Tag Archives: Recipes

The Perfect Roti

Roti are a staple in Indian cooking. Just about everything that you eat could be improved with the addition of a roti next to it, from curries to sabjis and sometimes even dessert! I know that when she was younger, my mom would break off little pieces of her roti and use them to eat kheer, which is almost the Indian equivalent of rice pudding. Roti is such a permanent fixture in both our diet and our culture that oftentimes, mother in laws will judge their son’s partners based on how round their roti are before the two can be married. Hopefully my mother in law is not that traditional or judgemental, or else I’d be in hot water with my lopsided roti!

When I was a kid, I used to love helping my mom making rotis to go along with dinner. We still have baby videos with me and my sisters playing in the flour while my mom portioned out dough next to us. We even had a little baby sized rolling pin so that we could copy what she was doing. I remember getting bored easily, thinking that making roti was so boring and time consuming, and not understanding why I couldn’t just eat white cheddar mac and cheese for every meal.

Now, given that I’m a little older and have much more experience in the kitchen, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at just how easy making roti can be, and I hope to practice my rolling skills a little more!

A puffed up roti sits on a metal rack above an open gas stove element. Behind it is a half cooked roti on a tava.

The Perfect Roti

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Makes roughly 12 roti

Ingredients:
1 cup durum flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup water + more as needed
1 tbsp oil

Instructions:
1. Mix together durum flour, whole wheat flour and water. Knead until the dough does not stick to the side of the bowl, add more water as needed to achieve this.

2. Drizzle oil around the outside of the dough and then knead again to combine.

A top down view of a lump of whole wheat dough in a silver bowl.

3. Let rest for at least 15 minutes and up to overnight.

4. Portion out dough into small balls, roughly the size of a golf ball. Roll between floured hands to make round and push down to form each ball into a little disc. Coat lightly in flour and set aside as you portion out the rest of the dough.

Five small balls of dough next to a wooden rolling pin with red handles on a black countertop. Behind them to the left is a container full of flour, and a dusting of flour speckles the countertop.

5. Roll each disc out flat on a lightly floured surface, trying your best to ensure that it maintains a round shape. The flat roti should be about 1/4 of an centimetre thick.

6. Heat a tava or a flat, non-stick pan on medium high heat. On another element, either place a small heat proof metal rack as close as possible to an electric element, or on top of the gas flame.

7. Flip a rolled out roti onto the nonstick pan and let cook on one side until it changes and darkens in colour. Flip the roti then, and use a spatula or tongs to push down the edges to ensure they are cooked evenly. Allow to cook for another 30 seconds or so before transferring onto the metal rack.

A top down view of a half cooked roti on a nonstick lava.

8. Turn the heat on to high below the metal rack and allow the roti to puff up. If you notice only one area of the roti is bubbling, lightly press on it with a spatula or tongs to encourage the spread of the air. Once one side has some nice charred colour, flip to the other side and cook again until the colour matches before removing from the heat.

9. Repeat the same process until you run out of dough. Serve with your favourite Indian dish, or slap some butter on it and enjoy!

Chai Cookies

This week, I decided I wanted to try something a little different than my usual recipes, and give a shot at a remix of an Indian classic. Chai is a staple in every Indian and South Asian household, and is commonly served with an assortment of sweet or savoury goodies to keep your guests entertained. It stands to reason then, that combining the flavours of chai with a cookie would result in the most perfect and delicious fall treat!

For the majority of this recipe, I used this recipe from Ginny over at In Bloom Bakery! It’s one that my sister has used before to great success, though I wanted to try and tweak it to see if I could recreate the flavours of chai that I love so much. For the spices, I cut back on the amount cinnamon significantly in comparison to the original recipe, using about 2 teaspoons instead of an entire tablespoon and a half. I also increased the amount of all the other spices, leaning a little more heavily on the cardamom since that’s the flavour I prefer to taste most prominently in my chai.

A diagonal shot of a sheet of cookies in rows of 2 and 3.

I was super happy with how they turned out for the most part, they’re absolutely delicious cookies with crisp edges and a soft pillowy interior, but there was something missing in the flavour profile that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It wasn’t until I pulled them out of the oven that I realized there was no flavour of real tea in them! Next time I make them, I think that I will substitute out one of the egg yolks in favour of a couple tablespoons of strongly brewed orange pekoe tea to see if I can impart a little more of that chai flavour.

Yeasted Pumpkin Bread Remix

I was a bit stuck for what to remix, so I decided to combine a recipe for bread with the music I listened to while I baked it. The recipe is from King Arthur Baking.

At this point in the afternoon, around 1 pm, I had three cups of caffeine in me and absolutely zero energy.

I began by making pumpkin puree. Usually I would use canned, but we had a couple of sugar pumpkins left over from Halloween that needed to be used before they went moldy. I saved the seeds for roasting later, and plunked the oiled pumpkin halves in the oven at 400 F for about an hour.

Once the puree was done I took a two hour break to eat lunch with my mom and neglect my responsibilities.

Making bread is fairly simple if you aren’t too concerned with the end result and just like playing with dough. For some reason, no matter what type of yeast I use, my bread never rises much until it’s in the oven, when it finally redeems itself.

In that way my bread is a bit like me. I do my best work in a time crunch.

After mixing all of the ingredients, the cardamom smell is always the first to spread through the kitchen, and then the ginger.

We ate the bread topped with butter and honey and alongside cups of tea.

Choco Chip Cookies & Quarantine

Want to try out these chocolate chip cookies for yourself? Here’s the recipe! One of the first ever recipes I learned to bake were these chocolate chip cookies, they were a quintessential part of my childhood and now my go to stress bake recipe. The original recipe is from a math workbook I did every summer as a child, but has slowly been modified by me over the years depending on the mood I was in. Overall, they are just a great and flexible cookie recipe. Which leads me to todays topic: quarantine. By now most of us have incessantly heard this in every form of media, to the point where the topic almost triggers a sigh as a response. This subject is always tricky to approach because we tend to forget the flex of difficulties that everyone was experiencing individually, beyond the whole epidemic crisis, and honestly none of us have had ample time to reflect and recover to the strain we were all put under. Personally, quarantine was life-changing, beside the obvious lack of social interaction and constant living in fear for those first few months, it had a significant impact in the course of everyone’s lives. Being the first batch of high schoolers to experience graduating during the peak of the pandemic was very confusing. Post grad most everyone I knew had the same feeling where we were missing the sense of finality and accomplishment that the grandeur of a ceremony bestows upon you. This paired with immediately jumping into the unknown environment of university completely online, felt extraordinarily alienating. We skipped the whole uni experience you see in movies, where the parents drop their kids off wave goodbye and immediately go into a bustling hall for orientation with booths on an extremally crowded campus. Instead we were greeted with technical difficulties, names on black screens and the awful social interaction of trying to speak at the right time during a zoom conversation. As we start to trickle back into the habits that existed pre-pandemic its interesting to see how flexible we all are as individuals, and how adaptable individuals are based on the conditions we face.