Fear & Parathas in Las Vegas


My carefree spin through life was abruptly tripped up last week when a sharp, chest-constricting panic attack forced me off the coach to work and back onto the pavement, pleading nausea to the driver so he’d stop halfway down a busy road in rush-hour.  Since then I’ve not been able to get back on a bus.  Taxis are hardly bearable either.  I can just about manage car lifts from my family (who will pull over and let me out for air if I need it).  Elevators I can and will cope with, as I live on the 5th floor and I’m damned if I’m walking up and down that four times a day (it’s seven deep breaths from the 5th to the ground floor, or a count of 10.  Seven deep breaths, or a count of 10).

I wrangled gently with the on-duty GP (via phone) about how to deal with this.  Back on the amitriptyline (oh joy of joooyyys), having spent the best part of three years getting off the sodding stuff.  Follow-up appointment in a couple of weeks.  But so far I can still make it to work (albeit by walking there), make it round the supermarket, go to the gym, sit down and eat a meal with my loved ones, and generally keep some sort of handle on life.  So currently we’re at Anxiety Attack Status: Fucking Annoying, rather than Anxiety Attack Status: Utterly Debilitating, which is something I guess.

Consoled myself with the remains of Sunday night’s family curry extravaganza (quorn chicken korma, moong dhal, vegetable curry) and some home-made parathas (Indian flatbreads)…….


Original version from http://indiaphile.info/how-to-make-parathas/


One cup wholemeal flour and one cup plain white flour (I did try and buy proper chapatti flour but the local supermarkets only sell it by the literal sackful, and even I can’t eat that fast)

Vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt


Rice flour for dusting /rolling (or plain flour if you don’t have rice)


Go to Wilkos and buy a pastry brush.  Go in with soft-hued memories of the wholesome, wooden-handled, soft-bristled brush Mother used to use.  Come out with a pink silicone mini-squid-on-a-stick that looks like it has……..multiple uses.  For the broad-minded.

In a bowl, mix the wholemeal and plain flour.  Add the salt, then a dash of vegetable oil.  Mix.

Slowly add water until you have soft dough.

Lightly flour a board and bash heck out of the dough for the space of one song (today, we are mostly listening to “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush).

Cover the dough ball and leave for 15-20 minutes.  Talk amongst yourselves.

Rip off a piece of dough (size of a small golf ball).  Roll into a ball shape then flatten.

Dust a chopping board with rice flour and roll the dough flat.  With your newly acquired silicon sex-toy wipe a little oil on the dough, then fold up the dough and form again into a ball.  Roll out flat again.

Heat a frying or grill pan to a medium low heat.  Place the disc of dough in the pan.  When it begins to bubble, flip it over and wipe a little more oil on the cooked side.

Cook for a minute or so more, then flip again.  Crank up the heat and press the edge of the fishslice/spatula into the parantha, which will push air through the rest of the flatbread, for around 30 seconds.  Flip the parantha and repeat.

Serve hot, with curry and yogurt.






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