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Mum's Classic Rotis

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

It occurred to me that I have been suggesting in my posts, to eat the curries with freshly made rotis. It then occurred to me that I have not posted a basic roti recipe. I decided to write a quick post about how to make rotis. Mum's rotis are a bit famous. Almost everyone who tastes them comments on their softness and also how small and thin she makes them. That is how she always makes them. I can make rotis myself too but they don’t taste like my mum's. Even my sister and my brother-in-law have been trying to replicate her rotis. So today seemed like a good day to finally record everything from start to finish. Not that we don’t know all the steps from start to finish but it must some secret hand movement she does that makes her rotis so soft. On a side note, I feel that there are roti families and then there are rice families. For example, in our family, we have to have roti with every meal. Rice is optional. For other families, rice is important every day. Interesting isn't it?

So to begin, you need AP flour. And you need water that has been boiled. We have a kettle that does this. After water is boiled, it must be added right away to the flour and dough must be kneaded on the lowest setting until it just comes together. As soon as it begins to look smooth, the mixer can be turned off. Then you can knead the dough by hand for a couple more minutes until it looks very smooth. After this, the dough can divided in two. Each half can be rolled out like a log.

Then pieces the size of your palm can be broken off. These pieces should be rolled into a ball shape, flattened and then rolled out into a circle that is relatively evenly thin. Should not be see through but thin. Use dry flour as needed if roti dough sticks to surface.

We use something called a "belna" and "chowki" to roll out rotis. Which is a rolling pin and special board for rolling rotis. Every Indian home has a set I believe. It is mandatory. Mum still uses her set from when she got married! Eons ago! Eventually you have a collection of sets but everyone has their favorite set. During big events, ladies will take their belna and chowki to the hosting home and help roll out hundreds of rotis or pooris for the event. It becomes a roti rolling party! Everyone comes to help and it is always great fun!

Anyways, you can roll out a couple to get a head start then start the griddle. We cook rotis on medium flame. Place roti on griddle. Once you see small bubbles after about one minute, flip the roti with a spatula. I was taught to flip with my bare hands but I would not recommend this.