Ajwain paratha is a fragrant, layered flatbread variant. These flaky parathas are made with unleavened whole wheat dough and flavored with carom seeds (ajwain). They are easy to make and pairs well with many Indian sides. Ajwain is also known as carom seeds or thymol seeds or bishops weed in English and omam or owa or ajmo in some regional Indian languages.
I make this ajwain ka paratha often for breakfasts or quick brunch. Some days when I am too tied up, I simply make these parathas or Onion paratha and we have them with Mango pickle or a side vegetable dish like Aloo matar, Aloo gobi, Matar paneer, Veg korma or dal recipes like Dal fry, Dal tadka etc.
These ajwain parathas dry out after cooling, so they are best had hot. They are made with a special folding technique which gives the parathas a square or a triangle shape. Much similar to the way I make the classic Paratha Recipe. So I have included step by step photos in this post.
There is another way of making these flatbreads where the carom seeds are mixed with the dough. But this method that is followed in my family makes for a better tasting and flavored carom seeds flatbread.
These parathas can be roasted with oil or ghee. Back home in Delhi, the family fries the Parathas with lots of ghee. The taste is much different when you use ghee than oil for roasting.
These ajwain parathas are flaky and have to be roasted on a hot tava or griddle or skillet. If you roast them on a warm tava, they become dense and hard. But make sure that you keep on regulating the temperature while frying as a very hot tava may burn the paratha.
Secondly, they have to be roasted in good amounts of ghee or oil, so don’t be a miser. This is what makes these parathas crisp and flaky.
Ajwain or carom seeds (also known as bishop’s weed) Lend their fragrant aroma to these parathas. Ajwain has digestive properties and hence they are added to masala puris, Pakora, Chana masala and Samosa.
How to make Ajwain Paratha
1: First knead a soft and smooth dough with 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 or 2 teaspoon oil or ghee, salt as required and adding water as needed. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Later pinch medium sized dough balls from the dough and roll them between your palms to make a neat ball. Flatten one dough ball on a dusted board or surface.
Roll it to a small disc of about 4 inches with a rolling pin. Spread some oil or ghee on this rolled dough. Then sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon or less of ajwain (carom seeds) and 1 to 2 pinches of salt evenly on top.
2: Fold from one side.
3: Spread some oil or ghee on this folded part.
4: Fold the second side covering or overlapping the previous folded side.
5: Spread oil or ghee on this side also.
6: Fold vertically now.
7: And continue to fold once more the second side. In the below photo I have placed the folded side touching the rolling board.
8: Press lightly with your palms. Sprinkle some flour and roll with a rolling pin.
Instead of making square paratha you can also triangular folds and roll to a triangle shaped paratha.
9: Roll to a square or round paratha of about 6 to 7 inches in diameter.
10: Heat a tava or griddle or skillet. Keep the heat to medium high to high. When the tawa becomes medium hot, place the rolled paratha.
When one side is slightly and you can see a few blisters and air pockets then turn over. Apply ghee or oil on this and cook till the second side is half cooked.
Then turn over again with a spatula. Apply ghee or oil on this side and cook turning over a few times till both sides are well roasted and cooked uniformly.
Take care the edges are also cooked. You can press the edges with a spatula to aid in cooking.
11: A little extra browning is alright too. You can roast these parathas with oil or ghee as you prefer.
Make all paratha this way and serve them hot. If not serving them immediately then stack them in a roti basket or casserole box. But try to have them when they are still hot or warm for the best taste and texture.
While cooking second paratha wipe the tawa with a clean kitchen towel or paper napkin to remove any burnt or browned flour particles.
12: Serve ajwain ka paratha hot with mango pickle or lemon pickle. Or just enjoy them as is with Indian Masala chai.
If you are looking for more Paratha recipes then do check:
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For the dough
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 to 2 teaspoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- salt as required
- water as required for kneading the dough
- 1 tablespoon ajwain (carom seeds or thymol seeds or bishops weed or omam or owa or ajmo)
- oil or ghee as required for roasting
- salt as required
- Mix the salt with the flour. Add the oil/ghee and some water.
- Knead into a smooth and soft dough. Add some more water if required.
- Keep the dough covered for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Take a medium sized ball from the dough.
- Roll it into a small disc/round of about 4 inches in diameter.
- Apply or brush oil or ghee on the surface.
- Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon or less of the ajwain seeds along with 1 to 2 pinches of salt.
- Fold the dough as shown in the step by step photos above applying ghee or oil.
- Roll into a paratha of approx 6 to 7 inches diameter.
- On a hot tawa (skillet or griddle) place the rolled paratha. The tawa should be hot and not at a low temperature. Cooking parathas at a low flame will harden them. Keep the flame to medium-high to high.
- Fry on a hot tava or griddle with a teaspoon of oil/ghee or more as required till both sides become well browned.
- You can flip the paratha a couple of times till you see brown spots and the paratha is cooked evenly. Also make sure that the paratha edges are cooked well. If not then press them with a spatula for even cooking. Make all parathas this way.
- You can serve them hot or stack them in a roti basket to be served later.
- Serve these ajwain parathas hot or warm with some lemon pickle or mango pickle or raita or with a cup of hot tea.
- Ajwain paratha can also be served with a side indian veggie dish.
- A variation to this recipe, is to add some cumin/jeera along with the ajwain.
- The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
- For best taste have the parathas hot as they are made.
- Knead the dough well. It should be smooth, soft and pliable.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Ajwain Paratha recipe post from the archives (first published in February 2013) has been republished and updated on 29 June 2021.