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)

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

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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51 thoughts on “Roti, Roti… Paratha (oil) Roti

  1. Ayana says:

    Hmm that plate looks delightful thank goodness I’m just finishing lunch lol

  2. schadah says:

    Omg. Thank u so much for ths. I didn’t get to respond to u as i was im the hospital for a bit. but thanks for the email link. I am so loving this roti. It looks amazing. I hate m,ing roti cz it gets stiff after the first day. But I will try that as soon as I get up and about.

    • Metemgee says:

      No prob. Be sure to drop a note and let me know how the food comes out. Happy cooking and sorry to hear that you were in the hospital.

    • donnamangal says:

      The water must be as hot as you can tolerate ( not boiling) it when mixing and kneading the dough.. Big difference in roti making! I had the same problem with the stiffness until I started using hot water! Also.. When you use the paper towel that should also be warm.. Hope this helps

  3. Alesia says:

    Am trying this tonight. As a child I always helped my grandmother with this, but have never made it myself haha this will be quite the trial! Thanks for the video.

  4. Monell says:

    S.O.S…… Miss metemgee I need help making the roti I attempted twice I suck, can’t seem to get a soft dough in stage one. The dough is too hard wont roll out… I followed every step to exact is it the temperature of the water, the type of flour….. Please Help!

    • Metemgee says:

      Hi there. Try adding a bit more water. Flour is a tricky medium to work with sometimes depending on how moist or dry the air is you may need less or more water. Add some more water when making the dough to get it soft. Then let it sit for an hour before rolling it out and “oiling it off.” Let me know if this works. Btw I’m using gold medal all purpose flour.

  5. Ahayah Yashiya - Israelites Unite says:

    Hello Metemgee, what camera do you use to take out your pictures? It’s very clear and nicely done.

  6. Ronla says:

    Love your blog!! It brings back so many memories of growing up at home and experiencing my family in the kitchen. Nice to know a fellow Bishops’ girl is spreading the joy of Guyanese cooking! Just to share a quick tip my dad taught me about roti: finger all the ingredients together instead of kneading and it’ll be even lighter and softer. Thanks again for your recipes and stories.

  7. Kelly says:

    I can’t use baking powder. Is there an alternative or can I leave it out?

  8. […] Roti | Flaky flatbread | Recipe […]

  9. Trying this for dinner tonight along with your Curry Chicken….super excited…Thank you so much for the video and the recipes…if haven’t mentioned it yet I AM SOOO EXCITED!!!!!

  10. Karen says:

    Had a baking weekend, tennis rolls and roti. The roti actually came out well, they were eaten on the day and tasted good the following day as well, (which you know is the sign of a good roti) I am so pleased with that thank you

  11. Angela says:

    Could you correct the recipe re the baking powder, please. You have 2 tps baking powder, when you meant 2 tsps. of baking powder. I almost put in too much baking powder. Thanks.

  12. Eva Taylor says:

    I made your roti recipe the other day and it turned out WONDERFUL! The tutorial was very helpful and the oiling off rolling instructions were excellent. Our roti turned out flaky and chewy! Thanks for posting it. I’ll be blogging about it on March 2, I’d love it if you popped by and commented.

  13. […] it have the layers that our local rôti joint makes so I went back to the drawing board and found this recipe and very good video tutorial and my first attempt worked out perfectly! It’s definitely not as calorie conscious as I […]

  14. […] flat bread recipe comes from Eva’s Kitchen Inspirations, which she altered from Metemgee. I almost followed Eva’s recipe exactly and had a perfect product the first time around.  […]

  15. Came over here via Greg’s blog – what a wonderful tutorial, I’ll definitely be giving these a go!

  16. nad says:

    Can I let it sit for 24 hours after rolling it with the oil and butter?

  17. Carla says:

    Your recipe and video together seem SOOO THOROUGH!!! I’m making this tonight! Wish me luck!!

  18. Mrs. Rankin says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this step by step recipe. I made this today for the first time and it came out pretty good. I still need to work on my rolling skills but I know I will get it down pat one day! : ) Again, thank you for taking the time to share all of your wonderful recipes..God bless.

    • Metemgee says:

      Glad it came out great. And sorry there hasn’t been any new recipes 2014 has been a terrible and exciting year for me. I’ll share an update in a post soon.

  19. Ms. Silas says:

    Your recipes are amazing! I realized that you didn’t use salt when making the dough. Should I use a little salt?

  20. This recipe is off 1 cup of water made a soggy dough

    • Metemgee says:

      Here’s the thing about flour. It depending on how humid or how much moisture you have in the air where you live you may need less or more water. I live in Denver. It is really, really dry. I used a cup of water (as you can see in the video) and it was fine. You may need to do less. That is why in the video I pour the water in small portions. Hope this helps and thanks for trying the recipe.

  21. anne says:

    please come back!!!

  22. nerry lennon says:

    I second what Anne said above- we are very grateful for people like you; for all the effort, time, photos, etc. Thanks a million! I made your fudge and it came out great!

  23. Toya says:

    Your recipe is the best! Hands down! My hubby only ate roti made by his mom and since I’ve been making this (every week…pregnancy craving) he’s been tearing it up! Thank you now I make this like a pro and it’s delis! I know you said not to let it rest for more than 30 mins but one time I accidentally left it for almost an hour and 15 minutes and let me tell you it was the BOMB . COM!

    • Metemgee says:

      I think I said let it rest for at least 30 mins. Might have to recheck that. The longer you “soak” he dough the better it is. I found ghee at a local supermarket and I use that exclusively for my rotis and girl let me tell you!!! So good, so flaky.

  24. Donna says:

    Can this ingredients in your recipe be doubled or will it effect the outcome of the roti?

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