Flat breads or rotis are found everywhere in the Indian subcontinent. Usually made to order and eaten warm with accompaniments . These are made with a variety of flours , but wheat remains predominant . A tour of the region will definitely introduce one to the lean rotis, layered rotis , stuffed rotis and many more. So what makes Khoba Roti stand apart ? Variously known as Khoba roti or Moti Roti or Jadi Roti this is essentially is a thick unleavened flat bread with indentations . These indentations are perfect for holding copious amounts of ghee , providing the much needed boost of energy for the hardworking folk . These patterned indentations are what that elevates the humble flat bread from the deserts of Rajasthan into a work of art .
This roti starts as a standard roti/chapathi dough . Take the atta /whole wheat flour in a bowl , add a pinch of salt , ghee or oil , any optional herbs/spices to taste and mix well . Add enough water and knead into a firm dough . Keep covered for 15 minutes to a few hours .
Heat a tawa/skillet and have it waiting . Divide the dough into 3 or 4 portions . Take one portion and using the rolling pin flatten it into a thick circle, about 1/8 th of an inch thick . Of course you can make these thicker , and traditionally many do , but I find that a bit thinner versions cook evenly and taste better . At this point one could transfer the discs to the waiting skillet and make traditional rotis .
Take a sharp knife and make a few slashes all over the top . Take care not to cut through to the other side . This step is important , as it keeps the rotis from fluffing up and ruining the designs . Flip the disc , and using a pair of tongs pinch the tops to create a beautiful pattern
Pre-heat the broiler . Brush the hot skillet with a little oil and transfer the roti to it . Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute till the color changes lightly and the roti is partially cooked through . Brush the top with a little oil and transfer to a cookie sheet . Place the cookie sheet in the oven , with the oven rack set about 4″ from the flames . Broil for a minute or so , keep an eye on the rotis , till the rotis are evenly browned . Remove from the oven and transfer to the serving dish . Alternately flip the roti on the skillet cook for 30 seconds, transfer to the cookie sheet and keep covered . These half cooked rotis can be finished in the oven at the last minute.
Here is another very traditional way of making the indentations . Using your fingers pinch the top of the roti in a decorative pattern . If the dough circles are made thicker these indentations can be made after transferring to the skillet as well . This is not my preferred way as one has to work fast and these tend to cook unevenly . You can spread a little oil on top of the roti , flip it and finish cooking on the stove top as well .
Serve with your choice of sides .
- Though non traditional , using the broiler is my preferred method . This way the rotis cook evenly and turn out a bit crunchy without any burnt edges .
- Using the kitchen tongs to make the designs is quite fast , but you are only limited by your imagination .
- Keep the rotis about 7 to 8 inches in diameter or smaller . Bigger sizes will be tougher to transfer .
- Atta/Whole Wheat Flour - 2 C
- Salt - 1/2 Tsp
- Ajawain Carom- 1 Tsp (optional)
- Ghee / Oil - 2 Tsp
- Water - 1 C as required
- OIl to cook
- Take the wheat flour, salt, ghee and spices in a large bowl and mix well . Add the water little by little and knead to form a firm dough . Set aside , covered for at least 15 minutes upto a couple of hours .
- Heat a skillet and pre heat the broiler and have it waiting .
- Divide the dough into 3 to 4 equal portions . Take one portion and roll out into a disc about 1/8" thickness . Using a sharp knife make a few shallow gashes all over . Flip the disc. Create a pattern all over the circle using a pair of tongs or fingers .
- Oil the hot skillet lightly and place the disc on top . The design side should face up . Cook partially till the color of the dough changes slightly. By now light brown spots should be forming in the bottom. Smear a little oil on top of the roti and transfer to a cookie sheet with the design side up .
- Place the cookie sheet about 4" away from the broiler and cook for a minute or so till the tops begin to brown. Transfer to the serving dish . Repeat with the remaining pieces .
- Serve warm.
The half cooked roti can be flipped and cooked fully on the stove top as well .