Roti is a flat bread that is very simple and quick to make and is similar to pita bread. Roti came to the Caribbean from India and has become a local staple in many islands, especially Trinidad and Tobago. India’s influence in Caribbean cuisine is very apparent and curry dishes are a prime example. In Aruba, curried goat stew was very popular and roti is the perfect “utensil” for mopping up the sauce on your plate. Roti can also be filled with ingredients and rolled up to form a sandwich wrap.
Roti is made with five common ingredients found in every kitchen: flour, baking powder, salt, water and oil. The dough literally takes less than 10 minutes to make, rests for 30 minutes and is rolled out (I like to use a Tapered-French rolling pin) and pan-fried in minutes.
Roti can be cut into wedges or served whole as a bread course and is great for “mopping up” sauces. I serve it as a side for my Caribbean dish Keshi Yena. Above, I used it as a wrap for a breakfast sandwich I made with herb-scrambled eggs, Gouda cheese and smoked turkey breast.
To make crisp crackers from them (think pita chips), cut the roti into wedges and lay out on a baking sheet. Crisp in a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes, flip them over and cook an additional few minutes until very crisp. Sprinkle with additional salt if necessary. These crackers are great with dips like hummus or tzatziki, and they can be used as the base for Hors d’Oeuvres. Serve them with charcuterie or cheese boards.
This French-Tapered Rolling Pin makes the task of rolling out dough a breeze. It is my go-to rolling pin for this Roti recipe, pie crusts, pasta dough, crushing nuts…it gets plenty of use in my kitchen.
Roti BreadCourse: BreadCuisine: CaribbeanDifficulty: Easy
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon canola oil
canola oil for sautéing
Kosher salt to taste
- Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl. Make a well with the flour and add the water. Mix in, forming a stiff dough. Knead the dough for 2 minutes and divide into 4 balls.
- Flatten the balls on a floured work surface with a rolling pin to about half an inch thick. Spread each roti with 1/4 teaspoon canola oil and dust with flour. Form the dough back into a ball by turning the edges into the center, gathering and pinching the edges, forming the dough into a round shape. Let stand for 30 minutes.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a flat 8-inch pancake. Cook each side with about 1/2 teaspoon of oil until lightly browned, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and sprinkle with kosher salt. Serve hot.
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