Prerna’s Roti

From Chicken Curry Day by Prerna Singh


Photos by Prerna Singh


Indian meals are never complete without roti or one of any number of other wonderful flatbreads. There are endless ways to make Indian flatbreads, and it mostly varies by region. For instance, soil in the southern part of India is very good for rice crops, so breads there are mostly made of rice flour. The northern part is fertile for wheat and grain cultivation, so wheat flour is what is mostly consumed in the region. A basic roti like this is made in many homes almost every day.

Start with 3 cups flour in a bowl. (I like to use all-purpose flour mixed 3:1 with whole wheat bread flour.) Add water little by little, mixing it into the flour using your other hand. My mom says that adding a little milk to the dough while kneading it makes the rotis even softer. When you feel the dough is formed, transfer it to the counter or a flat dish and knead for about 4 to 5 minutes. Cover the dough with a thin, damp kitchen towel and let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Cut the dough into small pieces and roll each into a ball. Dust the countertop or a wooden board with flour, and working on one ball at a time, roll out each ball into a flat, round shape using a rolling pin. Dust the dough balls with additional flour as needed to keep them from sticking to the rolling pin.

Heat up a skillet (or an Indian tava, if you have one). Cook roti one at a time by placing on the hot surface to cook for 15 to 20 seconds or until they puff up and you see small bubbles on the surface. Then flip to cook the second side for about 5 to 10 seconds before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve.