Homemade Roti (the Bread)

By 300 Sandwiches

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homemaderotibreadLOIt’s Caribbean Week here on 300 Sandwiches! E left ahead of me to get a head start on kite surfing, but I’m not far behind him. First, some cooking to pass my time home alone.

At home, I’ve been whipping up some Caribbean specialties to get me in the mood for our trip. After I went to Miss Lily’s for lunch, I lounged around with my rice and chicken filled rotiĀ and daydreamed about sandy beaches and rum punch drinksĀ and Bob Marley tunes. Then I made my own version.

First, the bread, which is also referred to as roti. There are many ways to to this but the basic recipe includes a bit of flour, oil, salt and a hot griddle. I used whole wheat bread, which gave me roti perfect for tearing and sopping up curry or vegetables. My next batch will be with white flour, to see how they compare in texture and consistency.

I whipped up a batch of chicken curry with chickpeas, onions and tomatoes. The idea was to scoop a few spoonfuls of curry into the roti and roll it up into a sandwich, but I ended up eating most of the hot chicken standing upright over the stove and shoveling forkfuls into my mouth while it was still scalding hot. Then I chased that with a fistfull of warm roti. These are things I do when E is out of town. This, and drink soy milk straight from the carton. And fall asleep with the tv still on and the remote, iPad and iPhone all scattered on the bed.

At least I don’t bring the curry to bed.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons oil (plus one teaspoon)
3/4 cups to one cup water
all purpose white flour, for dusting

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Slowly add 4 teaspoons oil into the flour mix, and combine until the oil has been massaged into the flour, leaving no lumps. Then add water, slowly, until a tacky dough forms. Be careful not to overwork it. Coat the bowl with the remaining olive oil, and roll the dough ball into the oil, coating lightly. Let rest, covered, for 15 minutes.

Take dough, knead once or twice, then divide into even-sized dough balls. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Coat the dough balls with flour, then roll flat with a rolling pin into a thin, large disk. If they stick, coat again with flour, so to keep from sticking. Place flat disk on skillet and toast until top bubbles, about a minute or so. Then flip, and heat for another 10-15 seconds.

Then, remove skillet with roti from the flame. Increase flame to high, and using tongs, grab roti and place directly onto hot high flame. Roti should balloon up after a few seconds. When puffy, remove from flame and place into an round container. If desired, brush with melted butter, and serve. Or scoop curry down the middle and fold sides over to make a sandwich. Makes at least 8 roti.

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