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Paratha and Maleeda Recipes

Due to popular demand (ok TWO requests, but the last one was signed “Desperate Trini in NYC”) I am posting a recipe for Maleeda. Maleeda is a Indo-Trini sweet, made with a base of paratha roti (buss-up-shut). I could assume that the potential maleeda makers know how to make paratha, but that may be cruel, so the two recipes follow. The beauty of maleeda is that it will still taste good even if the paratha is not golden, light and flaky. Sugar cures many ills. Unfortunately I don’t actually have any pictures of maleeda, but maybe soon. Pictures are here (because my mother keeps maleeda in the freezer for the son, the former baby, even though he currently resides overseas):

Maleeda and plate Maleeda closeup

Paratha (Buss up shut)- Trinidad style

Ingredients (for about 4 smallish rotis):Paratha - bussing it
4 cups flour
1  1/3 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
water to make soft, but not sticky dough
8 tbsp vegetable shortening (Cookeen) or ghee (could be more)
Oil for cooking


Making the Dough or Loys:
1. Mix flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Add water gradually and mix to form a soft dough that is not sticky.
3. Make 3 or 4 balls of dough (depending on size of your tawah/griddle/skillet), sprinkle with flour and let rest for 15-30 mins.
4. Roll or stretch out 1 ball at a time, to a circle a little bigger than your hand. Try not to use too much flour at this stage.
5. Spread softened shortening or ghee around the entire circle.
6. Make one cut from the centre of the circle to the outer edge.
7. Start rolling the circle from the cut all around to form a cone with the dough. Roll fairly tightly so that there is not to much air/space in the cone, but don’t stretch it too much. Tuck the ends of the cone in so that you form a ball again. (Don’t worry too much about the details of this step if you have never seen it done; just make sure you have a ball again at the end of the process, with most of the shortening on the inside.)

Step 6 Step 7
Making the Cone the Cone
back to a ball  

8. Sprinkle the ball with flour and put aside. Repeat for other 2 balls of dough.

Making the Paratha:
1. Heat tawah/griddle to medium hot.
2. Roll out ball of dough to even thickness (about 1/2 cm) and place on tawah.
3. When little bubbles appear on the paratha and the top is beginning to set (not sticky to the touch), spread a little oil/ghee on the top and flip over.
4. Spread a little oil or ghee on the other side of the paratha.
5. The paratha should start to swell a little with air when it is almost finished. Press the edges of the paratha all around on the tawah, to ensure the edges are cooked.
6. When it begins to get a little brown and is cooked all the way through, remove from tawah.
7. You can buss it up on the tawah, or in a bowl with dablas, or hold it with cloths and separate the layers.

Repeat for other balls.

4 (hot) paratha
1 cup flaked dessicated coconut (or fresh grated, in which case saute in some butter before adding to recipe)Grating the Coconut
1 170gm tin evaporated milk
3/4 lb brown sugar
8 oz butter or ghee
To taste:
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground elaichi (cardamom)
1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 pinch black pepper
raisins and maraschino cherries (optional)

1. Shred the parathas finely in food processor, or by whichever means possible
2. Add parathas to mixing bowl with all ingredients except milk.
3. Mix well, adding milk slowly until the maleeda comes together to be able to form firm but moist balls.
4. Taste during the mixing to adjust sugar and spices to taste.
5. Form into balls and enjoy!

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13 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. *sigh*

    And when he’s here he’s very territorial over it!

    1. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on December 1st, 2006 at 10:47 pm
  2. Hi, I remember hot peppery Trinidadian sweets from my youth. Any recipes? I should think they were made of dried fruits with chilli and rolled in some sort of smooth seed so they did not stick to your fingers. Very delicious.
    Recipe ideas much appreciated. Regards. Deb

    2. deb on December 10th, 2006 at 4:10 pm
  3. Hi Deb – are you thinking of tamarind balls? or something else?

    3. chennette on December 10th, 2006 at 7:51 pm
  4. Thanks for the recipe. My dad, who lives far away, told me how to make it over the phone, but I needed a visual. I’m a Trini by birth and blood, but never attempted buss up shut or roti on my own. My dad is the king roti/buss up shut maker in our family and I have been helping him since I was a young girl. Today, I will be attempting to make it on my own. My family will be my taste testers, as I am practicing for a New Years eve party that I’ll be having. I’ll let you know how it turns out…

    4. Marva on December 28th, 2006 at 1:27 pm
  5. Hi Marva – I also have some more pics of the maleeda process here – just haven’t gotten around to inserting them into the recipe yet. Enjoy!
    My grandfather used to be the maleeda maker in our family. He cooked nothing else. He’d sit on his bench with a basin and all the ingredients around him as my grandmother would bring the hot paratha off the tawah for him to mix it up.

    5. chennette on December 28th, 2006 at 1:58 pm
  6. I have attempted to make buss up shut a few times. I can never have it right like they do in Trinidad (I am not a Trini my husband is). In Trinidad the pastry look like is not cook, it is white and not yellowish. Is they any tips you can give me to have it right. Do I need to use strong flour?

    7. Mimi on September 7th, 2007 at 7:34 am
  7. Hi Mimi. I tend to use vegetable shortening which avoids the yellow colour, but once you use ghee or butter/margarine, you will get some yellowing. The trick then is not to cook it on too high a heat, so it doesn’t brown fast – this might help with the colour.
    When you buy buss-up-shut and it has that almost uncooked look, it is cooked, but just not browned. You just need to cook the roti so it starts to separate and flake, but not brown. I have to admit that it is not necessarily a skill I have completely mastered either, but I try :-)
    I wouldn’t necessarily use strong flour either, as the paratha needs to be flaky.

    8. chennette on September 11th, 2007 at 12:56 pm
  8. Hi Mimi
    Do not use self raising flour and use white bleached flour. Bakers flour which we get is ideal as it cooks quickly and so does not get time to brown or turn yellow either. This flour also flakes better and is ideal for flaky pastry as well.

    9. TriniMom on September 11th, 2007 at 2:25 pm
  9. Hi Mimi,

    You can use some butter when mixing the flour, almost like flaky pastry dough but soft..I also add a bit of evap milk in the water for mixing the flour…

    10. fatima on October 7th, 2007 at 9:52 pm
  10. I keep losing my recipe for this. One day I will just have to memorize. Anyway you can bring some on the plane to Canada :)?

    12. eatpraylove on June 29th, 2008 at 9:06 pm
  11. I cannot believe it never occurred to me before. It’s a direct flight to Toronto. I can bring you paratha, dhalpuri, doubles…you name it. Although, you can get really good stuff right in Toronto itself…many Trinis :-) Let me know.

    13. Chennette on June 30th, 2008 at 3:15 am
  12. Hi Chennette – I’ve made the buss up shut but never had maleeda. Looks like something I’ll have to try. What is that tool you’re using to grate the coconut? Looks fascinating!

    18. Sugar Apple on March 14th, 2010 at 4:40 pm
  13. it’s a rotary grater – you screw it on to the side of a table or bench and then it cranks with a handle round and round while the “blade” part makes short work of the coconut. A friend bought it for my parents, possibly in the market in Chaguanas, but I’m not sure…somewhere in Trinidad there might be more.

    19. Chennette on March 14th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

6 Trackbacks

  1. […] but with great great difficulty letting you get brown spots on the dhalpuri or roll out a square paratha. Great great difficulty. Her mother was clearly a perfectionist as […]

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