July 7, 2022

Roti – the soft thin flatbread

When Indian hear about Roti, we are automatically reminded of ‘home’. Roti holds a nostalgic value for us Indians. Roti is a round flatbread that is native to the Indian Subcontinent. I always argued with my mother about why a roti has to be round, but it was only that I learned the art of making a perfect roti that I realized that fully puffed Rotis are fluffy, light, and fully cooked. Rotis are famous in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, and Fiji; apart from India. Made from the combination of stoneground whole wheat flour and water, the combination is combined into a dough. Traditionally known as ‘Gehu ka Atta’, it is a common Indian dish that is served in every Indian Household. Roti is consumed in different parts of the world.

Unlike Naan, which has to be leavened, Roti is unleavened. But like all the bread around the world, roti is considered a staple that is accompanied by other Indian food options. The word ‘Roti’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘rotikā’ meaning ‘bread’. Roti is made from whole wheat powder and water mixture. It is first made into a dough, then rolled by a rolling pin into a round shape. It is then toasted on a Tawa and thereafter tossed directly over the fire, which causes the ‘kaccha roti’ (raw rolled out roti) to become fluffy, soft, and of course, cooked.

The Indian Subcontinent has many variations of flatbreads and roti. From the Indian Subcontinent to the United States of America, flatbreads and rotis are a constant everywhere in the world. Rotis are accompanied by cooked vegetable curries, sabjis, saag, or even bhajas. Roti is considered their carrier, as it makes them stand out as the main dishes and compiles them into one singular taste with many different nodes. Rotis as we know are made up of mainly whole wheat flour, but sometimes can be constituted for regular wheat flour, millet flour, maize flour, jowar flour, bajra flour, and sometimes even rice flour is good to make rice rotis out of it.


While the tandoor roti is cooked by sticking it in the tandoor, whilst the roti is prepared in a two-way process, where the roti is semi-cooked on a pan or a Tawa and then the roti is transferred onto the fire directly, so that, it rises and fluffs up as well is thoroughly cooked. Roti making is an art as it requires precision and dedication also considering that the rotis are not burnt, and are made to perfection at the best Indian Restaurants in Denver, Colorado. Moreover, rotis are considered much healthier than brown bread. This is because brown bread is prepared by incorporating a part of maida (refined flour), but rotis are made of whole wheat flour, which has heavy amounts of dietary fiber.

The variant of roti that holds the significance of a Plain Roti and is the closest relative, is the Rumali Roti. This extremely thin and limp roti is served folded like a handkerchief, and thus the name ‘Rumali Roti’ literally translates to “Handkerchief Roti’. The Rumali Roti is also cooked with the same method, but the only difference is that it is much thinner and has a much lesser cook time. This has lesser fiber because of the use of refined flour. No matter the number of names or the number of varieties, our warm and cozy Indian restaurant is sure to give you a taste of our different rotis, parathas, and so much more! Come and taste the best of Indian Cuisine at Little India Denver, Colorado.

Unlocking the Delights of Roti – India’s Irresistibly Soft Thin Flatbread

When it comes to Indian cuisine, the spotlight often shines on aromatic curries, spicy biryanis, and rich desserts. However, amid this delicious chaos, there’s a humble yet essential component that often takes center stage on the Indian dining table: roti.

The Versatile Roti:

Roti, also known as chapati or phulka in different regions of India, is a quintessential part of Indian meals. This unassuming, thin, unleavened flatbread has earned its place not just as a staple but as a symbol of nourishment, comfort, and tradition.

The Art of Roti Making:

Roti-making is more than just cooking; it’s an art form that’s passed down through generations. Here’s how it’s done:


  • Whole Wheat Flour (Atta): The primary ingredient, whole wheat flour, gives roti its distinct nutty flavor and soft texture.
  • Water: Simple and essential, water is the binding agent that turns flour into dough.
  • A Pinch of Salt: A pinch of salt adds a subtle flavor.

The Process:

  1. Kneading the Dough: The process begins with kneading the dough. Flour is mixed with water until it forms a smooth, pliable ball. The key is to achieve the right balance – not too hard, not too soft.
  2. Rolling It Out: The dough is divided into small portions and rolled into perfectly round, thin discs. The skill lies in making them uniform, paper-thin, and evenly sized.
  3. Cooking on an Open Flame: This is where the magic happens. The rolled-out dough is placed on a hot, open flame. The intense heat causes it to puff up, creating the signature balloon-like appearance. The roti is then flipped and cooked briefly on the other side.
  4. Serve Hot: Freshly cooked rotis are best enjoyed straight from the griddle. They are often brushed with a touch of ghee (clarified butter) before serving.

The Roti’s Place in Indian Culture:

Roti isn’t just a food; it’s a symbol of sustenance, care, and tradition. Here’s what makes it special:

1. A Symbol of Love:

  • In Indian households, making rotis is often seen as an act of love. Mothers and grandmothers are known for making rotis with devotion, ensuring that their loved ones are well-fed.

2. Versatility:

  • Roti is incredibly versatile. It can be paired with a wide range of dishes, from simple dals (lentil curries) to elaborate gravies. It’s the perfect accompaniment to scoop up the flavors of India.

3. Nutritional Value:

  • Roti is a healthy choice. Made from whole wheat flour, it’s rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also low in fat and cholesterol-free.

4. Tradition and Rituals:

  • Roti-making is often associated with rituals and traditions, such as religious ceremonies, festivals, and celebrations. It’s a fundamental part of Indian culture.

5. Community and Sharing:

  • Roti has a communal aspect. It’s common for family and friends to gather around a table, sharing stories and laughter while breaking bread together.

Conclusion: The Heart of Indian Cuisine:

Roti isn’t just a piece of bread; it’s a piece of Indian culture. It’s a testament to the importance of simple, wholesome food that has been nourishing generations for centuries. So, the next time you enjoy the delights of Indian cuisine, don’t forget to savor the soft, thin goodness of roti – a true culinary masterpiece that transcends the boundaries of time and taste.