additional flavor. I, at times, also use some yogurt
along with water to add softness as well as protein to the paratha.
to bind into a semi soft dough.
Knead it for 5-10minutes, until it becomes smooth.
It should not be sticky or rough/dry.
Set aside for around 15 minutes covered with a kitchen towel.
While that's resting, lets get to the filling. Ideally, you would want to use fresh made Chenna
. Chenna is cheese made from curdling milk using acidic medium. See my Homemade Ricotta Cheese
(till step 14) for details. This makes the bestestest paneer parathas.
But "ideally" is not always practical, so I am going to assume that you would opt for using store bought paneer. Fair enough. I do it pretty often - esp. since I get awesome paneer (organic even!) around here. Its kept at cold storage, so you would need to bring it to room temperature to soften it.
But if you don't have time for that, you can do what I do. I usually tend to cube the store bought paneer into chunks, place it in a bowl and pour boiling water on top of it.
Let it sit for few minutes and drain the water.
Now crumble this - you will find it crumbling easily
until it kinda sorta resembles our Step 8 :) This should be about 2 cups worth or as needed - see Tip 2
Add the Cilantro and Green chilli (if using) and mix until combined.
Note: Depending upon your taste buds, you can add in any other spices of your choice. My family likes it without any additional flavoring so that the cheesy and blissful taste of paneer shines through and remains the star. Set aside.
Pinch a small dough and place it on a lightly floured surface.
Flatten it into a small disc
Roll it out into a small circle - little bigger than your palm using a rolling pin.
Place some stuffing in the center.
Bring the edges of the dough over the filling
press to flatten it out slightly.
Dust it very lightly with flour
and gently roll it out to form a circle.
With practice, you will be able to stuff some more and roll it out into a big circle - but honestly its very simple really! The thickness is medium but you can roll it out as thick or thin you want. No hard or fast rules here as long as you can keep the stuffing inside.
Heat a skillet and place the flat bread on it. Cook it for few seconds.
Drizzle some oil all around or for a true Punjabi experience, use Ghee/butter instead.
Turn it the other side after few minutes or until you see brown spots on its surface. Its not necessary to grease the other side once again.
Repeat likewise for all the parathas.