Roti/Phulka – Indian Flat Bread
Phulka (Fulka) or Roti is an unleavened flat-bread from South Asia and a staple diet in many homes in India. Rotis are made from whole wheat flour dough which is rolled and cooked on a skillet and then over direct heat where it is puffed up. Roti is generally served with dal/pappu and with so many other curries (veg and non-veg). You can also spread some butter or ghee/clarified butter which is optional. When you cook on electric stove, a metal mesh is used since the coil is not suitable. If it is gas stove you can cook the rotis over direct heat. The metal mesh is generally available in the local Indian stores in the U.S.
I do not use any oil for making rotis and it stays soft. You can roll up the remaining rotis in an aluminum foil or cling wraps and store it for a day or two in refrigerator and reheat before serving. You can also store the dough in a ziplock cover or cling wrap it and refrigerate it for upto 2 to 3 days. Bring the dough back to room temperature before making rotis.
- Whole wheat flour/atta – 1 cup
- Water – 1 cup
- Salt to taste (1/4 to 1/2 tsp)
Method of Preparation:
- Add a cup of flour to a mixing bowl and add salt.
- Mix well. Add water a little at a time and keep mixing until flour absorbs water and forms a dough.
- If it is sticky sprinkle some more flour and knead until a pliable soft dough is formed. The more you knead the more softer rotis are.
- Dust your palms with dough to avoid sticking while kneading. You can also grease your palms with oil.
- Cover the dough with a moist or wet cloth and let it rest for half an hour. You can also use the dough immediately if you are in a hurry.
- After half an hour, make golf size or small lemon size balls of equal size.
- Take a ball, flatten it and dust it with flour. Roll it into a thin, round shape roti using a rolling pin on a flat surface or a wooden block.
- Dust with more flour while rolling if sticks to the surface.
- Meanwhile heat a flat skillet or a pan and add the rolled roti.
Cooking with coil (or electric stove):
Turn on stove over medium high and place a metal mesh which is used for making rotis.
Transfer rolled roti to the skillet.
When you see small bubbles flip it and let the other side bubble up.
Now transfer the roti to the mesh and let it puff up. Flip it and let the other side cook. Roti is ready.
Cooking with gas stove:
Place the rolled roti in a hot skillet. When you see small bubbles flip it and let the other side bubble up. Now transfer the roti to direct flame using a pair of tongs. It balloons up cooking the inside of the roti. Flip the roti using tongs and let the other side cook. The whole process take about 5 to 10 seconds. Some of the rotis may not puff up due to small holes. But do not worry. Just follow the same procedure and it will be cooked.
Spread some butter or ghee/clarified butter as soon as you remove from heat. This is totally optional.