The Art Of Making Chapatti/ Roti (Tortilla)….. My Journey !
Most of the Indian meals are incomplete without this flat, round, fresh bread, popularly known as Chapatti / Roti (Tortilla). It is usually served with dishes like curries, dals ( lentil soups ) & sabzi ( sauteed veggies laced with spices).Every roti has a story to tell like if it’s not round, it has been rolled out by novice hands. If it’s hard, it tells us that the dough has not been kneaded properly & also it has not been cooked at the right temperature. There is no single way to define a perfect roti but it is believed that a soft, round roti made from whole wheat flour is the ideal one.
It took me forever to master this art – right from making the perfect dough which means it should be well kneaded using the right amount of warm water followed by making small balls out of the dough which are further flattened using a rolling pin. The taste , texture & shape of the final roti depends a lot on the firmness of dough & right heat at which it is cooked.
I was doing ok with this task in the kitchen.Honestly this was one task which I detested from the bottom of my heart ! Then came the ‘Ganglion Cyst’ in my right wrist which made my right hand no less than a vegetable. I could hardly use it for anything, let alone roti making.For couple of months we fed ourselves with store bought tortillas.
Our hunt for tortilla press started when we could not imagine eating more of those ready made tortillas which were rich in oil, sodium & other preservatives (we have tried all of them). After weeks of searching both online & in stores , we ended up buying a good tortilla press (Revel Tortilla Roti Maker With Temperature Control 1000 Watts Non-Stick 110 Volts ) online at Amazon.com.
My initial weeks of roti making using this press were bad . Rotis were hard, dry or I should say unpalatable. After a lot of trial & error, I got the desired rotis. Now, I love my tortilla press more than any other appliance in my kitchen(I still love my dishwasher, juicer & microwave !!). My Ganglion Cyst is still there but I think it’s in a ‘dormant’ phase since last few months, hence very little pain:) And to avoid putting any pressure on my right hand, I use the tortilla press all the more.
For my tortilla press, this is what I do:
- Keep the dough soft, not very firm.
- Oil (just a drop) each dough ball before pressing it in the tortilla press.
- Use a ‘Tawa’ ( Skillet) to cook the flattened dough balls on medium high heat.
- Always refrigerate the fresh kneaded dough for at least an hour before making rotis.
Here are some useful tips for your future tortilla press :
- Before buying make sure you have read good number of reviews.This will give you an idea about what the tortilla press can do & what it can’t do for you. We read a lot of reviews shared by Indians & so we knew what we will be getting.
- You will have to develop your own dough recipe & technique for your tortilla press & trust me you will find one soon after you start using it.
- If your rotis are still turning out hard then don’t panic. Just wrap them in a paper towel or aluminum foil for 10 minutes. They will turn soft due to the steam released from each other.
- Be patient & don’t give up.
If you have some tips to share regarding tortilla maker or roti making in general, please feel free to share them here.