Roti, Roti… Paratha (oil) Roti

Guyanese Paratha Roti, Roti, Guyanese Roti

You’ve requested it and here it is… a tutorial for roti making. Roti is a Guyanese flat bread with Indian influences. It is a simple paratha with flour, shortening of some form, baking powder and oil. It is a staple in most Guyanese households and go well with curries or anything you want to eat it with. Seriously, I’ve had mine with peanut butter. Making roti takes time. You will need at least 1 hour. This video is 20 minutes long… I know. But here’s the thing, it repeats a lot of the process for those who might not get the hang of it right away. The video also has no audio. I tried doing the voice over, but it doesn’t work with a 7 month old constantly vocalizing in the background. So put on your favorite music and watch the video!

Enjoy… I’m having my roti with some dahl and ockra/o and chicken.

Roti with dahl and ockra and chicken

Paratha (Oil) Roti (Makes 3 large rotis)

Ingredients:
Dough:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp shortening (lard, ghee, vegetable shortening, butter)
1 cup water

Oil and Butter Baste:
2 tbsp butter/margarine/butter substitute
1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:
Combine flour, baking powder and shortening in a large mixing bowl. Mix together until shortening is blended into the flour. Form a well in the center of the ingredients. Add water and knead together to form a soft dough. Cover dough with a damp paper towel to prevent the top from crusting and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. After dough has sat for at least 30 mins, separate dough into 3 equal pieces.

Oiling off the roti:
Using a rolling pin, roll a piece of the separated dough into a large thin disk (similar to a large tortilla). Add about 1 tbsp of oil and butter baste to the rolled out dough (see end for directions for making baste). Using a knife make an incision from the center to one end of the dough, and roll dough to form a cone. Tuck ends into bottom of cone and push cone tip into the base. Repeat for other two pieces of dough. Let sit for another 30 minutes. Reserve remaining oil and butter baste for cooking the roti.

Cooking roti:
Preheat a large skillet / tawah (traditional cast iron skillet for roti) on medium heat. Roll out one oiled off roti into a large thin disk, about 1/8 inch thickness (like a large tortilla). Place roti on the warm skillet or tawah. Cook until tiny bubbles / air pockets appear on the top of the roti. Flip and baste with the remaining butter and oil baste. Cook for about 1 minute (for as long as it will take to apply the baste). Flip again and apply baste to the other side. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Then remove from heat. Clap roti (if you have those skills) or put roti in a covered bowl and shake to separate the layers and release the air pockets (see video for how to).

Oil and Butter Baste (for oiling and cooking roti)
Combine 2 tbsp butter / margarine / butter substitute and 1/2 cup olive/vegetable oil in a small mixing bowl. Microwave until butter has melted (about 30 seconds). Mix together melted butter and oil. Use to baste roti.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. Roti takes time. If you try to rush it you will end up with a not so flaky dough.
2. Don’t let dough sit for more than 1 hour in the first stage or it will get dry and crusty.
3. Roti is fattening. There is no way around it if you want great roti.
4. You can substitute 1 cup flour for 1 cup whole wheat flour.
5. Traditionally roti is cooked on a tawah. I have a tawah, but found a really great cast iron skillet that is flat and more reliable than my tawah, so I prefer to use that.

Happy Cooking!

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