Low Tech, Low Cost Recipes Paratha


This is a guest post by Buuurr in Ohio and entry for our non-fiction writing contest.

This is the first article of a series of three in that I am going to show you how to make two types of bread and one entree dish using as little ingredients and tech as possible. Why would we as preppers want to know this? So we can cook with almost nothing, using very little. Some call it medieval cooking. I call it – how I like – to cook. Cheap. Simple. Healthy. Fast.

The first recipe is going to be Paratha. Paratha is an East Indian dish that uses very few ingredients and all should be your cupboard right now. Flour (whole wheat, durum, or regular old white), salt, oil (corn, vegetable, olive and even lard), and a little water and ghee (or as I like to call it – melted unsalted butter!).

The tools you will need to make this dish are as follows: Mixing bowl. Rotli griddle or a cast iron pan or a hygienic piece of flat metal. Fire! Gas stove or camp both do the job well but the camp fire will add an authentic Indian cook fire taste. Rolling pin or Rotli stick (yeah, a slightly rounded stick that tapers).

Measurements: Two cups of the flour of your choice. Half cup of the oil of your choice. A little water. Half a stick of butter. About a teaspoon of salt or more to your taste (I’ll talk about this later).

To start the dish going add the flour to a mixing bowl and add a little of the oil. Mix it about with the end of the rotli stick or your fingers if you want. Add a little of the water and all the salt. Continue to mix and add the oil and water until you have a playdoh type dough formed. Kneed the dough lightly. Flour a board or countertop and pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough and smush it flat. Roll this out fairly thin. Almost paper thin.

Dip your fingers in the ghee (melted butter) and brush one side of the dough. Fold in half. Repeat the brushing of ghee. Fold in half. You should now have what looks like a rough triangle. Or a square. Who cares!? The layers are the reason you are doing this and they are all that matter. Indian folk tell me it tastes different but I always reply they that are high. My wife who is Indian tells me they are the best she has ever had when I make them… so… I am an expert on the topic. Roll flat the square or triangle you have made. A little thickness is not a big deal as you will soon see.

bread 2Heat the Rotli pan or cast iron pan to about a medium heat. Gas or an outdoor fire works best. It just isn’t the same on an electric stove. Throw the flattened dough on the pan or griddle and wait for little white bubbles to form. You will see them easy enough. When these start to expand flip the bread. You can use tongs if you want but in this house we are not afraid of no fire. Now the bread should really start to expand and the Paratha will blow up like a little balloon and the layers will almost start to separate. Check for doneness on the bottom and remove from the pan.

Lightly add some butter or ghee to the hot bread and eat. The reason I said to go light on the salt is that the butter makes it taste more salty in the end. You can add many things to this dish like thin diced onion and thin sliced garlic for an onion and garlic Paratha or add smashed pistachios or pine nuts and dip them in honey. My daughter goes mad for the the last type of Paratha and ate four of them last night.

Prizes for this round in our non fiction writing contest include…

  1. First place winner will receive – A $150 gift certificate for Hornady Ammo  courtesy of LuckyGunner, a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Neads, a one year subscription to the Personal VPN service courtesy of unspyable and 1 Case of Survival Cave Food Chicken with 12 14.5 oz. Cans courtesy of LPC Survival.
  2. Second place winner will receive – $100 off of your next order of Fish Antibiotics courtesy of Campingsurvival.com, a Survival Puck  courtesy of SurvivalPuck.com and a SurvivalistBlog.net Coffee Mug courtesy of Horton Design.
  3. Third place winner will receive – a copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of TheSurvivalistBlog.net and a copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy ofwww.doomandbloom.net.

Be sure to read the rules before entering… This contest will end on March 17 2014


  1. Yum…need to try this…

  2. JP in MT says:

    Since I’m a bread addict………

  3. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Gosh, just by looking at the photograph attached, it appear very similar to a flour tortilla. I’ve seen cut down broom sticks / lawn tool handles used for a rolling pin down here at the breakfast taco ‘factories’. :^)

    Man, the description of above is making my mouth water – Yum! Thank you for the description – I think I’ll give it a try.

    • It’s funny how most cuisines have their own version of tortillas and dumplings… And tamales!

      • j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

        Isn’t that the truth. Thin bread products are very common where ovens are hard to pack I guess.

        What I like about tortillas is you warm them over the grill, pick it up and grab the meat filling by pinching it off the grill. Just wrap it up – no plate or utensils necessary. Some baked sliced up onion, avocado slices and seasoning and go into ‘shark frenzy’ munch mode . . .

  4. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Sounds good. A new twist to hardtack and flour tortillas. I will definitely give this a try. Thanks.

  5. tommy2rs says:

    I use that technique on biscuits, makes them wonderfully flaky with layers that are easy to separate..

  6. Thanks for this. I love any type of bread and will try this tomorrow. Just received a tortilla press today and made some tortillas for lunch. I’ll try this recipe with the press tomorrow.

  7. you can fill them with mashed potato as well, quite yummy!

  8. there is a youtube channel called JAStownsend , the guy sells colonial reenactment gear , BUT he has many videos on what the colonists did with the small variety of food available to them , very simple and interesting .

    • tommy2rs says:

      He has a good video on making an oven in 24 hours using fresh (emphasis on fresh) plain kitty liter as the clay in the cob mixture.

    • I’m copying this one down for sure. I’m into trying all kinds of things so I could eat well with few ingredients. I’ve tried “Ployes” which are a buckwheat wrap, tried cretons (a Quebec pork potted meat) and have a recipe for runza; none of those are from my family background, but knowing how to make them could help us in future. This is another such recipe, I think. And I’m definitely checking out that JAStownend YouTube channel.

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