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Monday, January 08, 2007

Simple Roti

Simple Roti Indian flat bread whole wheat

Roti or Chappathi, along with vegetable sides, usually served as a light and satisfying supper when we were growing up. And, a couple of rotis served as starter/appetizer for lunch/dinner made the meal sumptuous and wholesome somehow.

There are several tried and tested alterations to the basic roti recipe; what I share here is just one of them. Start cooking some side-dish like curry or koottu or dal for serving with these rotis in the back-burner first, and by the time rotis are done so is the the side-dish.

These simple rotis are best when cooked right before sitting down for the meal. Sometimes referred to as Sukha/Sookha Roti meaning Dry Roti, these use little or no butter or oil. But, if preferred, can spread some butter or home-made flavored ghee.

easy recipe Mint, Fennel and Garlic Naan indian

2 cups whole wheat flour (or, chappathi flour)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp canola oil (or ghee)
extra flour for dusting
hot water (amount varies a bit)
salt to taste
some oil for cooking

  1. combine the flours, salt and ghee in a bowl; add a little hot water at a time and start kneading the dough; keep adding a little water at a time till a soft, pliable, slightly sticky dough is formed; cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 5 minutes or so
  2. divide the dough to form 2" or 3" diameter balls - number varies - but usually i make about a dozen or so with 3 cups of flour - not all of them the same exact size...
  3. dust the work surface generously with some flour (either all purpose or whole wheat is fine); roll the balls into thin rounds about 5"-6" in diameter; try not to stack them on top of each other - just lay them out handy on the counter top*
  4. heat a pan or griddle to pretty high temperature; cook both sides of the rolled out rotis on the hot pan - adding oil if needed
  5. alternately, i like to cook them over open flame on my gas stove, by placing the raw roti on a contraption my mom gave me - a round wire-work with handle - and cook both sides till it puffs up a bit and forms tiny char spots on the surface :-)
  6. at this point the rotis are ready to be eaten, straight off the griddle; but, sometimes, i brush it with some ghee or butter and wrap them with a kitchen towel till the whole batch is done; this helps keep them moist and warm till we all sit down for the meal

Serve with any of the curries, or chutneys, or koottus, or even indian pickles (achars):ridge gourd curry
egg curry
soya chunks curry
baby eggplant curry
ridge gourd peel chutney
mint chutney
green tomato dal
chayote squash koottu

quick and easy recipe rotis*Alternately, after rolling out the balls in step 3 above, fold it in half to form a semi-circle, and fold again to form a sort of triangular shape, and then roll it out again to about 4"-5" diameter to form a slightly thicker but layered and fluffy rotis.

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