I think I’ve finally done it. Finally made myself some roti that I’d be happy to eat again. And again. And again.
I don’t know if it was my technique, my (unwarranted) fear of an un-yeasted bread, or my resistance to use 100% whole wheat flour, but for some reason, every roti I made up until these guys was either gummy, crunchy, or tasted like Elmer’s glue. In my defense, my failures certainly weren’t from lack of trying. My poor husband can attest, as he too now knows exactly what a roti is, and is also painfully familiar with the differences between countries in folding methods, resting times and various mix ins. He’s had to put up with me listening to HOURS of videos off of youtube (a good portion in Hindi), and even mentioned once that he was starting to feel a bit jealous of the elusive roti.
Thankfully he can put his jealousy aside (mostly) as I have now succeeded multiple times in turning out a roti which is tender, packed with flavor, and just the right size to eat with a big bowl of curry!
I add a whole Serrano pepper, seeded, to my dough. If you’d rather not go quite as spicy, feel free to only add half, or skip it all together, they will be delicious no matter what! On that note, if you have a less-than-super-powered blender (I feel you!) make sure you chop up the garlic, ginger and pepper a bit before adding them to the mix. Nothing is quite as shocking as biting into your delicious savory roti goodness and getting massive chunk of ginger instead!
Depending on the moisture level of your spinach you may need to add a bit more flour, or a bit of water to achieve a smooth dough ball. You want the dough to be firm and workable, too dry and it will fall apart and taste floury, too wet and it will stick to everything and fail to cook up correctly. It will be smooth and shouldn’t stick to you when it is the right consistency. Next time I do this I’ll throw the spinach into my Ellie’s Best nut milk bag to help drain it a bit more. I’m pretty sure that would be more efficient than the cheesecloth method I used!
To get the best possible gluten development and ‘chew’ for my roti I sifted the whole wheat flour before using it. This took out most of the larger pieces of husk that are typically mixed in with the wheat, while still keeping the earthy flavor. You could certainly make roti without doing this, but I like the texture and chew when it’s taken out just a bit better.
If anyone has any suggestions on future flavors for roti, let me know! I’m not very creative haha, so I’ll take all the help I can get! 🙂
- 1 Cup Frozen Spinach, or fresh wilted, squeezed to remove excess water
- 1 halved and seeded Serrano Pepper or other spicy pepper
- 2 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 inch Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp Caraway Seeds
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour, sifted to remove bran
- Olive Oil
In a high power blender combine the spinach, pepper, garlic, ginger and caraway. Blend into a smooth paste.
Whisk together the flour and salt. Add the spinach puree and combine into a smooth ball, only adding water if necessary. The dough should be firm, but not overly dry.
Coat the dough ball with oil, cover with a damp towel and set aside to rest for 20mn.
Heat a large cast iron skillet, or other large, cast iron cooking surface (I flipped over my grill pan and used the smooth bottom!) over medium heat.
Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Cover the ones that are not being used with the damp towel.
Working with one dough ball at a time, roll it out into a very thin circle, sprinkling with flour if necessary. Transfer the dough to the preheated cast iron pan and cook until brown spots start to form. Flip the dough over and finish cooking the other side, then remove from heat, fold in quarters, and set aside.
Repeat process with remaining dough balls. Roti is best served fresh, but if you will be holding it, place it in a Tupperware while it is still a bit warm to keep it from drying out.