Want a certificate in 'porotta adi'? Head to this Madurai coaching centre

Porotta making
Rrepresentative image: iStock/SUSANSAM, Larisa Stefanuyk

Porotta, which is a flaky and layered pancake, when soaked in luscious and spicy curry can be irresistible for many a person. As porotta is a rage in Kerala, the ‘porotta-beef’ combo is jokingly touted as the ‘national food’ of the state. But have you ever wondered how this mouth-watering flatbread is made? Or do you want to master the art of porotta-making? If so, head to the 'Selfie Parotta Coaching Centre' in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

In a span of just 10 days, you can pocket a certificate vouching for your skills to make 10 varieties of porottas. The center gives expert training to make ‘nadan’, ‘veeshu’, coin, ‘noolu’, bun, ‘aloo’, ‘ila’, ‘kothu’, Malabar and Ceylon porottas. The 10-day coaching costs Rs 4,000 and the training is imparted by A Muhammed Kasim, who had worked as a chef in many international hotels. The scarcity of experts to make palatable porottas had forced Kasim to start a coaching centre where around 200 people are trained every month.

In one of the videos that is doing the rounds on social media platforms, Kasim talks about the centre and students learning the nuances of porotta-making. While some people want to make porottas to give a pleasant surprise to their wives, others aim to start eating outlets. There are also others who want to keep their foray into porotta-making a top secret. People passionate about cooking also crave to perfect the art of porotta-making, says Kasim.

Selfie Parotta Coaching Centre in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
Muhammed Kasim (R) at his Selfie Parotta Coaching Centre in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Photo: Special Arrangement

It may be noted that the Selfie Porotta Coaching Center at Kalainagar in Madurai is the only such center in India. The center has opened its doors to all who want to succeed in life and one doesn’t need any academic excellence to make a soft layered porotta, notes Kasim. A person will be adept at making porottas after 10 days of training at the culinary school.

As students from many states come to the center, coaching is given to prepare different versions of ‘button porotta’, wheat porotta, ‘kothu porotta’ and malabar porotta. Besides porotta, training is also given to make ‘thattu dosa’, gravy and a gamut of Chinese dishes.

In the initial phases of training, the students are given a towel to recreate the effect of making a porotta. The towel should be spread like spreading the porotta flour, which is usually ‘maida’ flour. Later, the students are taught how to mix and spread the flour to make porottas.

The center has two-hour classes in the morning and evening, and separate hostel facilities for men and women.

Kerala porotta with beef curry
Kerala porotta with beef curry. Photo: Shutterstock/Santhosh Varghese

“Every job has a dignity. There should be entrepreneurs and the center through training helps those who want to start a business unit,” says Kasim. You have to spend at least Rs five lakhs to open a bakery but you need only Rs 50,000 to start a wayside eatery, Rs 20,000 for a pushcart eating point or Rs 10,000 for a snack bar attached to your house, he adds. The greatest advantage of knowing how to cook the professional way while running a restaurant is that you can don the hat of a chef if one of the chefs quits unceremoniously, says Kasim. A few hours of work in the morning or evening can help porotta makers earn close to Rs 60,000 per month and there are some whose income per day is nearly Rs 600 to Rs 2,000. “Professionals such as doctors and engineers who are passionate about cooking are my students and porotta-making is also a skill like any other expertise,” he notes.

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