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Monday, May 4, 2009

A Curry Odyssey Episode 6: Roti Bread

Back to the Great Curry Odyssey! It's lucky I'm getting so much mileage out of that big day when I made the Lamb Korma, because I haven't really cooked a proper curry since.

I have plans to try a Chicken Tikka Masala next, so if anyone can direct me to a good recipe to look at I'd appreciate it. A big shout goes out to BamBam for the loan of the Food of India book. It's the ultimate inspiration in print.

Moving onto Roti bread, then. What's great about this is that unlike my disastrous attempt at making Naan breads, this recipe for Rotis came out perfect first time. Seriously, I've never made these before. Following a link on my Key Ingredient: The Back Burner feed, I found this step-by-step photo recipe for making your own rotis from scratch. Lubna at the Yummy Food blog has gone to all the effort, but I didn't want to steal her photos, so I took my own. It's all her recipe, though. And it works, first time.

Before I launch into it, I'll make one quick comment. The roti we get when we order Indian or Malaysian or Thai tend to be a bit greasy, and are generally quite delicious. These ones, on the other hand, are dry and crunchy. However, I'm sure that this comes down to balancing your ingredients to suit your tastes and health needs. Quite simply, add more salt and oil for a more flavoursome, indulgent bread, or leave them as they are for a healthier option than you'll get from the local takeaways.

Roti/Chapati/Indian Flatbread

(Makes about 6, depending on how big you want them)

2 C Hi-Grade Flour
Extra flour for dusting
Water to mix dough, as required
2-3 drops of Oil for kneading
Pinch of salt
More Oil or Ghee if you have it
Combine flour, salt and oil, then add water slowly to form the dough. Knead until this becomes soft and elastic. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 15-20 mins.

Divide the dough into 5-6 roughly equal portions. Dust with flour and set aside.
Take one piece of dough and roll out flat on a floured surface.
Brush with a little oil (or a little more, depending on your taste) and fold the corners in...
...and in...
... and in ...
... then flour and roll out again.
Heat a wide heavy pan. Place the rolled roti on the pan. Cook until the top starts to look a bit dry, and turn before it starts to burn.
Press down on the roti with a kitchen tea towel or paper towel as the other side cooks to get a nice even puff.

Now you can brush your roti with more oil or ghee and either put aside in a warm place (ie, in a warming drawer) or serve up straight away with hot curry and cold raita.

More of the Great Curry Odyssey

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