Roti recipe or phulka recipe – the most popular Indian flat bread made in each and every household almost every single day.
This is one of the basic recipes that you must know or you should be good at it in order to get the complete, satisfying Indian meal on daily basis. Just like every other household in India, I do make the roti everyday whether it is for lunch or dinner.
For those who are not familiar, It is unleavened flat bread made from stone-ground wholemeal flour. This flour is known as chapati atta. As mentioned in wiki, this atta is milled from semi-hard wheat variety aka durum wheat. This hard wheat is high in protein.
The atta is made by stone grinding, this process imparts unique taste to the roti or any bread made from the chapati atta. During the grinding process, the high temperature is produced by the friction of traditional stone/chakki. Because of this high temperature, the freshly ground atta has roasty, nutty smell. My mom always buys the whole wheat and grinds the fresh atta every week at home. Here in USA, that is not possible so I buy the ready made atta from the store.
If you are grinding your own atta at home or going to the nearby mill for grinding the atta then it is perfect. because you are using fresh flour. But if buying from the store like me, go for the good quality brand and also make sure that it is 100% whole wheat atta (not even small amount of maida added). I got good results with Lakshmi, aashirvaad and 24 mantra organic atta.
As being Gujarati, I prefer my roti really thin. You can make thin or medium thickness. The most popular names are roti or phulka. We call it rotli, while many says chapati.
As the roti/phulka are made from whole wheat flour and not much oil is used while cooking (unlike paratha), these are really healthy and easy to digest. Hence we are making this on daily basis.
How to make roti recipe or phulka (Step by Step Photos):
1) Take chapati atta, salt in a bowl. Mix with your hand.
2) For kneading the dough use the warm water. You can warm it up in microwave or I have used warm tap water. Now start adding warm water little at a time and knead.
3) The water quantity may vary depending on the flour quality and freshness. I have used little less than ½ cup of water. Knead the dough till it just comes together. The dough should be soft.
4) Now add a teaspoon of oil.
5) and again knead it till it gets smooth and soft. It will take good 3-4 minutes. The gluten will develop with this kneading and it helps to make soft phulkas. You can see the difference (smooth and soft) between the dough before/after adding oil in the pics here.
6) Now cover it with another bowl or plate. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes. You can let it rest from 15-45 minutes
7) After resting time, knead it once again and smooth out the dough. Divide it into 10 equal portions. Make smooth ball and flatten it out between your palm.
8) Now work with one flattened disk at a time and keep the rest covered to prevent them from drying out. Dust it with dry flour generously. (If making this regularly, always keep one separate container with some atta like I have here for dusting purpose only)
9) Now use the rolling pin and rolling board to roll it.
10) Start rolling into round shape. halfway through you can again dust it with dry flour for easier rolling. As you roll, it should move in circular motion. This comes from the practice, practice and practice. If your roti doesn’t move, no worries. It will be fine.Keep rolling and lift or move with your hand, so it doesn’t stick to the board.
11) Roll into 5-6 inch diameter circle. Make sure the thickness of it should be even from all the sides. The thickness should be thinner than puri. You can make the roti of medium thickness as well. But make sure that it is not too thick, otherwise it takes more time to cook and will not puff up well.
12) Now heat the tawa on medium heat. Once hot put the rolled roti on it.
13) Within 30 seconds, you will notice few bubbles on top.
14) Flip it and you can notice there are very few brown spots. As soon as you flip, you will notice that those bubbles will get bigger. Now cook that side for 30 seconds only.
15) Using the tongs, hold the tawa and put it on back burner. Turn the heat on high. Then place roti (top side should go on flame) on direct flame.
16) Immediately it will puff up. Do not let it get burn.
17) As soon as it is puffed up, using the tongs hold the roti carefully from the edge and flip it. Cook the other side on direct flame for very less time (2-3 seconds only). Be careful, sometimes it gets break and the steam will come out. This steam may burn you, so keep attention to it.
18) With the help of tongs, place it in the casserole or insulated container. Always keep the cotton cloth or paper towel underneath, so all the moisture can be absorbed by the paper towel and phulka will stay softer without getting soggy.
19) Now lower down the heat to medium, put the tawa back on the stove and repeat the same for rest. If you have practice then you can do rolling and cooking tasks simultaneously. If not then roll 4-5 of them, arrange them on a plate without overlapping too much. Keep it covered. and the cook those and do same for rest.
20) Now apply little ghee it to keep it softer for longer period of time. You can apply ghee individually for all them. I do this way – when two are ready. take first one (which is cooled slightly) on your palm, add little ghee.
21) Take second one and put on top. with very gentle pressure rub both rotis, so ghee is evenly distributed on all over the roti.
