Roti-Indian "breads"

Rice Flour Roti, Rice Chapati, Gluten Free chapati

In the next few months I will be posting a  couple of rice flour recipes a week. Rice,  for me, is something that is gentle on the stomach and is far more digestable than other grains, while being, best of all, gluten free. For those who love chapati's but can't stand the gluten here is one great recipe.


2 cups rice flour
1 cup grated coconut
1 big onion chopped fine
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh green coriander/ hara dhaniya
1/4  " fresh ginger, chopped very fine
1/2 tsp Salt
A pinch of asafoetida/ hing
1 tsp cumin powder/jeera
6 tsps vegetable oil

Mix all the ingredients together and make a soft dough by adding water bit by bit or beaten  yogurt /curds. If you are using commercially made yogurt make it a bit thinner by adding water.

Divide the dough into 6 equal parts.

Heat a non stick frying pan on a medium fire. Pour a little oil into the pan. Now press out one portion of the dough into a round shape with your fingers on the pan itself.  Tt circle  be about a 1/4 " thick.
Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
Serve hot with ghee , butter, chutney or tomato sauce.

Makes 6 rotis.

Stuffed Mixed Dal Paratha- Mixed Lentil filled Flat Bread


A paratha is a wonderful thing; a bit like a sandwich it can be filled with all sorts of things and make a one dish meal. More restaurants are opening up here with just parathas on the menu.

I recall that in Kodaikanal the miniscule restaurants along the one main road that exists there, serving quite awful food to the hungry students of the big residential school close by. The inside information was that the safest thing to eat was the cheese paratha, served hot by one of the joints they called a restaurant. They did not have other variations . Keeping ingredients fresh was a problem. Most of them were expensive, having been trucked up the long, winding and sometimes treacherous ghat road. Vegetables were likely to be bad by the time they were served up. Especially if it was not the tourist season when the village became as dead as a dodo, with its few residents and starving students wandering about disconsolately in the mists, in search of a good meal. Eventually everyone would end up at the paratha place. Safe to eat, hot and filling.

I always think the younger Earl of Sandwich pretty enterprising to use his title to market the most upmarket of sandwiches. We should have a Maharaja of Paratha. He would be well employed in working out new variations on the theme. How about a Maratha Paratha? It should do well in Pune.

Meanwhile many of us have our own versions of parathas, not simply the standard methi, gobi, and alu types. Here is my friend Subhasini's great recipe for lentil filled paratha. It makes 8 plump ones, 5" in diameter, and a fabulous one dish dinner.


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup channa  dal / Bengal gram
1/4 cup toor dal
1/2 " piece of grated ginger
Pinch of haldi

I onion chopped fine
1 green chilli minced
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 tsp ajwain /thymol seeds
2 tbsp ghee or oil

Combine wheat, salt ghee and water to form a ball of dough. Knead for 5minutes. Keep aside covered with plastic or damp cloth

Drain Lentils

Combine the lentils , turmeric, grated ginger and 1 cup water and cook for 2 whistles in a pressure cooker or over the fire till just done.Drain off any extra water.

Frying onions

Heat 1 tbsp ghee and fry the onion, chilli and ginger garlic paste.

Sprinkle ajwain

When done add the lentils to the fried ingredients, the lime juice , sprinkle the ajwain and mix well.

Make 8 balls of the dough and roll out into a circle about 3 " in diameter.

Smear ghee on circle

Smear a bit of ghee on the circle

and place a spoonful of the mixture in the centre.

Sprinkle wheat flour on filling

Sprinkle some dry whole wheat flour on top and

Form a ball

and then form into a ball by gathering the edges up together. Twist the pointed end and press back into the ball.

Roll out paratha

Press flat between palms and roll out the stuffed ball into a 5" circle.

Ghee on tava

Put a spoonful of ghee on the heated tava and slap the paratha onto the tava.

After a few minutes when it has formed brown spots on one side, turn and cook the other side . Smear a little ghee on the edges of the paratha as it is cooking. When the dough is cooked remove from fire and keep warm wrapped in a cloth or paper napkin till all 8 are cooked.

Serve with yogurt/ dahi, raita or any vegetable.

Mooli aur Dhania Paratha- Radish and Coriander Indian Flat bread

Mooli Paratha"

Pune was the place where the 'chapathi bai' originated. She would arrive at each home sometime in the morning and swiftly measure out the wheat sufficient for the number of people in the house. Within an hour she would have made about 20 delicate chapathies, brushed with a bit of ghee, neatly folded into a triangle and placed in the brass dabba. At lunch time, nestled as they were in a piece of cloth, they would still be warm and soft.
The bai would generally made chapathies the whole day, going from house to house and producing them at a quick pace, to suit each family's taste. The bais made a good living from this, far more than if they had worked in one home all day. Nobody could do without the chapathi bai. Without her there would be no daily bread and what kind of a day would that be? Misery incorporated.
My grandmother's chapathi bai was such a hard worker, she educated her children in a good school and they, showing the same work ethic as their mother, rose to become the founders of what is now one of the largest industries in Pune! True story.
Modern times are upon us, at least in some ways. There are few people who have the luxury of a regular visit from any sort of household help, let alone the chapathi bai. So meals have become simplified as well. Six or seven preparations to a meal are more the exception than the rule. Lunch can often be as basic as some parathas with dahi and pickle.
This Mooli and Coriander paratha was delicious with garlic pickle (made in mustard oil) and yogurt.

Makes 8 parathas.

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour.

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp haldi (turmeric)

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

  • 1 tsp garam masala 1 tsp anar dana (dried pomegranate seeds)

  • 1/2 cup grated mooli (horse radish)

  • 1/2 cup chopped green coriander

  • 1 green chilli minced.

  • 4 tsps melted ghee (clarified butter)or vegetable oil

  • 175 ml -200 ml water (1 cup

Mix all the dry ingredients together.Then add the grated radish, the coriander, the green chilli and 1 teaspoon of the ghee. Mix well.Add the water bit by bit till the flour forms a small ball of dough.The exact amount will depend on how refined the flour is. I don not seive the wheatflour as I like to keep the bran even though it makes the finished product crisp rather than soft.
Knead the dough till smooth.

Ball of dough

Rub a 1/8 tsp of ghee or oil on the surface and cover with plastic and keep aside till you are ready to make the parathas.
Roll out on a floured surface into a 8 inch circle. Smear a bit of ghee over the surface and fold into a semi circle. Smear a bit more ghee on half of the semi circle. Fold into a quarter. Roll out to form a 7 inch triangle.

Cook on a heated tava or a non stick frying pan. With a teaspoon drip a bit of ghee around the paratha. Turn the paratha clockwise on the surface of the tava .Cook for a few minutes and turn over. Again add a bit of ghee around the edges. Cook for a few more minutes till both sides are covered with tiny brown spots.
Serve hot.