Indian food is never complete without the wonderful breads that accompany them .Some of the breads that people all around the world can easily guess as Indian are Naan, Parantha, Dosa, Tandoori roti and so on but something that is a staple in a majority of Indian homes in some form of the other is simple roti or chapatti or phulka.
I was thinking that if I’m not talking about something so basic as roti which is made in our homes almost everyday and without which our meal can not be complete then I’m definitely missing something. So today its nothing fancy, I’m here to share how we make that simple flat-bread called roti at home.
A little something about it: Breads from India are very different from traditional the western bread loaf. Its basically a flatbread which looks a lot like tortilla. There are a millions of ways to make Indian flatbread and it mostly varies from region to region. Soil in the southern part of India is very good for rice crops so breads from that part are mostly made of rice flour and northern part is fertile for wheat & gram cultivation so wheat flour is what is mostly consumed in the region.
3 cups flour
a rolling pin
a little flour for dusting
tava or flat bottom skillet
Now the basic ingredients for the dough is same as that to make any dough in the world: flour & water that’s it. Usually wheat flour is used in India which if you don’t find anywhere then will definitely get in an Indian store but in case you don’t have wheat flour handy you can use 3 parts all purpose flour mixed with 1 part of whole wheat bread flour.
Start by adding water into the flour little by little and mix it with the flour using the other hand. Trick is to slowly add water so that you have an idea of how the flour is absorbing water.
My mom says that if u add a little bit of milk in the dough while kneading it. that makes the rotis even softer.
Whwn you feel that the dough is formed and you can hold it all together, transfer it to the counter or a flat dish and knead for about 4-5 mins. You know the dough is ready when there’s no excess moisture in it and its all absorbed by the flour. Now wrap the dough in a plastic wrap or a thin and wet kitchen towel and let it rest for about 5-10 mins. This would help it get even softer.
Then take the dough out on the kitchen counter and if you want you can knead it once again for just a few seconds just to make it smooth. I do it but its not necessary.
Now cut small pieces of dough into as many rotis as you want and make ball out of them. Dust the counter and start working on one ball at a time. Using a rolling pin try to flatten the balls into flat round shapes. It take a lot of practice to make that perfect round rotis so don’t try to sweat on the shape just flatten the dough and use a round lid or something and cut it into round shapes. Only the trick is to dust the dough balls atleast 2-3 times while rolling or the dough can stick to the rolling pin.
Preheat a tava ( use a simple pan or skillet if you don’t have a tava). Put a roti on the pan and cook for 15-20 secs or untill you see small bubbles on the surface and then flip it. repeat the same on this side and then transfer it to the other burner with a rack similar to a cooling rack. Roti will puff up in a few seconds and then you have to flip it again for the other side to get cooked as well. Remove from the heat and keep it wrapped in a piece of foil lined with paper towel.
Your roti is ready to be served. Just add a dollop of ghee ( Indian clarified butter) to give it that extra taste.