Roti or chapati is Indian flat bread and is lifeline of Indian meals. There may be different variations like paratha, naan, tandoori roti etc but it is a staple. Roti is more or less like tortillas, except that it is made of wheat bread and freshly made for every meal. There is no yeast or baking powder required for this Indian bread.
Roti is specially popular and quintessential in north India than south India; that may be because wheat is primary produce in north India. I have grown up seeing my mom knead the dough and make fresh rotis for every meal. It is such a important part of our meals that we tend to forget about it; like there is no skill required or no taste in our beloved rotis. I realised this when i got on my own and started cooking. Why my rotis are not round or soft enough or tasty like mom’s and ever since i have been trying to replicate those rotis. The perfect, soft, fresh rounds of carbs.
This recipe, here is as simple as it gets. The key is in kneading the dough. The dough has to be soft and elastic. Shape, i would say, doesn’t matter that much but it has to be even. Refer the preparation pics, that will certainly help. There are certain items that are used traditionally, their names may sound weird. I am giving the list of these:
- Wheat flour: This i am sure is available easily. Bread flour or multi grain flour will work fine as well
- Rolling pin: A small rolling pin to flatten the dough and give shape
- Skillet: Traditionally it is called ‘tawa’ and is used only for making rotis in Indian homes
- Tongs : Tongs are used to cook rotis on flame and we call it ‘chimta’ here
That is pretty much about it. Add a spoonful of ghee or butter (healthy fats) on top of hot rotis and they taste delightful; just like home!
- 1 cup wheat/multi grain flour
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk ( Optional, if using milk lower water quantity)
- salt to taste (Optional)
- Take flour in a mixing bowl or anything convenient for kneading.
- Add salt, if you like, I do not add salt to rotis.
- Now add milk and water gradually in small amount and start kneading. Do not pour all the water at once, use small amount at a time. The dough should be elastic.
- Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes. Make sure all the flour comes together and forms an elastic dough.
- Let the dough rest for 15 minutes
- Make equal size balls of the dough, with a roller pin make circle of the ball. Use flour if your need to.
- Heat a heavy bottom skillet or tawa and place the roti on it. Keep the flame to medium. When you see small bubbles, flip it to the other side.
- In about a minute take it off the tawa and using a tong put it over the flame and let it cook on both the sides. This has to be done quickly and evenly so rotis don't end up burnt.
- Instead of cooking over flame, rotis can be cooked on skillet or tawa itself. Press it with clean cloth on both the sides till it is cooked.