A Roti/ chapati/phulka is a pan cooked flat bread made of whole wheat stone ground flour, called Atta. It is the staple of many Indian’s diets, especially those in Northern India. Roti is eaten with curry, daal,and other foods. In many cases the Roti is used to scoop up food instead of a spoon.
My husband is Punjabi and Punjabis are known for eating alot of Roti. As a family we eat Roti about five times a week. I make a big batch of prepared dough (Atta) a couple times a week. The Atta is stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Since starting school this month I have been trying to find ways to save time. I always make dinner before I leave for class because I want my husband and daughter to have a good nutritious meal. I make the curry or daal ahead of time and it is ready in the pot. I also roll and cook the rotis which are then covered and ready for my husband to eat when he comes home.
Traditional Rotis are rolled out individually. It takes some time to get the perfect round shape, even thickness, and uniform size. I get so frustrated rolling Rotis. Its time consuming, my hands are covered in sticky atta and I never get the perfect shape. I have literally cried about my inability to make a perfect Roti!
One day I experimented with an idea. Instead of rolling out each Roti I decided to try “punching” them out. I rolled out a large section of prepared Atta on the cutting board. I then used a bowl and cut out perfect uniform circles in the dough.
It made 4 rotis. I then rolled the leftover dough again and punched out 4 more. It only took a third of the time it usually took me to make roti. I cooked them in the pan and they turned out wonderful. Perfect uniform circles. The sealed edges made them puff up so nice.
I did not tell my husband my new trick at first, but when I gave him the Rotis he was wowed at how round and puffy they were on his plate. I told him my trick and he was pleasantly surprised that I had adapted an age old tradition and put a little personal touch that worked for me.
Many people have told me that I should just switch to the frozen rotis that are commonly sold in stores. This is something that I will never do. I love that I can give my husband and daughter fresh Rotis. Yes they are made differently than his mom and family makes them but they are still fresh and hand made with love. I feel that there are just some corners you should not cut.