Balletic grilled bread prep

These South Asian gentlemen have their parotta-cooking down to an art -- they fling the bread with perfect, unseeing grace to one another. One has to wonder: why not move the tables closer together?

Perfect Catch (via Kottke)


  1. I imagine it works like tossing pizza dough. They need to toss the dough anyway, so the distance is not a problem – it might even work in their favor, being so eye-catching.

    ~D. Walker

  2. There’s a video demonstrating why they don’t move the tables closer together:

    In short, because it is so much awesomer (that’s right!) this way.

  3. “One has to wonder: why not move the tables closer together?”

    Because then the catcher would be out of a job.

    Just try selling products in South Asia with the line that “they’ll cut your HR costs by 30%”.
    The potential client will tell you just what his HR costs are and prove to you that an ROI kicks in after 10 years or so.

    1. Wasn’t there a book about that? Catcher in the R.O.I. or something. Can’t quite remember the title.

      Anyway, theatrics. To answer the question about why they throw the dough. Same reason the dude with the rolling pin keeps up a steady syncopation. It pleases the audience.

  4. Why is he hitting his table with the roller twice? Is it to keep time so the other guy knows when each piece is coming?

  5. Am I the only one having a weird case of Déjà vu here?

    I swear to various Greek gods that not only have I seen this video posted (here) before, but that exact same statement “from Cory”, about moving the tables closer together. I realize it’s probably not coming up in a search, and thus was posted….. but I’m telling you I remember both the video and comment.

    Can someone give Cory a Turing test and make sure he’s still human?

  6. You’ve all missed the real reason: notice how he spins it like a frisbee. That helps to shape the naan and give it the dose of air it needs to prove before being fired.

  7. The throwing of the dough is done to stretch it, the same idea as with pizza dough and the hitting of the rolling pin against the table is non verbal communication between thrower and catcher. Impressive!

  8. You’re all wrong. There is yeast in the air. This is what makes San Francisco Sourdough so unique. The velocity of the bread flying through the air allows the local yeast to penetrate deep into the bread. The amish embed the pennsylvanian local yeast into their rustic loaves by using a billows to ‘push’, achieving the same effect in a less flashy way, more attuned to the local culture.

    Amish using billows:


  9. Another obvious point – maybe having proofing / raw dough close to a big heat source like you see in the video is just a bad idea?

    Separating those two locations physically is probably done with a great deal of thought. I doubt theater has anything to do with the reason.


    1. Not to say that one is necessarily better than the other, but I imagine there’s some job satisfaction in being surrounded by the people who are enjoying the delicious food you’ve just made.

      Also, is it possible this is just one of his tasks at this job? Make a batch of paratha dough, divide the dough into balls, wash the mixing bowl, chop veggies while the dough rises, go back to the dough table, roll and fling the parathas, make another batch of dough, etc…

      I don’t know, never having eaten delicious bread at a restaurant in South Asia. I’ve been to plenty of South Asian restaurants in Canada, where I’m pretty sure the person grilling the bread doesn’t do the same thing all day – they have shifts at different cooking stations.

    2. My guess, the implied social element. Sitting inside a chilly factory building all day vs making food for the locals (that may be friends and/or neighbors) after sundown.

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