Roti - Caribbean/Indian flatbread

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Roti - Caribbean/Indian flatbread

Postby threenorns » Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:06 pm

put some flour in a bowl. If you think you have enough, add a little more.

sprinkle a layer of baking powder over the top, then add a shot to the middle.

using your hands with your fingers spread, mix the two well.

form a well in the centre, add lukewarm water and keep mixing in the flour until it's all in, then knead to form a slightly sticky dough (keep hands damp to prevent the dough from sticking and gumming up your fingers).

grip dough to form a long log-shaped piece, then tear off chunks about the size of a large egg.

oil down the countertop and roll out a piece as thin as possible. rub the top side with oil, then sprinkle with a scant bit of flour and rub it over evenly. flip the top edge down and roll loosely to about three-quarters of the way down then - this is the tricky part to explain:

the dough should be a loose roll with a long section extended from the bottom.

tear the roll in half across the middle, then roll the two sections out - they'll form a rough V shape.

starting at one end of the v, roll the dough up around your hand and continue until the whole thing is rolled around your hand like duct tape.

remove it - it will form a cone. fold the edges of the wide end into the centre until it's all smooth, then pop it in the centre on the other side - the result resembles a bagel with a closed-in hole.

repeat with all the others, put on a baking sheet or plate, cover with plastic, and let rest about a half-hour to an hour.

take one and flatten with your hands to form a disk. rub flour over both sides and roll out as thin as possible.

if you don't have a tava (if you don't know what that is, you don't have one) use a cast-iron frying pan heated to medium-high or an electric skillet on high. lay the roti on the pan carefully and wait about a minute and a half - you'll see bubbles ranging from very small to really big forming on the top. flip. while cooking the other side, use a paper towel soaked in oil or ghee (clarified butter) to rub the cooked side, cook about a minute and a half, flip, rub with vegetable oil/ghee. using a basting brush doesn't work - not enough oil and it takes too long.

when done, it will be creamy white with brown spots - try to avoid black spots.

remove roti to a laid-out towel and fold it in half. fold the towel over the roti and "clap" it - toss it in the air and slam the living hell outta it. this loosens it up and frees up the layers. if you do it too much, the roti will fall to pieces and you have "buss-up shot" ("busted-up shirt" - named so because the pieces resemble ripped up fabric), which is used for dipping.

to store, line a tupperware with paper towel and put another piece on top before sealing it. reheatable in the microwave.

bon appetit
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Postby Makinamess » Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:16 pm

Hey, thanks threenorns, what a descriptive recipe ! I'd not heard of beating the living daylights out of roti - sounds like fun ! Now, what do you serve with these flatbreads ? (I like them with daal or wet curries or sometimes just some indian mixed pickles). If you have a peek up at my Messy Surprise recipe thread, you'll see some pics of my ex-tava (which now belongs to Ohlia), is yours like that ?
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Postby threenorns » Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:38 pm

well, ganesh and i are soon to be no longer an item but we usually had it with curry (goat and duck are favourites).

i like channa - he makes it with canned tomatoes, which i find dilutes the taste. i use fresh roma tomatoes.

one of these days, i will try to make aloo gobi.

that is something but not quite like mine, which was hand-made in trinidad. mine is flat like that on the top with no edge or rim, the bottom is curved slightly so it's thicker in the centre and thinner around the rim. the handle is just a roughly done loop made of metal.

it's bright and shiny because i never had a chance to use it and probably never will now.
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