South Indian Parottas With Mushroom And Peas Korma

My husband Desi and I, it seems, have always been polar opposites when it comes to our food choices.

He grew up in Madras, in a pure vegetarian home where his mother would have probably thrown a fit if any animal body part happened to come anywhere within a two-mile radius. He didn’t eat meat until he was in his 20s.

I, on the other hand, grew up in a flat in a crowded suburb of Bombay where the smells of all sorts of foodstuffs cooking in every kitchen in the building, animal or not, suffused the air. At home, my Goan stepmom cooked fish almost every day, and my dad made his special mutton curry each weekend.

Ironically, I am a vegan now while Desi eats meat, although only occasionally when he eats out. I suspect that at heart he is still a vegetarian because how can a good habit learned so early just vanish? :)

One of the foods Desi didn’t eat in his childhood home, because he says his mom — albeit a fabulous cook– never made it since it usually accompanies meat dishes, was a flaky, layered South Indian flatbread called Parotta. As a young man, he’d often eat it at restaurants. Needless to say, he developed quite a yen for this bread.

Parotta is quite different from the North Indian paratha which is often stuffed and then rolled in a straightforward fashion. Parotta, on the other hand, requires a more elaborate process of rolling up and rolling out that gives it its unique texture.

Traditionally, parotta is made with maida, a super-refined wheat flour available in Indian stores. All-purpose can be substituted, although it doesn’t come close to being as superfine and starchy as maida is, which compromises the texture of the parotta.

I don’t usually keep maida around because it really isn’t a nutritionally sound food. So I did use some all-purpose flour to make my parotta but I went a step ahead and substituted half the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour. I also used much less oil and fat than parottas usually contain.

The parotta turned out quite well– I admit it wasn’t as crisp as the one that using maida and tons of ghee would have produced, but it was flaky and quite delicious. Plus, it was tons healthier.

To go with the parotta, I made a spicy Mushroom-Peas Korma that also uses south Indian-style spices.

All in all, this made a healthy, wonderful meal for a Sunday night. A great way to end the weekend.

Enjoy, everyone!


1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp oil

Mix the ingredients in a large bowl and then, using enough water, knead into a smooth but not sticky dough. Set aside for at least half an hour.

Divide the dough into five balls. Roll out one ball to a diameter of 8 inches.

Brush with oil. Then roll out another ball to the same size and stack it on top of the first layer. Brush again with oil and repeat until you have stacked all five layers.

Spread the top layer with some more oil.

Now carefully roll the stacked layers into a tight cylinder and press the seams together at the end.

Cut along the length of the cylinder into seven equal sized pieces.

Now place one of the pieces flat on a lightly floured surface so the layers are showing on top. Roll each piece into a six-inch parotta.

Brush a cast-iron or non-stick skillet lightly with oil.

When hot, place one parotta on the skillet. Cook until light brown spots appear, then flip over and cook the other side until golden spots appear. Brush with more oil if desired.

These are best served fresh and hot, straight from the skillet.

Mushroom and Peas Korma

1 8-oz package of crimini mushrooms (can use button or even shiitake), sliced

1 cup frozen green peas

1 large onion, finely diced

2 1/2-inch sticks of cinnamon

2 cardamom cloves, seeds powdered

2 cloves

For the masala, grind together:

3 green chillies

1-inch piece ginger

1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp coriander seeds, powdered

1 tsp poppy seeds

1/2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf), powdered

1/2 cup coconut milk

In a saucepan, heat the oil

Add the cinnamon, cloves and powdered cardamom and stir for a few seconds until fragrant.

Add the onions and saute until brown spots appear.

Add the mushrooms and stir until they soften, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the ground masala and stir well. Cook for about 3 minutes before adding 1/2 to 1 cup of water, depending on how runny you want your gravy to be.

Add the peas and salt.

Cook until the peas and mushrooms are tender, about five more minutes.

Check salt. Garnish, if desired, with coriander.


