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Flaky Roti

Roti…sigh…oh how I love you! The smell of it sizzling on a hot tawa (concave iron griddle used to fry roti‘s)…yummy! Shukran to my father AKA popsickles for buying me a tawa – it’s any roti-maker/roti-addict’s dream!

Roti is one of the many types of indian flat breads originating from the Indian subcontinent. In India it is a staple accompaniment to most of their meals….I could completely live on roti too, but gosh I’d have to say bye to any trace of a waist I have.

Of all variations, my absolute favourite type of roti is the deliciously crisp, flaky roti. I made a batch to accompany and complement my butter chicken dish on Sunday and knew I just had to share the recipe and method with you! There’s certain steps which need to be followed when making a roti, to achieve the flaky effect.


4 cups cake flour

1/2 cup oil

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

125g butter/margarine or ghee (clarified butter)

For frying:

1/2 cup oil

3 Tbsp butter/margarine

NB: instead of the above you could just fry your roti’s with ghee


Combine flour, salt and oil and rub together to form breadcrumb consistency.

Add water gradually until a soft pliable dough forms.

Dough will be soft but after allowing to stand covered for a while (approximately 30 minutes) the moisture will be absorbed.

Make balls and roll into a circle to approximately a saucer size.

Spread rolled out ball with butter/margarine/ghee and sprinkle with flour.

From the centre of the circle, make a slit using a knife.

Using both hands, pick up the two sides of the cut circle and roll into a long ‘sausage’

Roll up both ends of the sausage, one side clockwise and the opposite end anti clockwise (two circles will meet in centre)

Flip one circle on top of the other and press lightly

Repeat this procedure with each of the dough balls.

Allow the finished roti balls to rest or refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes before frying.

Melt butter and oil together if not using ghee to fry

Roll out roti on lightly floured surface

Heat an appropriately sized pan to fry roti

Use about 2-3 tablespoons butter-oil mixture to fry roti until it is golden on each side

After removing from pan lightly pat it between the palms of your hands so that roti can be fluffy.

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