Shital's-Kitchen: Phulka Roti

Monday, February 5, 2018

Phulka Roti

Last Saturday I had an opportunity to conduct Indian cooking class at our district for the community. I have offered classes before, and Indian cuisine is quite popular. With diverse population here in California, people love to be knowledgeable about different cultures and cuisines. I show them the traditional spice box and talk about using these spices to suit ones palate. We make various Indian breads like roti, paratha, naan, and puri and then make Indian curries too. Indeed a fun class...i just enjoy being a part of the community and spreading the knowledge of my culture :)

Roti: which is a flat bread from India is also called chapati, phulka, or rotli, in various cultures. Depending on the state, this simple roti is made differently. From thick and big rotis made either in tandoor or on griddle in North India to small thin rotis in Gujarat. In Gujarat and some regions also make double or Pad rotis.

Irrespective of which state the roti is made in, the ingredients are very basic: whole wheat flour and water. Salt in roti and oil as a fat to keep roti soft are optional. There is no leavening agent needed in this flat bread or roti. Also, depending on the type of crop growing in the state, roti can be made using jowar flour, bajra flour, or even rice flour, These rotis maybe slight tricky to make and needs practice as they are void of gluten.

Phulka means puffed. They rotis are rolled well and then cooked on griddle. High temperature  will result in the traped air to expand causing the roti to puff like a ball. This puffing is called phulka roti. Sometimes the roti would puff on the griddle itself or putting it on open flame to few seconds will ease the puffing process. We make this roti everyday in my family and each person would have around 2-3 rotis which would be around 80-100 calories each.

To make whole wheat phulka roti:
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use organic whole wheat flour from Veer or 24 Mantra)
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1 tbsp. oil (optional)
1 to 1+1/4 cup water

1/4 cup of dry flour to roll rotis.
Ghee to spread on the roti.

Take flour in a large bowl. Mix salt and oil.
Add around 1/2 cup water and mix well to make the dough, add little more water while mixing to make a soft dough. The amount of water needed depends on the type of flour you use. Organic whole wheat requires slightly more water that regular whole wheat flour. I would use around 1+1/4 cup to make a soft dough. Knead the dough well for 3-4 minutes. Use 2-3 drops of oil while kneading.
Cover the dough and leave it aside to rest for at least 15-20 minutes.

To make roti:
Keep the rolling board and rolling pin ready. Heat the griddle on low to medium heat.
Keep a bowl of dry flour and a bowl of ghee to apply on the roti once it is ready.

Divide the dough into 6-8 parts.
Make a ball from each part and flatten it. Dip lightly into dry flour and start rolling it gently. Use dry flour on the rolling board or the pin whenever needed to avoid roti from sticking.
Put the roti on hot griddle. Cook on medium heat for 30-45 seconds on first side. Flip it and cook for 30-45 seconds. Put the roti directly on open flame on high heat. It should puff up immediately. Flip once more if needed and remove in a plate.
Apply ghee on the roti and serve.

Check out the videos below.

Here is time lapse video of me making roti dough.
Add water little at a time while making the dough.

Here is time lapse of making roti on the griddle and then puffing it on open flame.
As soon as roti is done, apply ghee on it.

Making roti dough in kitchenaid mixer.

Making Phulka roti

 Here is roti puffing.
Puffed roti or as we call it phulka or a ball.

Apply ghee.

Soft rotis ready to be served.

Soft rotis can be eaten with just one hand.
This is the tradition.... using just one hand to break roti and dip it in dal/curry and then eat it.

Enjoy soft and fresh Phulka Roti!!

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