The simplest North Indian flatbread is chapati, a plain bread, meaning it is baked and puffed on a hot skillet without using any oil. Earlier I shared a video that shows how easy it is to make Indian chapati at home. You can see that chapati video here.
So, what is a plain paratha? You can say that a plain paratha is a chapati shallow fried with oil but without any stuffing in it. If stuffing is used, it will become a stuffed paratha.
Plain paratha is rolled a bit thicker than chapati. The rest is all easy. If you can make chapati, you can make plain paratha too. However, paratha requires oil at every stage, while making the dough, while rolling, and again while frying on the skillet.
To make it easier to understand, this is how it is done. Roll a chapati and smear it with oil. Then fold it three or four times and roll again. That is it; your plain paratha is ready to go on to the skillet, where you may use oil on one or both sides. It is better to use oil only after the paratha is part-baked, not in the beginning.
Traditionally, a plain paratha is enjoyed with curry (lentils or vegetables), preferably potato or chickpeas. However, it also goes well with mango pickle and/or plain unsweetened yogurt.
This recipe video from the Rajshri Food Youtube channel will show you how to be a paratha chef in no time.