A roti is a very simple round flatbread and is the easiest to make. Then there is the square one (paratha) which is made into a square shape by first rolling a circle, applying butter and spices and then folding it over 4 times to make a square before rolling it out one more time. The third one is a stuffed prautha (aloo prautha) which is very popular in Punjab. It is made by rolling out two smaller rotis and adding a filling in between them. The same dough is used to make all of them.
There are many different types and variations of Indian flatbreads: roti or chapati; naan; paratha; as well as stuffed versions of each type. This recipe is for three basic types which can be made at home. All you need is a griddle or large frying pan and a rolling pin. The dough is very simple and requires only wholewheat (or spelt) flour, water and a bit of olive oil.
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Step 1: Servings and Ingredients
Yield: 4 to 5 flatbreads
Servings: 3 - 4 Prep
Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes
2.5 to 3 cups whole wheat or spelt flour
Water and Olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground coriander or cumin OR garam masala
¼ teaspoon cayenne or hot chili powder
¼ cup melted butter
Step 2: Make Dough
Make dough in a medium bowl by combining flour and spices and adding some water and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix with your hands. Keep adding water in small amounts and mixing with your hands until it all comes together. Add more water as needed to be able to knead the dough until it has a smooth pliable texture (3 to 4 minutes). Set aside to allow the dough to breath and soften for 15 minutes. It can also be made ahead and set aside until you are ready to cook.
Step 3: Roll
Put about a cup of dry flour into a large plate or pie plate. Roll your fingers in this dry flour to avoid dough from sticking to hands. Take some dough and form into a 2 inch round ball with both hands (about the size of a large egg). Roll it in the dry flour and flatten into a disk. Add some more dry flour on both sides and roll out into an 8 inch circle by rolling and turning over once or twice to get a nice circular shape.
Apply melted butter with a brush.
Step 4: Fold
Fold one side half way, then overlap the other side to the edge of the first side. Now do the same with the remaining two sides - fold first one half way, then overlap the other side completely. You will have a perfect square once it's all folded. Pat with dry flour and roll out again but this time into a square shape by turning over, applying dry flour as needed.
Step 5: Place on Preheated Griddle
Place on preheated griddle and cook for about 2 minutes. Flip over and brush top side with butter. Cook other side in the same way. Turn over and apply butter. Both sides should be nicely blistered but not burned. Remove from heat and place on a plate lined with aluminum foil and paper towel. Cover to keep warm while making the rest.
Enjoy plain, with yogurt or rolled up.