Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Roti

One of our favorite foods is called a roti. When people ask us what that is, I can never describe it. A roti is a wrap full of curried veggies. Like a tortilla? No....Like a pastry? No.... Like a pita?....No. We've also been trying to figure out how to make the outer dough so we can make it ourselves. There's definitely a science to it, because not all rotis are created alike. We've had great luck at the complete ones served at El Fredo's in Basseterre, but would like to make our own so we can freeze them and eat them for lunch or dinner at our leisure. They're surprisingly filling. Obviously, the stuffing can be anything in season (carrots, cauliflower, pumpkin, chick peas, green beans, potatoes, peas, etc. even rice + spices like cumin, garlic, curry, pepper), but that darn outer shell/skin has eluded us. Well, SKNDemocrat posted a recipe for it, so I'll post it here too (if anyone knows what the "clap twice" part at the end means, pass it on - I'm picturing our lights going on and off - remember The Clapper?).

Caribbean Roti PDF Print E-mail
Written by deniece alleyne
Monday, 07 March 2011 15:08

Caribbean_roti_with_eggplant_fillingIngredients:

Makes six large roti

5 cups of flour (all purpose)

3 tablespoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups of water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (to work into dough)

6 tbsp softened vegetable shortening

You’ll also need (for cooking):

  • tawa or non stick skillet (frying pan)
  • wooden spatula
  • pastry brush
  • rolling pin

Method:

  1. In a large bowl add the flour, salt and baking powder. Then add the water (add 2 cups first and add as needed) and knead. If you have a good food processor you can use that as well.
  2. After you’ve got a solid dough ball (large) add the 1 table spoon of oil and knead again. This entire kneading process should not take more than 5 minutes. Now cover the bowl with the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.
  3. Break the big dough ball into 6 even-sized balls (keep some flour handy to dust your work surface and hands to prevent sticking).
  4. Place the softened shortening in a small bowl. Dust your surface with flour and roll out one of the small balls into a full circle then using your fingers or brush, dip into the oil/ margarine mixture and rub onto the rolled out dough (lightly). Roll the dough to form a sort of log. As you come to the end of the roll, pinch the edge so it sticks together. Then using your fingers press to tuck in both ends and place back onto the counter surface. Gently tap down onto the ball of dough to flatten a bit and set aside. Do the same for the remaining 5 dough balls.
  5. Again cover with plastic wrap so it’s somewhat airtight and allow to rest for at least 1 hour.
  6. Place the tawa on medium/high heat and brush a layer of the shortening.
  7. Dust your work surface with flour and roll out one of the dough balls to make a complete circle to fit the size of the tawa or pan that you’re using., then place onto the now hot tawa.
  8. Brush the top (uncooked surface) with some of the oil mixture and cook for about 25 seconds, then flip and brush this side with the oil now and cook for another 25 seconds or so.
  9. Flip one more time and cook until you get a sort of light golden colour on both sides (about 1 minute or so)

10. After removing from heat clap twice while hot. A tea towel or two wooden spatulas may be used if the heat is too much for hands. This will give the light and flaky texture that makes roti so delicious.

Serve with any very thick curry; chicken, vegetable, fish and beef are all popular varieties.