I was asked last week for a recipe for Roti bread. When I was teaching at Chisholm, I learnt a lot from our international students. So whether you’re making chapatis, phulkas, rotli, puri or my favourite godamba roti, these tips will help. Sure a recipe is great but the method and little tips, that’s what we all need isn’t it!
Most of the students in my class came from India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. What they showed me is what they’re Mums and Nans used to make. Little tips from them we’re great.
Roti tips from Mums and Nans
- More water means softer roti. This goes for all types of bread. Dry dough, dry bread. The more water you can add to your flour (without it becoming sticky), the better if you want soft, beautiful dough.
- You have to mix and then rest your roti. There were arguments among the girls on this one. Some said 15 minutes some said 30. I took from what they were saying and came up with this. When you rest a mix of flour and water, the water is slowly absorbed, and gluten is developed. Resting it for an appropriate time does make the dough more pliable and easier to roll. We want stretch, so I’m happy to leave it for the full 30 minutes. Sorry, Anita. 😉
- One of the girls suggested that we put oil on our hands when rolling out the roti. That does help, but I took it a step further. I have a great oil sprayer, and I just give the bench top a quick squirt before I start, it works a treat.
- Oil or no oil? I like to add some to my recipe, but it’s not essential if you’re eating them straight away. For me, the oil helps keep them soft. Otherwise, they’re OK if you eat them all in one sitting,. If you want to warm them up the next day, without oil, they’re pretty hard.
- You need a really hot pan, or Tawa is what is used. A Tawa is a flat-concave pan. (no sides) I don’t have one of these, so I grab my largest non-stick pan and use that. You could use a BBQ plate, get more done at once??? If your pan isn’t hot they’ll dry out as they cook.
- Some like to finish off their roti by smearing ghee on them. I prefer to add the oil or ghee into the recipe and not add more fat at the end (although it does make them rather delicious ;-)).
- Getting your roti to puff is a knack. First, the roti has to be soft enough. The right amount of water added to the dough, so the roti creates steam while it’s cooking. You need to have evenly rolled out roti, and your frying surface needs to be very hot. If your roti dries out before being able to create steam, they’ll not puff up. If you get a hole in your roti, it can’t puff.
Roti flat bread
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- 1 Frypan
- 1 Thermomix
- 375 g chapatti flour or bakers flour for soft white
- 40 g oil
- 1 tsp Flaked salt or ¾ tsp if using table salt
- 200 g Water more or less as needed we’re looking for a soft textured dough but not sticky. remember It will be less sticky after 30 minutes resting
- Put the flour into a bowl add salt, oil and mix. TM: 5 seconds/speed 5
- Add water and knead until cleared. (Cleared means to make sure that all the ingredients are entirely mixed through no streaks) TM: knead for 2 mins.
- Cover and rest for 30 mins
- Roll into balls, dust in flour then roll into thin discs Depding on size you'll get around 10 roti, 60 g each
- Fry until bubbles appear then flip and do the other side. See tips above.