With nearly ever meal in Indian and Fiji-Indian kitchens, you will find a stack of hot-off-the-griddle roti flatbread. Though their original intent was to scoop up flavorful curries so that not a bit is wasted, they are just as delicious eaten plain, hot, and brushed with just a bit of melted butter or ghee (clarified butter).
They look similar to flour tortillas, but are slightly thicker, with a flaky interior. Fortunately, they are also extremely easy to make, and require no expensive ingredients or complicated equipment. In fact, you probably already have the materials required to make roti in your kitchen right now.
To reheat leftover roti (that is, if you ever have any leftover roti -- these go quickly), simply toast in a dry frying pan for a minute or two on each side, until warm, then brush with a little melted butter or ghee.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or use 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
- 1 cup warm water
- melted butter or ghee
- Place flour(s) in a mixing bowl. Mix in the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Add water slowly, stirring as you go, until dough starts to come together. Keep stirring, adding a little more water if dough is still dry, until dough forms a ball.
- Turn dough out onto counter and knead, adding a little flour if the dough is too sticky. Dough should be soft, but not sticky enough to stick to your hands or the counter.
- Let dough rest for 10 minutes, covered with a damp cloth.
- Roll out dough in a large circle, about 1/4" thickness. Spread about 1 teaspoon vegetable oil over the surface of the dough. Roll the dough up into a long roll.
- Cut the dough into 8 to 10 pieces. Roll each piece out flat into a 6 inch circle. Let circles rest, covered with damp cloth, for 5 minutes.
- Heat a flat heavy griddle or skillet (a cast iron skillet or crepe pan works well) over low to medium heat.
- Roll the first circle of dough out as thin as possible (to about an 8-9 inch diameter circle).
- Add about 1 teaspoon oil to the skillet. Place dough in hot skillet. Cook until bread puffs up and turns light brown on the skillet side. Slide bread to the each of the pan with your fingers, and quickly flip to brown the other side (about 1-2 minutes).
- Remove from heat and place roti on a baking sheet to cool. Cover roti with a damp towel while you cook the rest. Add more oil to the skillet as needed.
- Serve the roti hot, brushed with a little ghee or butter.
Makes 10 6-8 inch roti.