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Vijay

Bulk frying of Paratha (Indian flat bread)

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As part of different festivities we are required at our organization to do bulk cooking of Indian dishes. 

 

Recently there is requirement to cook 1200 numbers of Paratha (Indian flat bread). 

 

We have to three hours of time with three manpower. 

 

 The machine cooking which we use in another production unit for bulk cooking of tens of thousands Indian bread is fast but will not yield the desired taste. 

 

Here we have a exclusive requirement from our donors, sponsors, youth and we have ruled out the possibility of using machines as taste is and quality are our primary factors. 

 

Please suggest me the best way to accomplish this. I have searched over online but didn't come across a good practice. 

 

Thank you. 

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Can you tell us in detail what is wrong or lacking in taste with the machine that can make tens of thousands of units? There is a chance that you could change the formula so that the product tastes better when made in that machine. (adding malt, using a preferment, etc.)

 

And, welcome to the forums!

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another version of Indian bread "roti" is being made. This Roti is a dry version of Paratha. 

 

However machine making does not produce the quality compared to hand made. https://www.quora.com/What-is-Better-Handmade-chapati-Vs-Roti-maker-Chapati

 

As our priority is quality, for limited bulk cooking we are planning to use a bigger frying pan than what is used in the below. 

 

 

 

I feel it may solve our problems. 

 

Please suggest suggest 

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Thank you for posting the videos, they were very helpful. The bread does appear to be very tasty.

 

I think you could save time by making larger amounts of dough, and doing the folding with oil as if you were making croissants. That is, make ten pounds of dough instead of one serving at a time. Croissants use butter, and yeast dough, so it's a lot more difficult to handle. Since you use oil, you will not have to chill between folding the 'turns. You could cut the thick layered dough into small squares, then roll out with a rolling pin to the final shape.

 

HERE is a video showing one type of 'lock-in' don't worry about the language, just watch his hands.

HERE is a video of the traditional French method which makes more dough. Don't worry so much about keeping the dough cold and stiff, they only do that because they work with butter.

 

Essentially, each person needs to make 134 per hour. That's a lot. Is the dough alright if you make it a day in advance (with or without folding)?

 

Can you invite students from a local culinary school to come help for free as some sort of job training event, or as a way for them to contribute to your charity?

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Thank you Lisa! We make the dough two to three hours before. The video what you posted is very informative.

 

However the all purpose flour is very easy to handle compared to wheat flour in terms of rolling etc.

 

And about volunteers..... Because it's our daily  affair, I am having doubt whether they attend every day. They may get tired also because of our cooking volume. 

 

Tomorrow I am going to buy a bigger frying pan and try to check whether it's a feasible approach. 

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@Vijay, do not waste money on a bigger frying pan - rather get a flat circular disk of ½ inch steel and about 2 foot in diameter and place it on top of a gas boiler plate. You will be able to "fry" around 6 or more of your breads at a time. Many years ago I had a similar problem and needed a large circular plate for cooking a similar flat bread. I spoke to the hotel engineer, asking where I could get a large pan. He came up with a solution in that he took a round cast iron man-hole cover and milled the one side flat in his workshop. Worked like a charm. It was 30 inches in diameter. You will find many other uses for such an item! A couple weeks ago I asked a friend who has the engineering equipment to make me a similar disk for making flat breads and now we are searching for a manhole drain cover for him to mill flat. They are VERY heavy but have a fantastic even heat over the entire surface.

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Thank you very much John! Could you post here the images of your circular disk what you manufactured. 

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Vijay, this was done in the 70's when I was a student studying with a large national hotel chain - there are no photographs around of that part of my life. At the moment I am still looking for a manhole drain cover to replicate the "hot plate". Unless you remove one from the roadway, they are not easy to come by nowadays.

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5 minutes ago, JohnT said:

At the moment I am still looking for a manhole drain cover to replicate the "hot plate". Unless you remove one from the roadway, they are not easy to come by nowadays.

