Roti

Stack of Fresh Roti
Roti Step by Step Instructions Fresh soft and delicious roti (“rho-tee”), a bread accompaniment for various spicy Indian curries and sweet puddings (see my last post of Halwa pudding). This roti bread was taught to me by my mother in law, shown to me, not given a written recipe with measurements (I wonder if she even owns measuring cups!), oh no no… mom eyeballs the amounts and can tell by the texture if its the right amount. She does everything by heart and with heart. Mom has been making this for years and is probably finding this post rather amusing!

This particular way of making Roti results in a very soft and pliable bread, so its great for using in lieu of a spoon. Since I didn’t grow up eating roti and curries, I have had to practice this recipe over and over again and record my measurements. My husband thinks I finally got it right. So here it is…

Recipe: Roti

Summary: Guyanese Style

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP Baking Powder
  • 1 cup water
  • dash of salt
  • vegetable oil for brushing (about 1/4 cup)

Instructions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add water slowly and roll the flour onto the water to avoid your fingers sticking too much. Mix with your hands until its all combined and slightly sticky. Keep kneading away at it for a few minutes.
  2. Add a little extra flour to the bowl and roll the dough ball to make it nice and soft. Leave in the bowl and cover with a damp towel for at least 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Break the dough into golf ball sized pieces (I usually make about 7).
  4. Now look at my pictures to help you… take a ball and:
    - roll it out (try to use as little flour as possible, more flour = tougher bread)
    - brush top side with a little oil
    - fold “brochure like” with each side toward the middle. Next, fold the same way but with the bottom up, then top down. You should have a little folded square (oiled side tucked inside, soft on outside).
    - repeat this for all balls.
    - Let them sit another 30 minutes.
  5. Prepare your workspace by spreading out a kitchen towel onto the counter. Place a paper towel onto that. (This is where you will be “smushing” the roti.)
  6. Heat a skillet to medium high, brush with oil. Now roll out a ball dough into a round circle. Toss the roti on the skillet, wait for it to bubble (1-2 minutes), brush the top with oil then flip it. Brush the new top with oil (the already cooked side) and flip again. Wait about 10 seconds then remove from the skillet and place onto the prepared paper towel. Fold the towel in half, then hold accordion like and smush together several times (like 20 times). Roti should be soft and floppy. Place on a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat for all.

Preparation/Rising time: 60 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 7

Halwa, West Indian Pudding


It’s been nearly 2 weeks since my last post, but there is a reason… this next dish is very special to me and I wanted to get it just right. It’s a dish taught to me by my mother in law, called Halwa. Halwa is a Guyanese pudding served to the mother in celebration of a new baby. It is believed that this spicy thick pudding helps jump start mom’s milk production. Of course anyone can enjoy this pudding, not just a new mom. I have never had anything quite like it… sweet and spicy, thick and creamy, and the best part of it is, you eat it with your hands! Just rip off a piece of roti, scoop up your pudding, and stuff your face. Love it!
Browning Flour Sift out Clumps Pudding Batter Halwa Masala Spice Halwa Pudding Eat with Roti
When I had my first born, 3 years ago, my mother in law came for a visit to meet her first grandchild. When she made this for me, I admit, I was kind of scared to try it. After all, it looks very suspicious to a “white gal”. But after the first bite, there was no stopping me… the bowl was licked clean in seconds. The second time she made it for me was just 4 months ago, when she came to visit and meet her second grandson. I forgot how yummy it was and vowed to learn it this time so I could make it anytime I wanted, or felt I needed a boost in my milk production. But, ugh, I didn’t watch her make it! I don’t know what I was doing when she whipped this up in the kitchen.. probably changing a diaper or sneaking in a much needed nap. Fortunately, she gave me some quick directions before she left. Fast forward 3 months… and I have been making batches of pudding, trying to perfect it. Finally, I feel confident enough to post this for the world to see. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

TIP: I have never browned flour before, so I was timid with my first attempt at this pudding. The flour barely tanned, therefore my pudding was light in color and tasted, well, floury. My advice… go for it. Don’t be shy, brown the heck out of that flour. Just be attentive and every few minutes stir it up so it doesn’t burn. The darker it is, the more nutty the flavor and rich the pudding color will be.

Halwa Massala spice is sold at Indian groceries. I couldn’t find it online, if you do know how to obtain it online please leave a comment. The spice contains cumin, dark cumin, fennel, ginger, peepar, mora, havclay, cinnamon.

Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part post. Part 2 is coming soon, will contain the instructions for roti, the accompaniment for the pudding.

Recipe: Halwa

Summary: A Guyanese Pudding

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 heaping TBSP Halwa Massala (found in West Indian grocery stores)
  • 1 TBSP butter

Instructions

  1. Brown the flour in a hot skillet over medium heat for roughly 10 to 15 minutes. Stir every few minutes. Remove from heat to cool.
  2. Use a sieve to sift out the flour clumps.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour with the sugar and milk. The mixture should resemble a pancake like batter.
  4. In a small bowl, mix halwa masala with a 1/2 cup of water.
  5. In a skillet, heat the butter on medium-low heat. Add the mixture and the spicy water. The pudding will get thick in just a few minutes. If it gets too thick, you can add a little water until you get the desired consistency (thick enough to hang on an upside down spoon for a few seconds before plopping down!).
  6. Serve with Roti. Recipe in the next post.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

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