Missi Roti 2, (Wheat And Bengal Gram Flour)
Missi Roti 2, Atta Aur Besan
Missi roti is one of the traditional Indian roties that are gaining popularity once again. This was one of my father's favourites, so it was cooked in our house frequently. It is best served with any of the leaf vegetable dishes like Sarson (mustard leaves) ka Sag or Sarson ka Sag with Shalgam (Turnip) or Dal Palak orLamb Curry with Spinach. A yoghurt drink like Lassi or Mattha and a lump Jaggery (raw cane sugar sold in the form of solid cakes) are common accompaniments. It tastes nice with meat and chicken curries too. Missi roti makes you very thirsty, so be prepared to drink a lot of water after eating it!
Don't be put off by a long number of steps, they are just to explain how to make roties. Makes 18-20.
300 gm. atta or chapatti flour
100 gm. besan* or Bengal gram or black/brown chickpea flour
Water to make dough
A little chapatti flour for dusting
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated**
2-3 green chillies finely chopped**
A handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped**
1 tsp. nigella/kalonji/kalaunji (nigella sativa)**
1 tsp. ajwain or carom seeds**
1 1/2 tsp. salt**
*Gram flour for the roties is made from whole grams, with the skin intact, whereas besan is made from skinless gram dal. If you can get hold of it from Indian store, it is better than besan.
**These ingredients are not essential for the basic missi roti, but can be added to make it special. I have not added them in the pictures here.
Grind or grate or chop finely ginger and green chillies.
Chop coriander leaves very finely.
Place all ingredients (or flour and water only, if not using **) in a bowl or a food processor and make a dough of soft to firm consistency. It has to be soft enough to roll out but not too hard to make it difficult to roll. Remember that firm dough makes for harder rotis.
Place dusting flour in an old dinner plate or similar.
Divide dough into golf ball size portions and roll into balls, using a little flour to dust.
Keep them covered with a moist cloth.
Roll one ball out at a time, to a 6 inch circle. Next roti can be rolled out when the previous one is cooking. You will need to dust it with flour from time to time during rolling.
Cooking the rotis:
Heat a tawa or a griddle to medium hot.
Place the rolled out roti on it.
When the roti changes colour to a slightly darker shade and a few blisters appear on the surface, turn it over.
After a minute or less, lift it off the griddle to see if there are a few dark brown blisters on the underside.
Now turn it over once again (3rd time) and press the roti gently all over, using an old kitchen towel, encouraging it to balloon. If you have gas fire, you can cook it directly on a flame. Place it on the flame using tongs or 'chimta' and turn it over back and forth, until it balloons and all sides are cooked. You may have to use the tongs to seal the escaping steam sometimes, so that the whole roti balloons. This procedure sounds very complicated but is really very easy, once you have understood the process.
If you have a grill, you can cook the roti under a heated grill after stage. Simply pick the roti from the griddle and place it under the preheated grill, without turning it over. If the grill is hot, it will balloon quickly, without you touching it. Once this surface is cooked, turn and cook other side. Both sides should be lightly brown with a few dark brown spots. Watch carefully, hot grill can burn roties very fast!
Spread a thin layer of butter or ghee and serve straight from the fire. It tastes better when hot and crisp, not when cold (optional)