Roti skin, flour, indian food, buss up shut, Sweet T&T, Sweet TnT, Trinidad and Tobago, Trini, Travel, Vacation, Tourist,

Trying my hand at roti

By Annisa Phillip. Roti is pretty much a staple in our country, the need for roti comes in close second to the need for water. Roti is necessary for Eid-ul-fitur and Divali, river limes and whenever we feel like. In the same way we party for any and every reason, roti is the runner up for an ‘any-excuse-will-do’ slogan. I for one enjoy eating curry with roti in any form – buss-up (paratha), sada, dhalpuri. So my desire for the know-how to roti making should come as no surprise. It is because of this desire that I have been trying to master the sada roti for a while now … and by that I mean a few years now.

My problem lies in getting the dough to swell fully, part of it will swell and the rest remains to be called a bake. After countless futile attempts I decided to try my hand at the buss up shut. My goodness what a difference! I can finally say “Yes, I can make roti!” I got a rise out if this dough that I have never accomplished with sada. It was a long journey to this victory and I accept said victory with open hands and a watering mouth watering. Now by no means was it Hosein’s or Homes’ quality, but it was roti.

It was actually a fairly simple process and required ingredients I already had, flour, salt, baking powder, water, oil and butter (in lieu of ghee). I would have welcomed the less fat of the sada roti if only I was able to get it right nevertheless, the added fat of the paratha gives it its flakiness, texture and added goodness. Mix the dry ingredients together then add enough water to knead into a soft dough. Divide the dough into four balls and allow to rest for half an hour. Roll each ball into a circle and spread some butter, ghee or butter mixed with oil and lightly sprinkle some flour (I personally find the added flour unnecessary). Cut a slit from the centre to the edge of the dough and take one end and roll to form a cone. Press the top of the cone into the centre and allow to rest again. Roll the dough onto a floured surface, allow the tawah (in my house it is called a platen) to hot and coat with ghee or butter/oil and place the dough on it. While the underside cooks, spread more ghee or butter. Flip over and repeat with the ghee or butter. When it is nice and cooked it is time to ‘buss it up’ for which I used my hands, a kitchen towel and a rolling pin.

The experience reminded me of the fond memories I have of watching my grandmother maker roti. Now the knowledge is mine and maybe one day my children and grandchild could recall memories of me making roti for them.

October 2016

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