bread, cooking, desi, motherhood, roti, toddlers

On kitchen-aid mixers, grocery store flour, and the art of making roti

Since I’ve left the bringing-in-the-bacon workforce, my cooking [and baking] has increased exponentially. From the girl who couldn’t boil an egg, I’ve somehow learned to make pizza, eggplant parmesan, crescent rolls and chocolate cakes from scratch. I enjoy cooking. It brings a special joy to my world to see people I love, enjoy what I make and the more I cook, the more I want to try new things.

Except roti.

Ghar ki roti, the kind ami makes. The kind that makes any dish from simple aloo gobee to more complex kardhai chicken go from great to jaw-dropping-great.

The reasons to avoid making roti were legitimate: 1. Making roti is messy, sticky, business. 2. It’s best fresh and thus can result in one making rotis on the stove and tossing them fresh to folks while you remain hungry until the end. 3. And honestly, our moms make great roti so why mess with perfection and just eat it when we visit or are visited? Considering all this my stock answer when asked to attempt the art of roti by my roti-loving spouse was simply my mom didn’t start making roti until she had kids, when we have kids I’ll make it too.

Enter kids. And a little boy who adores all food desi. Sure he’ll eat spaghetti but he positively does the happy dance if bhindi or aaloo gobee is the evening’s main course. And when nani or dadi make roti? The look of bliss is unmistakable, so today, I decided to give it a try.

I didn’t have any desi-store atta around but thanks to internet searches and chatting with my mother, I made this recipe in our kitchen-aid mixer using grocery-store flour. To our great delight the roti came out well!

Ingredients: Makes six rotis

  •  1 cup 100% whole wheat flour [I used King Arthur- I’m fairly convinced the desi store flour would be better, will try it next time and will update here if it makes a huge difference].
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour [This helps soften the harder-textured whole wheat flour]
  • 1 cup water [Start with 1/2 cup only. Add the other half as needed].
  • 1/2 tspn salt 
  • Pam cooking spray or canola oil


Step one: Add your dry ingredients into the mixer bowl and mix on the lowest speed with the dough hook attachment for 15-30 seconds.

Step two: Add in 1/2 cup of water slowly on level 1 [about two minutes].

Step three: Pause, scrape the sides, and trickle in a bit more water until the dough no longer sticks to the sides.  [note: the water really can vary, so just keep watching until its sticking together. It shouldn’t take more than one cup of water.]

Step four: Take out the dough, if too sticky for your liking knead in some more flour [I didn’t], then break off a piece, make a ball and flatten it onto a well floured space. Coat both sides with flour so its no longer sticky.

Step five: Grab your roller and flatten until it is thin and round [Re-coat with more flour if needed to help the rolling go smoothly]

Step six: Place on a preheated frying pan coated in either canola oil or pam [I use the latter for caloric reasons].

Not a perfect circle but we’ll get there eventually!

Step seven: Wait about two minutes and then flip. If you see bubbles forming, gently use a cloth and blot them down. Flip until both sides are golden brown.

Step eight: Do the happy dance. For the love of a little boy, despite stickiness and a million reservations, a mother did what she thought she would never do, she finally learned to make roti.

Eat with a desi dish of your choice, wrap in some grilled chicken, sauteed onions and mint chutney, or if you’re like us and couldn’t wait to create a second dish, scramble some eggs and dive in!

Next goal: Parathas! Try this recipe? If so, please do share how it turned out! What do you love to eat your roti with?

11 thoughts on “On kitchen-aid mixers, grocery store flour, and the art of making roti”

  1. Lol, these are the same reasons I don't make roti. (As an aside, I'm so jealous that your tot loves veggies. Rania hates them. Augh!) I will to try my hand at it again. My mom is coming next week and she said she would teach me to make parathas. I'll report back once I've made them.


  2. Oh yum! I'm so going to try these. I've been trying to work up the nerve to attempt the flatbread from MY childhood–tortillas. Oddly, there isn't much of a Mexican-American community in my new neighborhood…
    Heading to a “latin” grocery a few cities over today in search of masa. Roti will be next (and between this & the cookies, you're totally inspiring me to USE my husband's treasured stand mixer instead of just dusting it every week!)


  3. My digestive system does not like roti. The stomach cramps and discomfort suck. It's a good thing my Mum does not like making it. But my Dad seems to think it's my number one duty in life (to make roti) so I avoid it ha!

    Do you put any extra stuff in roti? My mum likes to put in these crunchy green stuff. I don't even remember what it's called. Mint maybe?


  4. Jamila, just to be sure, you don't have to do all th extra steps [of mixing the two types of flour] if you use desi atta. Good luck with paratha! I always plan to learn when my mom is around but then I get lazy and let her do all the work and just eat it, LOL

    Kris, that made me laugh out loud, yes, it really is bigger than Elmos! 🙂 Thanks!!


  5. Susan, lol, yes use it! It's such fun with kids!! Honestly, I doubt how much I'd be using it if weren't for W, and masa! Impressive!

    Kamille, I made very basic roti but maybe I'll spice things up next time. Sorry that it doesn't go well with you but had to laugh at your dad's belief on its importance. I think that's another reason I resisted it for so long as I did too.


  6. “from a girl who couldn't boil an egg..” -um, can you share your journey to confident chef please? i can boil an egg, but that's pretty much it. i like the IDEA of cooking, but whenever i try it, it's such a disaster. i follow recipes to the letter, and things taste.. mediocre. or bland. so i get scared to put in the effort to try again. plus my MIL just intimidates me.. sigh.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s