Feb 15

Indian Roti: Tips and tricks

For an Indian meal, the most essential element is the roti or chappati (Indian bread) that is served with the vegetables or gravies.

When I think of roti, I am reminded of the hot puffed rotis that used to be served at the table at meal times back in India. I used to take that for granted, until I moved to the US-without the knowledge of how to make a roti, let alone have someone serve them hot at the table!

Although there is a wide variety of frozen options available in Indian grocery stores, I find that making the rotis is a much healthier and tastier option. And it really is low on effort. True, my first few rotis were hard as pappadums, and shaped much like maps of different countries-but with practice, it all gets better.

The most essential element is the dough, or the atta. If the dough is too hard when made, the rotis will be hard and not roll well.To make sure the atta is soft and remains so, make it with warm water. Heat about a glass full in the microwave for 30 seconds, and add to the dough as required. Also, each atta is different. Some will absorb water a little after it has been kneaded. So it works well if the dough is left a little soft and left for a while before making rotis.

In order to prevent the atta from forming a dry skin, it works well if the atta is coated with a little oil. This helps keep it soft.

The next step is rolling the rotis. When making the roti, add a little dry atta for dusting onto the rolling surface. This helps smooth rolling.

When cooking, flip the roti only twice-if it is flipped repeatedly, it overcooks and becomes hard. In case you are making the roti on a pan and then puffing it on the flame directly, make sure the roti is only slightly cooked on the pan. As soon as small brown spots begin to appear on the roti, flip it and then put it onto the flame to puff. It will cook completely on the flame.

These tips should help in making lovely soft puffed rotis. Bon apetit!

4 pings

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