In Indian culture, there is nothing that compares to your mom’s homemade roti, and this is my mom's roti recipe. It requires three simple ingredients, but it takes a lot of practice to strike the perfect balance of thin and circular. Once the dough is ready, it’s rolled out and toasted on a flat pan until it’s evenly cooked — and if you’re particularly skilled, it puffs up like a pillow.
- 2 Cups whole wheat flour (atta)
- 3/4 Teaspoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 Cups water
- Ghee or melted butter, for brushing
Step 1: In a large bowl, mix 2 cups whole wheat flour and 3/4 teaspoon vegetable oil. Add water a little at a time as you bring the flour together with your hands. You should see a dough starting to form. Knead the dough using your knuckles, folding it over as you go. The dough should be soft to the touch, but not wet and sticky. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little more flour and continue to knead. If it is too dry, add a few drops more water.
Step 2: Cover the dough with a damp dish towel and set aside for 30 minutes (if you're really in a rush you can work with it right away, but it will be easier to roll out if you wait).
Step 3: When it's time to roll, sprinkle some dry flour on your rolling surface.
Step 4: Flour your hands lightly and take a golf ball-sized ball of dough. Roll the dough in the palms of your hands until it's smooth and round like a ball then roll it out using a rolling pin. Turn it over, dust lightly with flour and roll again, trying not to let it stick. Keep flipping and rolling until the roti is about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Repeat with remaining dough.
Step 5: Heat a nonstick pan over low heat. Carefully place a roti flat on to it. After the color of the roti darkens slightly (about 20 seconds) turn the roti over; you will see specks of dark spots when you turn it. The roti should begin to puff up; turn it over again and move it around to prevent it from burning.
Step 6: Using a tea towel or a paper towel, gently press the top of the roti and move it around on the pan as you press. After about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side, remove the roti and brush lightly with ghee or melted butter. Cover with a tea towel to keep them warm. Repeat with remaining roti and serve.