Recipe for Saffron Warqi Parathas from Chef Saransh Goila

A few days ago, I saw an Instagram video from +Saransh Goila  making a Saffron Warqi Paratha. In keeping with the theme of recipes from Awadh and Lucknow on SaffronTrail blog all March, I was excited to share it with my readers and Saransh was generous to share his recipe. For those who don't know him, Chef Saransh Goila is considered India's youngest celebrity chef and has anchored a show that took across to the length and breadth of India, called Roti, Rasta aur India. You can read more about him here

Warq parathas or Warqui parathas are one of the popular breads featured in Awadhi cuisine. Just like any other Awadhi dish, they are rich (read that as lots of butter and ghee) and they take their own sweet time in the making, thanks to elaborate preparation methods. 
Addition of saffron to the parathas takes it a few notches up in terms of flavour and regalness. 

These parathas need quite a bit of time and patience, almost like making a puff pastry. If you like elaborate cooking projects, then this one is for you. Given the presence of saffron, a spice that makes itself home in both savoury and sweet dishes with equal ease, this Indian bread is quite versatile. Pair it with a curry or a korma or even as a shortbread substitute in an elaborate dessert or just with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to provide a crunch to your dessert.

Recipe for Saffron Warqi / Warq Parantha [Flaky Indian flatbread with saffron]
Recipe & photos courtesy: Saransh Goila

1 gram saffron
100 ml milk
500g refined flour (Maida)
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp ghee
100g butter
Water for kneading (approximately 100 ml)

A video posted by Saransh Goila (@saranshgoila) on

Crush and mix Saffron in warm milk. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Add salt and sugar to the flour (maida) in a large, deep bowl or on a clean kitchen counter.  Now rub the flour with ghee, until the texture is like breadcrumbs or sand. This is the shortening process to get a flaky end product.

 Create a well in this flour, add saffron milk and some water in this well to bind the flour. Then slowly add more water, little by little and knead well, until a semi soft, pliable dough is formed, say about 3 minutes. The dough will acquire a golden colour from the saffron. Cover with a moist cloth and keep aside to rest in a warm place for at least 15-20 minutes.

A video posted by Saransh Goila (@saranshgoila) on

Divide the dough into 2 parts, working with one part at a time. Lightly coat the dough with a little dry flour and place it on floured work surface, flatten it slightly and roll it out into a big rectangle sheet (24" by 12") (preferably use a roller pin, if not, a regular belan will do). Now rub a layer of butter all over on this rolled dough. 

Fold the right side of 1/3rd of dough in and then cover it (overlap) with the leftover 1/3rd left side of the dough.  Pinch the loose ends, rub some butter on the top again. 
Now fold this folded dough upwards in half again (it will be square now). Cover with moist cloth and place in the fridge for 15 minutes. 
After 15 minutes, roll this folded dough out again and repeat the whole folding and chilling process again. 
This whole process needs to be repeated thrice.

After being folded, rolled and chilled thrice. Roll it out one last time into a big rectangle and cut it out in square or circle  paranthas (any size you prefer). Use a cutter for circles or a knife for the squares.

On a hot non stick pan, place the cut out paranthas. Cook them evenly on low heat on both the sides. You’ll notice it’ll start to flake up, smear with some ghee or butter now. If the tava is too hot, it will brown quickly and not become flaky, so be careful. When both sides of parantha are crisp and flaky, remove it from the tava. 

Lightly crush it with your hand for the flakes to be visible. 

You can enjoy these warqi parathas with kababs, kormas or as it is, with some chai. 

Vegetarian Awadhi Menu:
Warqi Parathas
Badinjan Burani
Awadhi Arbi ka Korma
Badiyan aur Aloo ki Tehari (Coming soon)

You can even cut out bite sized parathas as serve them as a base for appetisers or even to add a crunch factor to desserts, similar to a shortbread.

You can follow Chef Saransh Goila on Youtube , Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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