Fiji roti is a very simple type of flat bread. This recipe, Indian in origin, is a staple side or accompaniment to most Indian curries or meals. It is a very simple recipe but can be a bit difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice to get perfect so patience is the key. Although simple, there is a lot of technique involved which can make it a challenging recipe to perfect on the first attempt.
The easiest and softest rotis can be achieved using plain white flour. However, if you want to eat a bit healthier, try wholemeal flour. Wholemeal rotis require a softer dough, meaning more water is added to the mixture. This can make rolling out the discs quite difficult and the rotis once cooked, are often tough and dry.
For this recipe I will assume that first timers will use plain white flour to achieve the best results.
You will need a few things to aid this process. They’re listed below:
- Tawa (Similar to Crepe Pan)
- A Flat Rolling Board (Chauki)
- Rolling Pin (Belna)
- Sifter or Strainer (Chalni)
You will require the following ingredients:
- 2 1/2 Cups Plain Flour
- 500ml Boiling Water
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1/4 Cup Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- First, reserve a handful of dry flour into a small plate. This will be used to dust the rotis while rolling them out
- Boil a kettle of water and meanwhile sift the flour into a deep bowl
- Once the water is ready, make a well in the middle of the dough and gradually add the water. Make sure you mix in small amounts to determine how much more water is needed to make it into a soft, springy dough. Too much water will make it very difficult to roll so be careful with the amount you mix in
- Next, combine the dough with your hands once it has cooled down enough to touch. Work it into a dough that feels springy
- Then take half of the oil and spread on to the dough. Work it through the dough to make it all come together. Use the remaining oil only if the dough looks dry. Too much oil will give them a strange taste when cooked
- Knead for a few minutes to smooth out the dough. Then divide it into small balls the size of your fist. Smooth out the edges and press down to form a disc
- Then dust your flat board lightly and use a rolling pin to make flat discs. Push the rolling pin outwards through the dough and turn frequently to make a uniform, round shape
- When it begins to stick to the board or rolling pin, lightly dust the dough on both sides and continue to roll out flat
- Make the rotis as flat as 5mm. Not too thick or they won’t cook through and not to thin, they won’t rise
- Roll them all out and place onto a dry surface. Be careful not to stack them or they will stick together
- Once they’re ready, heat the tawa to a high heat and brush lightly with ghee. Once it starts smoking lightly, place a roti onto the tawa. Cook for 5 seconds and flip over (use a pancake flipper or handle with a tea towel)
- The other side however, should be completely cooked before being turned over again. So keep turning with a tea towel and check every few seconds to ensure it is cooking evenly
- Keep an eye on the heat, it needs to be high but not scorching
- Once the second side is cooked, flip over and let the dough rise. Once it begins to rise, press down carefully and avoid the steam being released from burning your hands. Ensure all sides are cooked and then place into a warm container lined with a tea towel. Close the lid to ensure they don’t get cold
- Repeat this process till all the rotis are done. Serve warm with hot curry.