Last evening my mom was feeling a bit under the weather, consequently she requested me to pitch in and cook dinner. I was more than willing. I am not the best cook in town( even though my town is tiny little Vashi!) but I like cooking. Its fun and allows for a lot of experimentation- the quality of the products of this experimentation is debatable though!
So I set my self a simple menu- two veggies, a salad and rotis/chappatis. Preparing the veggies was an easy task. How hard is it to toss a few chopped up ingredients into a pressure cooker or kadhai along with the basic spices? The hard part of the preparation of the meal was making the rotis. Here is a step wise guide to my effort at roti cooking:
Step 1: Measure an approximate amount of dry wheat flour to make four average sized rotis. A simple method to do this is to take one fistful of flour per roti. Use water to knead the flour. Add some more flour because you know you have added too much water and now the kneaded flour is all sticky. Yes, adding more flour increased volume but you cant roll sticky dough so feel free and throw in some more flour if you need. My dough amount began with being sufficient for 4 rotis and by the time I was done kneading, was enough to make 6!
Step 2: Set aside the kneaded dough for about ten minutes. You do this because everyone who makes good rotis does so! And you should sometimes just blindly follow tradition because it does ensure good end results every so often after all! But on a scientific note, setting the dough aside allows for gluten formation which provides the dough the elasticity that makes rolling out rotis easier.
Step 3: Make small, even size balls of the dough and taking one at a time ,roll it out using a rolling pin.(Way too much usage of teh word “roll” is happening in this post!!!) Use flour freely to ensure that the dough rolls easily and doesn’t stick here and there. Try your verrrrry best to get nice circular rotis. Thats essential- rotis must be round in shape. Hmmm…at first attempt my roti looked like the map of Pakistan. I tried to roll it out a bit more in the hope that it will somehow look a little rounder. That resulted in the map of Pakistan turn into the map of China. Ufff!! I scrapped my first attempt and started all over again by rolling my map of China into a ball of dough. I forced myself to concentrate. Hard. This time the roti bore a semblance to what a proper roti is actually supposed to look like! YAY! Battle half won! 😀
Step 4: Cook both sides of the roti on a tawa. And if you like puff up the roti on a open flame once both sides a cooked. This is the easier part of making rotis and normally I can manage it without any big mishaps. Of course I have had a few wild mishaps at this stage too- the roti slipping out of the tongs and falling face down on the floor being the wildest one of them!
Add a bit of ghee on top of the hot roti before serving, if you like.
Phew! Making rotis is a lot of effort but nothing beats the taste of fresh hot rotis with creamy kali dal or bhindi ki sabzi or any sabzi/dal for that matter!!! Yeah, give me roti over rice. Any day. 😀