Rotli, roti, chapatti and etc all are a kind of flat bread made from wholemeal flour-traditionally known as “Atta flour” and it is an integral part of Indian and Pakistan cuisine. In the Indian subcontinent alone there are well over a hundred variations of flat breads – made with various types of flours, some stuffed with vegetables or lentils, some spiced, some with a sweet stuffing and the list is endless-(at some stage I will do a post on the different types of rotis, parathas, chapattis, thepla and etc).
Amongst the Gujarati community, it is called rotli and usually made with whole wheat flour (for its nutritious benefits) and it is a staple dish in all homes – rich or poor. Rotlis are normally eaten with cooked vegetables, lentils, some pickles and chutneys – this combination makes up a full nutritious and nourishing meal. Traditionally rotli is made while the family is sitting down to either lunch or dinner and the hot rotli-straight of the thava (griddle pan) is placed on each person’s thali (plate). I have wonderful childhood memories of my grandmother and mother making these delicious rotlis while we 4 sisters, my father and grandfather sat down to dinner, and yes — only when we were done would the 2 of them sit down for dinner.
Growing up the first thing that we four sisters learnt to make was rotli and my grandmother always said – “if you can make rotli-it is a bonus to becoming an excellent daughter in law, wife and mother. In the days gone by when mothers in law were on the lookout for prospective brides, they would chat up members of the bride’s family to find out if she can “make nice round rotli—all one size?”
Over the years my sons have become very health conscious and their choice of food has also changed, however to this day they thoroughly enjoy the smell and taste of fresh rotli of the thava (griddle pan) to their plate, unfortunately this does not happen as often as I would like it to. I do however ensure that they always have dozens of rotli stacked in their freezers. In my quest to continue eating traditional foods in our diet, I am constantly tweaking, amending and changing traditional recipes to ensure that they are healthier but still packed with all of the original tastes and flavours. This rotli recipe is no different—I have used a few varieties of flours to so as to curb the calories and carbohydrates. Diet or no diet, health conscious or not—a traditional Gujarati meal is never complete without either rotli or puri (deep fried breads).
Multi Flour Roti (36)
250ml brown bread flour
125ml chick pea flour
125ml soya flour
10ml mixture of crushed coriander, fennel and cumin seeds (optional)
65ml sunflower cooking oil (approx)
100ml boiling water to make soft dough (approx)
- Sift dry ingredients together, (add the spices if using) make a well in the centre, add oil and rub into flour
- Pour boiling water (a little at a time) onto flour and using a fork mix — ensuring to incorporate the all flour and liquid
- Lightly kneed into soft dough, and break dough into golf-ball sizes and press flat and sprinkle with a bit of flour and close to form a parcel
- Using a rolling-pin roll the little parcel like pieces of dough into circles (a little four can be used for dusting the work surface) and toast on a moderately hot tava (griddle pan)
- As they come of the tava, place on cake cooling rack and cover with a kitchen towel
- To store them so that they remain soft insert a small cake cooling rack into a biscuit tin and keep covered with a tea towel
- Serve with Indian curries or use as a wrap with fillings of your choice