 

A few years ago, there was an epidemic of people falling down holes here in Liuzhou. It turned out that people were stealing the manhole covers and in the dark they were dangerous. I suspect this theft was more for their scrap metal value than for gastronomic purposes, though.

 

The local government solved the problem by replacing most with some sort of plastic substitute or even covering manholes in concrete bunkers.

 

I'd guess though that any decent stainless steel or cast iron supplier could replicate a drain cover for you to use to replicate the hot plate.

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Do yourself a favour and Google "Mongolian Barbecue" and you will find many photographs of big round grilling disks that can be used for your purpose - you just do not need one as big as the norm, just 2 to 2.5 feet in diameter would be fine for your needs. Then place it over a gas (LPG) boiler/burner and you are "cooking" - you control the heat by adjusting the flame.

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5 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

A few years ago, there was an epidemic of people falling down holes here in Liuzhou. It turned out that people were stealing the manhole covers and in the dark they were dangerous. I suspect this theft was more for their scrap metal value than for gastronomic purposes, though.

 

The local government solved the problem by replacing most with some sort of plastic substitute or even covering manholes in concrete bunkers.

 

I'd guess though that any decent stainless steel or cast iron supplier could replicate a drain cover for you to use to replicate the hot plate.

 

You are perfectly correct - same happened here. The municipality then started using thick plastic ones but they were also stolen and sold to the scrap plastic recycling businesses and quickly turned into plastic bags.

 

The problem with the casting companies here, is that they will not keep this sort of thing. They only make in bulk to order and will not cast any extras as the lids are imprinted with the municipality name. Any scrap dealer found with one is playing monopoly - no fine, go directly to jail. To obtain one is vertically impossible now and thus I am looking for a nice thick steel off-cut. I have been in touch with a ship builder who says they will cut and make a round disk for me next time they get a large enough ship in their dry dock for repairs. It will just cost me the scrap price. Winter is fast approaching and that is the time for some nasty shipping accidents requiring repairs - I wait in anticipation!

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Hi Vijay. Welcome to the fora here. I hope we will be of help to you. I am sure you will add much to our community if you find us useful!

 

Just for context, please tell us where you live and work. Customs and facilities in Andhra Pradesh will be different to those in Assam. I am very intrigued to see how the eGullet community can respond to your requests for practical solutions to difficulties in situations which are outside our usual frames of reference. This is all very different from concerns about the quality of extra virgin olive oil from single estates compared to EVOO from several European sources (just my own first world dilemma this afternoon  in Waitrose.)

 

With regards to your question: given the parameters you have stated in terms of manpower and time, I would suggest preparing the parathas ahead of time and freezing them. On the day, you could heat them on hot plates and send them out, say 1-2 minutes per batch. When freezing, grease-proof paper between layers of parathas would probably make life easier. You still have time to try out technique and timing. I think the quality of the finished product will be very close to absolutely fresh preparation. Do not thaw the parathas before reheating them, as this will result in a somewhat soggy texture.

 

I am sure you will successfully solve the challenge. Please post photographs so we can all enjoy the outcome vicariously!


Edited by Kerala Poor use of language (log)
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Thank you very much. I have here in bangalore couple of malayalee friends exactly like you extend their helping hand in need. 

I am a missionary for a charitable Org. and for many reasons I don't want to expose myself more into public life like social media. Since I worked in a software company at newton MA, Boston, for some years, I was little curious about researching western cooking on the web. 

 

I like to discuss about cooking and listen to the experts, so I came upon this forum while I was searching. I feel very happy to read the threads and the only short coming is my vegetarian profile. Still I would like to be in the forum to hear the expertise here. 

 

I am slowly getting used to the bulk cooking load with the experience of almost a year in this field. Before that I have worked as a software engineer for five years and later by force of the circumstances learnt Indian cooking for three years in the missionary where I have joined. Now the journey is on. :D

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Good on ya @Vijay, it sounds like you've been on a steep learning curve.

 

I'd love to hear about your favourite Indian vegetarian recipes when/if you have time.

PS. I get good results cooking parathas from frozen. Best of luck for yours.

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