Punjab is known as ‘The bread basket of India’ due to the vast amount of crops grown in this rural area, which provides 80% of India’s produce.
As the master region of breads, roti (also known as chapatti) is the daily bread that accompanies each meal. It is so essential to our diet that the word ‘roti’ is also the word for ‘food’ in general in Punjabi! You will of hear people say “would you like roti?” meaning “would you like dinner”.
Making roti is an art, and one that is perfected over time. The saying ‘practice makes perfect’ was invented for learning how to make roti. There’s no need to feel intimidated by this, it just requires a little commitment, but boy is it impressive when you can make them perfectly!
So, to help you along the way, we’ve put together this step-by-step picture guide for you to look at when making roti, to break each step down…
A step-by-step guide: How to make roti (chapattis) from scratch
- Make the atta (dough) by mixing flour (this is often labelled as ‘atta’ or chapatti flour) and water till you have a soft dough. Knead once and rest for 15 minutes, then knead for a second time.
2. After the second kneading, take a piece of dough that is approximately the size of a satsuma. And start rolling it into smooth circle.
3. You want to create a small dimple on one side. This round of dough is called a ‘pera’ (pronounced pear-ra)
Roll the pera (dough ball) in some of the atta (flour)
4. Flatten the pera (dough ball) on each side
5. Take the flattened pera (dough ball) and further flatten it by pressing it between the palm of your right hand and the fingers of your left hand. This will also make the pera bigger in preparation for being rolled out.
6. Roll out the flattened pera to roughly the size of a side plate, ensuring that you turn the flattened disc often and apply even pressure when rolling to give a round shape!
7. Take the rolled out disc and firmly pass the disc from one hand to another. This helps to shake off any excess flour and make the disc a fraction bigger. Pass it back and forth roughly 10 times.
8. Heat a tava (flat plate) to a medium to high heat. Take the roti and, in one firm motion, put one side down onto a tava (flat plate).
9. The moment you can see the dough cooking, turn the roti over. It’s important not to over cook the first side, so this will be 30 second to 45 seconds – fairly quick! As you can see from the picture below, the first side does not have any brown spots on it
10.The second side stays on the heat until you have a number of brown spots.
11. Once the second side is cooked (like you see in the picture below) remove it from the heat. You will now finish cooking the first side.
12. To finish cooking the first side, you apply fierce heat to it. If you have a gas hob/cooker, this is done by placing the first side of the roti directly over a lower flame. The roti will then puff like a balloon! If you have an electric hob/cooker, put the first side of the roti under the grill (it needs to be on the highest temperature) and again, it will puff like a balloon…
13. Butter the side with the brown spots and stack the cooked rotis in pairs – spotty sides facing each other (the two buttered sides facing each other).
Keep practicing and do share any pictures or videos of rotis that you’ve made, using the hashtag #PPCookerySchool
Good luck and enjoy making them!