Paratha is a laminated flatbread typically found in the Punjab region, of northern India.It is usually made from unleavened chapati dough using wholewheat atta flour, water and salt.While in India I worked with some great chefs who showed me the best way to make a much lighter and flakier paratha.The idea of topping the paratha with a cashew nut and saffron-infused ghee was inspired by a trip to Mumbai in central India.This was the most luxurious bread I ate during my stay. In India, paratha is often filled with paneer (a type of cheese) or grated vegetables.The secret to a lighter paratha is really quite straightforward. Use a blend of white bread flour with the atta flour.I also find the addition of yeast to this typically unleavened bread gives the paratha a better flavour and texture.Finally, the key to a good paratha is a good lamination technique. The rules are the same as for making croissants.Make sure the dough and butter consistency are the same, and chill the laminated dough before use. Paratha lamination is really quite crude but does the job.Makes 18-19 parathasParatha dough recipeWhite bread flour – 750gAtta flour – 250gNatural yoghurt – 140gSugar – 30gFresh yeast – 30gSalt – 20gWater – 480gMelted butter or ghee – 40gToppingCashew nuts (unsalted) – 300gSaffron – 25gCreamed coconut – 30gMelted butter or ghee – 140gFor the toppingIn a frying pan melt 40g of the ghee on a low heat and add the cashew nuts. Cook until light golden brown then add the saffron, which has been ground down in a pestle and mortar.Make sure the cashew nuts do not take on too much colour.Empty the cashew nut mix from the pan into a food processor and add the creamed coconut and the remaining melted ghee and blend into a coarse textured paste. It is now ready to use.For the doughPlace all the dough ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix on slow speed for two minutes and then mix on fast speed for five minutes until the dough is developed.Remove from the mixing bowl, cover and bulk ferment for 90 minutes.Scale the dough into 90g pieces and hand mould into balls. Lightly flour and cover to ferment at an ambient temperature for one hour.Roll the dough piece on a lightly floured work surface to 11in. Spread 25g of softened butter nearly all the way to the edge. I find using the back of a spoon the easiest way to spread out the butter.To laminate take the outside and repeatedly fold over the dough to get the concertina effect.Coil the laminated dough into a ball shape. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. At this point, the dough could be kept for up to 48 hours.Remove laminated dough pieces from the refrigerator and allow to recover for 10 minutes before rolling out to 8in. The butter and dough should work together freely.To bake the paratha on a hob use a tava or frying pan. A tava is a griddle pan used in Asian cookery.On the hob, heat the pan on a high heat and place the rolled out paratha directly onto it and bake until golden. Then flip it over and bake the other side until golden brown.Remove from the tava and spread with 25g cashew nut and saffron topping. If the topping has set just place it in the microwave or warm it up a little until it becomes spreadable.Alternatively parathas could be baked on a hotplate or directly on the stone sole of a deck oven operating at around 280ºC.
Visitors finding out about DVSA earned recognition at the Commercial Vehicle Show.How the scheme worksDVSA earned recognition is a new way for organisations with lorries, buses and coaches to prove they meet driver and vehicle standards.They’ll regularly share performance information with DVSA, such as their MOT initial pass rates and if their drivers have broken drivers’ hours rules.In return, their vehicles are less likely to be stopped for roadside inspections, saving them time and money. DVSA will still stop vehicles if they’re in an obviously dangerous condition.This will allow DVSA to target more of its enforcement activities at the high-risk traffic who put other road users in danger.Watch a video explaining how the scheme works.DVSA earned recognition videoBenefits for vehicle operatorsSince 1 February 2018, operators who joined the pilot have received some early benefits. They’ve been significantly less likely to be stopped by DVSA.With the launch of DVSA earned recognition, operators currently on the scheme and those who join later will get the full benefits. These include: DVSA enforcement staff being much less likely to visit their premises having direct access to a dedicated earned-recognition team in DVSA use of the DVSA earned recognition marque to use on their websites and other publicity materials being recognised as a DVSA approved operator through a published list on GOV.UK being able to prove they are exemplary operators when bidding for contracts DVSA published the list of operators taking part in the pilot on 31 January 2018.Working with operators, not against themDave Wood, DVSA Enforcement Policy Manager, said: Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, has officially launched the DVSA earned recognition scheme at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC, Birmingham.The launch follows a successful year-long pilot involving more than 60 commercial vehicle operators from various sectors of the industry.The launch event was attended by pilot operators, audit providers, IT systems suppliers and trade associations. How the scheme was refined during the pilotThe earned recognition pilot ran from April 2017. It allowed DVSA to test and refine the earned recognition concept. This included: the application process for operators, IT system suppliers and audit providers making sure the key performance indicators (KPIs) and audit standards are fit for purpose authorising audit providers to carry out the initial and periodic audits validating IT systems fine-tuning processes and documents gathering valuable feedback so we can make further adjustments DVSA enforcement staff being much less likely to stop their vehicles at the roadside Earned recognition marks a shift in approach from DVSA. It’s about rewarding operators who are serious about road safety and having a relationship where we work with them. By doing that, we can free up time and resources to focus on the dangerous drivers and vehicles that put other road users at risk. Joining DVSA earned recognitionCommercial vehicle operators can now apply to join the earned recognition scheme.More information about DVSA earned recognition is also available for audit providers and IT suppliers.