Bun Parotta Recipe: Madurai's Wonderful Twist To The South Indian Parotta

The bun parotta was invented in one of Madurai's many food stalls.

Bun Parotta Recipe: Madurai's Wonderful Twist To The South Indian Parotta

Madurai Bun Porotta is finished in the shape of a bun and tastes best with spicy curries like a salna.

At a culinary event in Chennai, I rediscovered my love for a truly unique bread that has its roots in Madurai. Chef Ramkumar Varatharaj from KCK Banquets in Chennai staged a Madurai virundhu (Madurai feast), and the audience included some of India's top chefs, including Avinash Martins, who helms Cavatina in South Goa. My conversation with Avinash revolved around Goa's unique bread-making traditions. The Portuguese were the catalyst for popular Indian breads ever since they brought bread-making traditions to Goa in the 16th Century. That's when we checked out Madurai's twist to the South Indian parotta as we know it.

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My first tryst with the Bun parotta (also spelt as Porotta in Madurai) was in Madurai more than a decade ago. I keep coming back to the city we like to call thoonga nagaram in Tamil Nadu. It translates to the city that never sleeps, and Madurai's street food traditions have been shaped by this moniker. The city is not just one of Tamil Nadu's cultural hotspots, but its unique location in Southern Tamil Nadu has always seen this as a hub with a large floating population. Many of the food stalls stay open late and serve commuters and traders who pass through this city. The bun parotta was invented in one of the city's many food stalls.

Photo Credit: Ashwin Rajagopalan

Photo Credit: Ashwin Rajagopalan

Chef Ramkumar Varatharaj is from this part of Tamil Nadu and tells me that the bun parotta was first introduced at Sivaranjani Tea Stall in Madurai's KK Nagar neighborhood. They developed this parotta by adding milk, sugar, and egg with flour and filling air inside the dough that makes it more airy, light, and fluffy. The stall was located near Aavin (the state's government dairy cooperative). Some locals believe that the proximity to Aavin might have been the spark to add milk to the dough. The popularity of the bun parotta saw Sivaranjani Tea Stall become Madurai Bun Porotta Stall, and now the dish is an integral part of Madurai's culinary landscape. The parotta is finished in the shape of a bun. It tastes best with spicy curries like a salna.

Recipe - Madurai Bun Porotta (Eggless version)

Recipe courtesy of Chef Ramkumar Varatharaj from KCK Banquets

Ingredients Quantity

  • Premium refined flour 01 kg
  • Salt 10 gms
  • Sugar 12 gms
  • Full cream milk 275 ml
  • Water 275 ml
  • Groundnut oil 150 ml
  • Vanaspati 100 ml


  • Sieve the refined flour.
  • Mix the flour with salt and sugar.
  • Pour in the milk and rub it over the flour finely.
  • Then add the water and knead until it becomes a soft dough.
  • Melt Vanaspati, mix it with groundnut oil and keep it aside.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Make 50 gms of tiny rounds. You should be able to make about 20 bun parottas with one kg.
  • The final Bun parotta size will be 80-90 gm dough rounds.
  • Now pour in the groundnut oil and vanaspati mixture, rub in the dough rounds, again rest for 30 minutes.
  • Flatten the dough rounds using a rolling pin and now spread it so it loosens and gets wider, rest it for 30 minutes.
  • Get the parotta into shape by holding air inside, which makes the bun parotta airy, fluffy, and light.
  • Rest it again for a few minutes until it's time to cook. The flour rests for about 3 hours in total.
  • Flatten it and cook it on a hot round thick parotta tawa (It tastes even better on a wood-fired tawa).
  • Pour in groundnut oil and Vanaspati mixture and cook it until it's fluffy and brown on both sides.

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Photo Credit: Ashwin Rajagopalan

Photo Credit: Ashwin Rajagopalan

Bun Parotta - Recipe


  • Maida - 500 gm
  • Egg - 2
  • Milk - 2 tsp
  • Water - 1 to 1.5 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Oil - 3 tsp


  • Add eggs, salt, sugar, water, and milk in a bowl and mix well.
  • Move this mixture to another bowl and blend it with the maida.
  • Add oil and knead this to a dough until it gets soft & stretchy.
  • Apply oil on it and cover with a wet cloth. Allow it to rest for 3 to 4 hours. (This is a key step)
  • Now divide the dough into equal balls. Dab oil over it and leave it aside for another 30 minutes.
  • Take each dough ball and flatten it thin with a roller. Apply oil once you spread the dough.
  • Using both your hands, spin the dough in a circular motion to make it thin. Fold the dough vertically and roll it sideways. Turn the dough sideways to make it a spiral dough about 4 inches in height.
  • Now roll it into a bun-like shape.
  • Now heat oil in an iron pan. Add some oil and place the flattened parotta and cook on medium-high heat for 2 minutes and flip. Continue cooking on the other side for another 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and tap on the side of the parotta to fluff it up to resemble a bun.