I have been on a multi-year quest to make a great roti, and I didn’t realize that I would hit my stride when I switched to gluten free flours.
Roti is a fabulous fresh flatbread found in Indian cooking. I love it for so many reasons:
- the ingredients are simple: you only need flour, water, salt, a little oil, and any spices you want to add
- it’s fast and easy to make: you don’t need to let the dough rise (it sits for about 15-20 minutes, but in a pinch you could cook it right away)
- you make it on a stovetop, so no need to preheat your oven or get the whole house hot
- you eat it fresh and warm, so it feels so nourishing.
Flipping and cooking the roti is the part that used to elude me. You see, the best roti has bubbles. This makes the dough get light and tasty, rather than bready and heavy. Unfortunately, getting the bubbles sometimes seems more like chance than method. What I do know: rolling a flat dough and using a hot skillet is important for getting your bubbles. So is leaving the dough a sufficient time before you start flipping it.
I’ve had varying success making the roti with regular flour, but I was amazed that I consistently got great bubbles when I used gluten free flours. These gluten free vegan rotis have actually been my best roti yet. Luckily, the flavor is also just as good as the regular flour.
This bread is a great addition to any meal, particularly kitchari and palak daal. It’s fun to make as a crowd (I do it at cooking classes), and kids can enjoy flipping the bread just like you’d flip pancakes.
One note: it’s not uncommon for your first roti to not turn out that good (the same way that the first pancake tends to be a dud). Don’t get discouraged and keep cooking! You’ll have great rotis as you keep going.
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- ½ cup rice flour
- ½ cup water
- ½ tsp salt
- Olive oil (for brushing)
- Mix flours, water, and salt. Knead to form a firm, not-sticky dough. Add more water or flours as necessary to get a firm bread-dough texture.
- Roll the dough into a ball and let it rest under plastic wrap or a cotton towel for 20 minutes.
- Heat a skillet on medium-high.
- Take a ping pong ball-sized amount of dough and roll on a floured surface into a flat circle. Get the dough as thin as you can.
- Put the circle of dough on the skillet and let sit for about a minute (it starts to get hard on the bottom).
- Flip the dough and brush with a little olive oil. Let set for about 30-40 seconds, and then flip again. Brush the dough with a little olive oil.
- At this point, the dough should have some dark brown spots, bubbles and should be starting to lightly brown. Remove from heat and serve!
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,
Samantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.