These rotis are soft and flaky, and they are everything you want a roti to be, plus you only need 3 ingredients – flour, water and oil! There are various ways of making rotis. The method below works for me, having spent years perfecting it. When you tear the roti you see the layers, and this is what helps soak up the curry sauce. Whether you prefer it with a knob of butter or with a curry, this roti is perfect on its own or as a side.
What is Roti
A Roti is a flat bread that originates from India and it is made with flour, water and oil, and cooked on a ‘tawa’ or skillet. A tawa is a cast-iron flat pan commonly used for making flat breads. Roti is one of the most popular foods in Mauritius and is usually accompanied by curries and/or rougailles. Why not make this roti with my super easy fish curry! There are lots of other popular Indian flatbreads with different names such as farata/paratha, chappati, phulka or puri, however I will show you my version of making a roti, and I have always enjoyed it this way.
What are the ingredients
All you need is flour, water and oil. The flour that I use for this recipe is plain, all purpose flour, however you can use chappati flour which is essentially whole wheat flour. In Mauritius we commonly use plain white flour and it gives the dough a nice soft consistency.
Hot water is added to the flour to make the dough so it becomes softer and more pliable. This will keep the rotis soft after it is cooked. Oil also helps the dough remain soft for longer, and it becomes less sticky when kneading.
Main utensils needed
- Rolling pin
- Tawa or skillet
- Flat turner
How to make the Roti dough
- Start by adding flour to a medium to large bowl. You want the bowl to be big enough so you can work the dough.
- Add water a little at a time, and use the end of a wooden spoon to bring the dough together by stirring it in a circular motion while pouring the water. Once the dough starts to form, stop adding water.
- Using your hands bring the dough together and start to knead by pushing the fist of your hands against the dough, and pulling it towards you. Repeat the process until you get a soft dough. If the dough is too sticky add 1 tsp flour at a time and continue kneading until the dough easily comes off the side of the bowl.
- Check the dough consistency by pressing a finger in it. It should leave an impression.
- Brush the dough with a little oil and cover with cling film. Leave to rest for 30 minutes. Alternatively you can cover the dough with a damp cloth.
Simple steps for making roti
Important tips for the softest rotis
- Use hot water to knead the dough as this will make it soft and more pliable.
- Add enough water to the dough. Adding too little water will make the dough hard and it is more difficult to knead. Add a little water if the dough is too hard, or if the dough is too sticky add a little flour to balance it.
- Cover the dough to rest, as an uncovered dough will form a dry skin on top, resulting in hard rotis.
- Roll the dough thinly and evenly to allow for even cooking, resulting in a nicely puffed roti.
- Make sure the skillet is hot before transferring the roti, otherwise it will overcook and become hard.
- Cook the roti for no longer than 1 minute on each side. Any longer and the roti will become hard.
- Store the cooked rotis wrapped in a clean tea towel to keep it soft. Consume within 2 days.
How to make Soft Roti – Indian flat bread recipe
- Rolling Pin
- Tawa, skillet or heavy-based pan
- 300 g plain flour
- 200 ml hot water
- 100 ml vegetable oil
- Make the dough: In a bowl add the flour and make a well in the centre. Add 2 tbsp of oil and pour a little water at a time while stirring the flour. When the dough comes together stop adding water and knead the dough until soft. It should not be sticky, nor hard. Add a little more water or flour to get the right consistency. Brush the top of the dough with oil and cover with cling film. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- Form dough balls: Cut the dough into two and roll each ball. Brush with oil and fold it on itself twice so there are three layers. Cut each folded dough into three equal parts so there are 6 equal pieces in total.
- Roll the dough: Lightly flour the work surface and rolling pin, and roll each dough until it is as thin as a small coin. It is important that the thickness of the roti is equal so it cooks evenly.
- Cook the roti: Heat the pan on medium to high heat and brush with oil. Transfer the roti onto the heated pan and brush with more oil. Turn over the roti when small air bubbles start forming. Cook for a maximum of 1 minute on each side, until it has puffed up and brown spots appear. Removed from the heat, fold in four and wrap it in a tea towel, in a bowl. Repeat until all rotis are cooked.
- Serve: Serve warm on its own with a knob of butter, or with a curry.