Growing up I used to help my mom in making roti (also known as chapatti) which is a flatbread similar to the Mexican tortilla. She would make the dough and I would sometimes help her roll it out into a circle (or a square, or the map of India, or some other shape) and help her to pan fry it.
In many traditional Indo-Pak families, the lady of the house would make fresh roti every day for dinner. That is just not feasible for most families nowadays, so you buy the chappatis in the grocery store. However since I am trying to domesticate myself by trying to make food from scratch whenever possible, here is my take on how to make rotis in your home!
It’s a simple, affordable and healthy alternative to store-bought bread. The best part is kids love it and you can sneak all sorts of healthy ingredients without them knowing it! The one downside is it is a 3 step process and can be a bit time consuming and requires some practice to get it right.
Indian flatread, called roti or chapatti, is a hit with young children.
- 1 cup Whole wheat flour (I use Durum Atta brand)
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 tbsp oil (Olive or vegetable)
- 1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
- Pinch of Turmeric (optional)
- 1 tsp Ground Flax seed (optional)
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Clean and dry work area (I use a wooden cutting board)
- Non-stick frying pan
- Non-stick spatula
- Add all ingredients except water into mixing bowl. Slowly add the water, mixing the dough with your hands until it becomes moist, not sticky. Add more water if required. Divide dough into small round balls, about 10.
- Take each ball and start rolling it with the pin. With each motion with the rolling pin, rotate or flip the dough at 90 degrees to make it round out. Roll and flatten it until it is thin all around. If the dough sticks to the surface, sprinkle some flour and continue.
- Meanwhile, heat up frying pan until the surface is very hot. Place the roti in the frying pan and press down on all sides with spatula. Within 5-10 seconds you will see it change colour. Flip it over and heat for other side for another 10-20 seconds. Do one more flip until raw appearance is gone and bubbles form on the bread. Take care not to overcook it otherwise it will harden and burn. Place the cooked roti in paper towel to keep its moisture. Place the next roti on the frying pan and continue.
Serving suggestions: Serve hot with melted butter, accompanied with a dip. Roll it up into a sandwich with your kids favourite stuffing inside. Eat it the traditional way with Indian curries and casseroles. Tips 'n Tricks: If dough is too sticky, wait a few minutes for the dough to dry out (or put in the fridge) before continuing to step 2. Frying the rotis goes really quick so make sure you have some flat patties ready to go so you’re not switching between the rolling pin and the frying pan. Keeps in a sealed container on the counter for up to 3 days. Or in the fridge for up to a week. When reheating in microwave, sprinkle with some water to soften it up. You can also prepare extra-moist dough ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a few days or freezer until you are ready to pan-fry.
Anyone can make Indian ‘roti’. Just take a note from our kids when they use playdough!