Roti / Indian flat bread / Makes 16-18
“Chapati” flour / atta 2 cups
(+ extra for dusting)
Salt 1/2 tsp
Water 3/4 cups
Ghee / Butter to drizzle
KNEADING THE DOUGH
Add the flour, salt and oil and fluff up.
Add the water and knead, using the balls of your palms and knuckles alternatively to pummel into a nice, smooth, soft dough.
Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest to let the gluten do its thing.
ROLLING THE ROTI
Divide the dough into equal parts. The best way of doing this is by halving the dough and then halving it again till you have golf ball sized dough balls.
With firm hands, roll the dough balls once at a time, in the palm of your hands.
Flatten them in dry dough, with the tips of your fingers.
Dust any excess flour off.
Roll into a disk about 3 inches big.
You may need to dust some more dry flour. Make sure you dust any excess flour off.
Roll till you have a roti about 5-6 inches big. Try and roll it evenly across, taking care that you don’t have thin edges and a fat centre as the bread will then cook very unevenly.
I often roll a few and give myself a head start before I start cooking them.
COOKING THE ROTI
Heat a heavy bottomed, flat skillet.
When hot, put a rolled roti on.
Let it sit about 20-30 seconds. You want the surface “sealed”. Let’s call this Side 1.
Then flip it to the other side. (If you want, at this stage, you can lightly spray a little bit of oil on this side; traditionally, we don’t use any oil when making “plain roti”.)
Let Side 2 cook for about 20-30 seconds as well and then flip Side 1 back onto the heat.
(Spray Side 2 with some oil, if you want.)
Cook Side 1 for about 30 seconds again and then cook Side 2.
A cooked roti has evenly distributed brown spots (not black – that’s burnt!).
Basically – each side gets cooked twice.
The first 20-30 seconds is to seal the surface.
The second time is to cook it through.
The reason you don’t cook it all in one go is to ensure that the dough gets cooked evenly through and you’re not left with uncooked doughy bits in your mouth.
Drizzle some ghee / butter / coconut oil if you want, when you pull them off the skillet.
Store these wrapped in a clean tea towel to keep soft and warm.
I often do a big batch and use these instead of store bought tortillas. These are a far healthier and less processed option.
I have also been known to re-heat these in the toaster for a few seconds!