February 14, 2007 | | Comments 8

Roti (Indian Flat Bread)

Sujre made roti to go with the Indian Chicken Curry she made. The word Roti is a generic word for “bread” in India and South East Asia. The roti “bread” is not like what we are used to know … this roti is flat and shaped rounded.

Sujre prepared the dough on the morning before she came to the cooking class. So we did not get to see how she made the dough. However, she told us that she used the Golden Temple Whole Wheat Flour (known as Duram Atta). Duram Atta is a finely stone-ground, whole-wheat flour that uses the entire brown wheat kernel. This low gluten flour kneads easier and cooks quickly. Besides this roti, Atta is also used to make other roti variants such as paratha, chapati and puri breads.

The dough is made up by adding only water, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of oil to the flour. The dough is set aside for 30 minutes to rest before it is used to make the roti. After resting, break the dough and roll them into golf ball sized portions.

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On a floured surface, Sujre rolled the dough out very thinly, like 1-2 mm thick. She used an Indian rolling pin which is smaller and has narrower ends. She moved the rolling pin in circular motion while rolling which creates a perfect rounded shape. She made it look so simple.

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Well, we did try our hands rolling it, but many of us ended up with really odd shapes. We did have fun trying to do it nevertheless. It is not easy.

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Before putting the roti in the frying pan, Sujre flipped the roti from one hand to another several times. This is to remove excess flour from the dough. The excess flour will get burnt in the frying pan if not shaken off. I remember seeing this being done before on TV but never knew why they did it … now I know.

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The roti is dry fried in a pan, i.e. without any oil. The pan needs to be smoking hot. You need to watch this closely lest you end up burning the roti. Sujre flipped the roti over once the edges look dried.

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If the dough is rolled out properly without too much pressure, the roti will puff up very nicely. This is when everyone looks at the curry and the roti and … drools!

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The roti is flipped until both sides are nicely browned, but, not burnt.

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To serve, remove the roti to a plate and lightly brush with margarine or butter on one side. This roti is usually eaten by dipping it in curry gravy.

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This is a very healthy bread as there is not much of oil on it. I will blog on another type of bread called paratha wihich is more flaky and flavourful because it uses ghee to create the layers in the bread.

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  1. SaabKen says:

    Mmmm, fresh hot rotis ! Love the step-by-step pics.

    If I may comment on your cooking Suanne, it’s been well studied that non-stick teflon pans shouldn’t be heated to “smoking hot” level, especially without any oil or other contents to bring the temperature back down. A hot dry teflon pan will accelerate the deterioration of the teflon coating, hastening the “peeling” effect. And once the coating starts to peel, risk of ingestion increases, which should be avoided at all costs (even though the seriousness of longterm health effects of non-stick coating in humans is still being debated).

    If possible, use a stainless steel pan.

  2. pablopabla says:

    I am amazed how much trouble you guys go through to make all these.. :)

  3. iportion says:

    That looks very yummy
    My family loves flat bread
    When I was a child some members of our church made some amazing flat bread. They served with a non alcoholic spicy ginger drink. It was so good.

    I sometimes make my own tortillas for my husband he loves tortillas.

  4. Chubbypanda says:

    Roti is my favorite accompaniment to Indian and Malaysian curries. I have to agree with SaabKen about heating non-stick pans to that high a level. I usually use a cast iron skillet or griddle instead.

  5. Suanne says:

    Hi SaabKen and Chubbypanda: You’re right. Thanks for the reminder, especially for this dish.

    Hi iportion: Non alchoholic spicy ginger drink sounds delicious. What do you call that drink?

  6. Manisha says:

    This is one of the many ways of making rotis. Great tutorial! I do the final puffing directly on the flame. For rotis, a cast iron tava (griddle) works best. Try it! Hope this helps!

  7. kalpana says:

    Golden temple atta is not made out of whole wheat flour…it is made out of a combination of wheat and maida flour..That’s why roti looks lighter in colour…I prefer whote wheat flour over this so i use sujata’s

  8. [...] made Roti to serve with the Butter Chicken. It’s a perfect match. I had blogged about Roti here but the earlier post did not have the recipe as the demonstrator prepared the dough from her [...]

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