Chef Jayashree Makes Roti with Let’s Move Pittsburgh
In this Let’s Move Pittsburgh spotlight, we are featuring a Phipps’ favorite, Chef Jayashree Iyengar. As the first instructor of the Phipps' culinary arts classes, Jayashree continues to bring flavor, warmth, and cultural connections to our Botany Hall Kitchen. She is the founder and owner of Popping Mustard Seeds, which offers all-level Indian cooking classes, recipes, and meal kits. Chef Jay will be featured in our upcoming LMP Book Club classes...keep your eyes peeled! In the meantime, learn how to make your own roti with Chef Jay below.
Chappathi or Roti (Indian Tortilla Type Bread)
Ingredients (Makes 6):
- 1 cup chappathi flour (atta) or whole wheat flour
- About 2/3 cup water
- Butter for topping (optional)
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl or a flat surface, add the flour and water and knead well to make a soft dough. Add the water little at a time to prevent the dough from becoming too sticky.
Step 2: Place a wet paper towel directly on the dough to cover it. Cover the bowl with a lid and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
Step 3: When the dough is ready, divide it into 6 equal size balls. Keep them covered with the wet paper towel throughout the preparation.
Step 4: Take one ball and roll it out on a smooth surface (clean dry wood cutting board or a clean dry counter top) into a flat round roti, using a skinny rolling pin (available at Indian grocery stores). Roll out about four rotis before starting the cooking process.
Step 5: Evenly smear a tsp of oil on a cast iron griddle (tava) or skillet and preheat heat it on medium high heat (non-stick skillet can also be used without any oil for seasoning).
Step 6: Using an electric stove top: When the griddle or skillet is sufficiently hot (sprinkle water on the surface to see if it sizzles), place one of the rolled-out rotis on it. When bubbles appear all over the surface, flip the roti to the other side. Cook the other side until it starts to bubble or puff (about ½ minute). Remove from the griddle and add butter on one side and place it in a closed serving dish.
Alternate Step 6: Using a gas burner: Follow the steps above and when the bottom side is cooked, remove the roti from the tava or skillet and place the uncooked side directly on an open flame (you can use a rack that is available in Indian grocery stores for this purpose). Wait until the roti puffs up and remove from heat, top it with butter on one side and place it in a covered serving dish.
Step 7: Continue making the rest of the rotis.
Note: If the roti does not puff up, remove from fire after 10 seconds when the bottom side is cooked.