The difference between plain roti and plain parathas is that parathas have oil in between their layers, and roti's don't.

Even after we put oil in the layers we still smear the front and back sides with oil while cooking them. That may be for taste though.

What purpose does oil in layers serve?

If we put the same amount of oil in flour while kneading the dough, instead of putting it in layers, will the effect be same?

1 Answer 1


It's the same idea as puff pastry, when the layers of oil/fat heat up they expand and make air pockets in the dough which gives the flaky consistency.

The fat or oil needs to be layered and not amalgamated to get the flaky layers. If it was spread throughout the dough randomly it would be a more spongy texture.

The other name for this is laminated dough.

In short the layering of dough and fat/oil are to generate texture.

  • Is it the oil/fat layers which expand, or the moisture in the dough between the layers that expands? Oct 26, 2015 at 2:37
  • It's both, the fat/oil runs off leaving gaps, then the steam formed by cooking causes these gaps to expand. If you mix it all together you get a bubbly texture, if you layer it as described then you get flaky
    – user23614
    Oct 26, 2015 at 8:26
  • Hmmmm.... don't know if that description makes me hungry, or makes me lose my appetite... Oct 26, 2015 at 19:59

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