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Authentic East Indian Roti


  • 3 cups unbleached white flour
  • water
  • vegetable shortening
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • pinch salt


Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add enough room temperature water to form a soft but firm ball. Knead for just one minute adding flour as needed to prevent sticking to fingers. Let rest with a wet towel cover for 25 minutes. Divide into 3 inch balls, shaping with floured hands and let rest again for twenty minutes. Roll very thinly to form a flat circle. It should be about nine to ten inches in diameter. Take about 2 teaspoons (less if desired) of the vegetable shortening and spread it over the entire circle of dough, sprinkle a light dusting of flour on top after spreading shortening. Roll up the circle as you would a jelly roll but make sure that it stays flat (ie. fold over about 3-4 times). Fold again (loosely) in other direction so as to form something that resembles a cinnamon roll, tuck end into center. Cover again let rest twenty minutes. Again, roll out to create nine to ten inch flat circles. Heat a properly sized griddle or flat pan on medium to medium high heat. Oil pan with vegetable oil and bake one at a time until each side puffs up, turning only once. (each side should take about three minutes, some people like it to remain white (lower heat and longer cooking time will achieve this). As you remove each roti from heat clap lighty to activate its flaky characteristic which is achieved by the second fold, vegetable shortening and clapping. It is less chaotic to roll one as one is being baked. You may use vegetable oil for all steps. (Only canola oil may be substituted). Place on large platter or several plates, do not stack until cool, will steam.

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