22) Keep them in insulated container.
23) I keep it partially covered while I am cooking rest. So it stays warm till the time of serving.
My mom always serves the hot roti to me. I mean as soon as it is cooked, she applies some ghee and it directly go in my (or dad’s) plate. I miss that so much. As now I am cooking, so i don’t get that luxury now.
Shelf life: It stays good in insulated container for a day or two. The dough can be refrigerated in airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap for only 10-12 hours (overnight), never more than that. If the dough is refrigerated then bring it to a room temperature and use.
When I have to make roti-sabzi for lunchbox early morning. I make the dough at night, wrap in plastic wrap, keep in the refrigerator. (Also I chop the vegetables at night for the sabji) As soon as I wake up, I remove the dough from the fridge and keep on counter top. So while I do brush, take shower and all stuff the dough will come to room temperature. First I make sabji while it is cooking, I make roti. So at the same time both sabji and roti will be ready, I pack the lunch-box for me-hubby and leave for the job. Hence the whole lunch making process will take me only 30 minutes. Night prep helps me a lot in my routine.
Serving suggestions: Roti or phulka served with any sabji (dry vegetable dish) or curry (gravy dish) or dal/beans. Leftover can be used for making vaghareli rotli, khakhra or even deep fried for a snack. (will make a separate post soon for all these three methods).
Tips for making perfect soft roti, phulka:
I have mentioned all the possible tips in the method itself, so read that carefully. Here I am summarizing the points to keep in mind.
- Always use warm water for kneading the dough.
- While kneading the dough, start with little water at a time. If you dump all water at once, the dough will get sticky.
- The dough should be soft (not too soft, sticky or not too stiff, hard) and smooth. So kneading part after adding oil is the important to get soft phulka.
- Do knead it for enough time till it gets smooth. So the gluten is formed and it will make soft rotis.
- Roll it to the even thickness. So it can easily puff up. If it is thick from one edge and thin at other, it will not puff up.
- Do not roll too thin like paper otherwise it will not puff up and you will get hard like papad.
- Do not roll too thick otherwise it will take longer time to cook and may not puff up well. Because of the longer cooking time, roti will get chewy and hard.
- When cooking on direct flame, Alway crank the heat to high. So it puff ups quickly.
- Once it puffs up, it needs only 2-3 seconds cooking time. If cooked for longer time than it stays puffed up for few minutes (like picture perfect), but as it cools it gets hard and chewy. So as you remove the puffed roti from the flame and put it in the casserole, the steam will get released automatically from the roti within next few seconds. This will gives you the perfect soft roti.
- The cooking time may vary few seconds here and there depending on the type, quality of the flour. How thin, thick you have rolled it. So experiment and practice makes it best. So take this method with cooking time as a guideline.
Roti Recipe (Phulka Recipe)
- 1 cup Whole wheat flour (Chapati atta)
- Salt to taste
- little less than ½ cup Warm water
- 1 teaspoon Oil
- Ghee (clarified butter) as needed, to spread on roti
Making the dough:
- Take chapati atta, salt in a bowl. Mix with your hand.
- Now start adding warm water little at a time and knead.
- Knead the dough till it just comes together. The dough should be soft.
- Now add a teaspoon of oil. and again knead it till it gets smooth and soft. It will take good 3-4 minutes.
- Now cover it with another bowl or plate. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
Making roti recipe:
- After resting time, knead it once again and smooth out the dough.
- Divide it into 10 equal portions. Make smooth ball and flatten it out between your palm.
- Now work with one flattened disk at a time and keep the rest covered.
- Dust it with dry flour generously.
- Start rollig into round shape. halfway through you can again dust it with dry flour for easier rolling. As you roll the roti, it should move in circular motion. Keep rolling and lift or move with your hand, so it doesn’t stick to the board.
- Roll into 5-6 inch diameter circle.
- Now heat the tawa on medium heat. Once hot put the rolled roti on it.
- Within 30 seconds, you will notice few bubbles on top.
- Flip it and you can notice there are very few brown spots.
- As soon as you flip, you will notice that those bubbles will get bigger. Now cook that side for 30 seconds only.
- Using the tongs, hold the tawa and put it on back burner.
- Turn the heat on high. Then place the roti (top side should go on flame) on direct flame. Immediately it will puff up.
- As soon as it is puffed up, using the tongs hold the roti carefully from the edge and flip it.
- Cook the other side on direct flame for very less time (2-3 seconds only).
- Place the roti in the casserole or insulated container.
- Now lower down the heat to medium, put the tawa back on the stove and repeat the same for res.
- Now apply little ghee on it.
- Keep them in insulated container.