I got some great entries from all of you wonderful cooks for Tried and Tasted: Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen, the event started by Zlamushka’s Spicy Kitchen and hosted right here on Holy Cow! in May. I’ll be posting the roundup soon, so keep an eye out for it.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to head on to Lavi’s delicious blog, Home Cook’s Recipes, which is this month’s home of It’s A Vegan World started right here on Holy Cow! Lavi has chosen to feature Moroccan cuisine for June, and I can just imagine all those fragrant and addictive foods you’re all planning to cook up for her. Looking forward to it all!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    Wow wonderful mouthwatering platter..looks lovely and parotta with curry looks tempting and gorgeous.. inviting myself to finish that plate.

  2. says

    Hi Vaishali, Nice combo of Parottas and Korma. Parottas looks so beautiful and nicely rolled. Will try some day. Thanks for sharing.

  3. says

    I love parottas but have never ventured into making them myself because of all the work involved. Looks lovely and with that awesome korma to soak it up – delish!

  4. says

    Parottas look yummy.. I have heard so much abt parottas but never made them or had them. Your recipe sounds simple enough to try. Mushroom curry looks delicious, love coconut milk in curries..

  5. says

    Thank you for this interesting post! I didn’t even know there was paratha and parotta and I have never heard about this special flour before.
    The mushroom and peas korma sounds just perfect, I love both peas and mushrooms-

  6. says

    Till now i thought maida and APF was the same.
    Hi hi it was really funny to read you guys difference and tha tnow your hubby eat non and you not.
    Back at home we did have non-veg dishes not always just for special occasion, ii only started beeing a fully carnivorous after getting married.
    I lvoe paraota, i am sure going to try the korma.

  7. says

    Wow! that`s interesting..I often wonder how it would be like if I were to share my life with someone who was not Vegan/vegetarian..if we would be able to find an understanding..and I see that you did! Not to mention the interesting ways you both for these parottas they seem lovely!I know how it`s like when there is a favorite dish we crave for that does not suit our dietary needs/beliefs,and need to alter it.Youve done an admirable job! Kudos! :)Mia

  8. says

    Wow never thot to use wheat flour in parottas…nice idea.I hv miserable failed making this at home…so i ended up picking this up from the indian stores here.Looks lovely and think i shud try again.Thanks for the recipe!

  9. says

    I have never tried making parotta at home.I was brought up in a vegetarian family and they say a big no when it comes to mushroom as well! My husband loves mushroom and i dont know anything to cook with it.I will try your mushroom curry and surprise him :) Thank you for this recipe.

  10. says

    Have you seen how a parotta is made in the local dhabas down south? Well, one of my maids when I was in Chennai showed me and believe me it choked my arteries just looking at the amount of oil that was used to get those flaky layers! 😉
    These look really nice and flaky as well but what a difference!

  11. says

    They call these “porotta” in Kerala and it’s a sight to watch them being made.
    The dough is thrown down and ill-treated quite a bit! :) I guess this is what makes them so soft and flaky, besides all that fat.
    My daughter just loves it.

    I think I would definitely prefer your WW version.

  12. Hema Chandrasekhar says

    I love your blog and the recipes are great.I was amused about your dog
    going to the basement when she heard the pressure cooker. I have been in u.s for 50 years and never learnt to cook before i got here. So
    regular pressure cooker and the whistles are difficult for me. i am also slightly disabled. But for the past year i have used the electric pressure cooker and have made dhals and sambars without burning even once. Your dog will not mind. Keep up the good work.we depend on you more than you know.

    • says

      Dear Hema, thanks for your lovely message. I am so glad to hear from you and my own story is very similar– I never cooked until after I was married. Since Desi didn’t know how to cook either, one of us had to learn or we’d have starved. :) I did burn many dals and sambars in my first months of learning to cook. :)
      I have an electric pressure cooker too now and I love it because it’s so quiet, but my lovely dog, Lucy, is no more. Still, Opie, my other dog, appreciates it for sure.
      Do stay in touch.

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