Roti, saj, naan, tortilla, chapati – whichever name you prefer – they’re more or less variations of one and the same thing: flat bread. While I love freshly baked loaves most, they’re far too time-consuming and electricity-sapping to bake on a regular basis. Flat bread then, is the next best thing.
…except that it, too, requires time for kneading and resting and rising! Bereft of the time and patience for that, I devised a recipe to suit both my time constraints and dietary preferences (i.e. no butter). The recipe calls for just four ingredients, and no, neither yeast nor baking powder feature here.
The dough doesn’t need time to rest or rise, and puffs up beautifully in the pan.
Once upon a short time ago, I baked this at an aunt’s house, while she observed with a look of skepticism and intrigue. After seeing them puff up, she held one and remarked that the texture was lovely, and the taste, quite good. She’s been making rotis using this recipe ever since. And being a good cook, her opinion is one to be trusted – I wouldn’t post this otherwise.
For first timers, do note that while this is simple to make, working with dough is a kind of knowledge that your hands and fingers gradually begin to understand after the first few times. Then, your hands will know whether the dough is too moist or too dry or just right.
Right. Now for the recipe.
1 cup flour
1 T olive oil
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup of boiling water
Pinch of dried herb/s (optional)
1. Add salt and olive oil to flour and mix through with fingers.
2. Add boiling water and mix through with a wooden spoon.
3. Throw dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a ball.
4. With both hands, roll out into an elongated tube shape then cut into four.
5. Take one piece, roll it into a ball, then flatten it with your palm so that it resembles a disk.
6. Coat both sides of the disk in flour, then roll out.
7. Fry in a hot pan (no butter/ oil needed) for 30 seconds on one side then flip it over, let the bottom side brown, and then flip it again to let the other side brown.