Hi, Ray here again.
I seem to be following a bread trail just now (not really sure where it is going but there’s probably going to be a yummy curry at the end of it). A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the main types of Indian breads (roti, chapati, puri, paratha and naan). And last week I wrote a review about some great garlic naan bread that I made (despite a couple of minor disasters).
And this week sees me checking out an easy-looking missi roti recipe that is amongst the bread recipes. I must admit that I did not know anything at all about missi roti. But a friend insisted that it was a delicious type of roti that was widely eaten in India, often as a roadside snack.
So Saturday morning saw me wandering along the aisles of my local Indian shop to pick up some besan (chickpea flour), atta (wholewheat flour) and ajwain. I had never used ajwain before so another first for my list. I picked up some spring onions (scallions, green onions) in the fruit and veg shop so I was ready to roll.
I decided to try the missi roti with dal so Sunday morning saw me making a yummy dal from the dal recipe that I had followed a few times (I wanted to concentrate on making just one new thing – the missi roti – so that my miniscule cooking brain would not get too confused or overtaxed). All I would have to do later on would be to heat up the dal.
Sunday afternoon saw me preparing and mixing up the ingredients for the missi roti dough and then adding the warm water and actually making the dough. As usual, this was a messy business (well it is in my kitchen). But recently I saw a cooking video where I picked up a great tip and this was to make the dough with one hand. Doing this allows you to add extra ingredients, grab needed utensils and answer the phone – all without covering yourself and everything that you touch with uncooked dough. It was a fairly easy process to make the dough – I added a touch too much water so just added some more flour to get the right consistency. And then the bowl with the dough was covered with a damp cloth and set aside for the required 20 minutes (actually, it was set aside for about an hour but I don’t imagine that this caused any change in the final result).
The dinner guests arrived so I started to heat up the dal before reaching for the bowl with the dough in it. I made sure that I had flour available as I split the dough into 12 pieces.
I’ve previously found that the easiest way to split dough up into equal sizes is to roll the dough into a log and then cut it into halves, which then cut into halves again. Seeing that the dough needed to split into 12 pieces, I cut the final logs into thirds. Easy.
I got my roti board and rolling pin ready and then started to roll the dough balls into rounds of about 15cm (6 inches) – my rounds were not quite round but were roundish (I’ve still to master the art of rolling dough into perfect rounds). The extra flour that I had available meant that I could dust the working surface and rolling pin easily so that no dough stuck to the board or the rolling pin.
Whilst I was rolling the missi roti rounds, I started microwaving the basmati and had my large cast-iron frying pan heating over a medium to high heat. I wasn’t sure how long to leave the frying pan so left it a fair while. I heated the oven so that I could keep the cooked missi roti hot.
Time came to make the first missi roti so I carefully put the uncooked dough round into the frying pan and waited. Nothing really happened. I pressed down on the roti with a spatula but it didn’t bubble up like a normal roti does. I flipped the roti over and still nothing really happened. After flipping the roti over a few times, eventually the sides got a bit browned. So I took that missi roti out and set it aside.
Keep going forward is my motto (well, it isn’t really but it must be somebody’s motto and I’m sure that they don’t mind me borrowing it). I put the second uncooked dough round into the frying pan and within about 20 seconds it started to bubble. I carefully checked underneath and it was getting browned. After about 45 second I flipped the roti over and it started bubbling again after about 15 seconds. We have a winner!!! I pulled the cooked missi roti from the frying pan and put it into the oven to keep warm.
And I carried on cooking the rest of the missi roti without any problems.
I think that the first missi roti was not a success because the frying pan hadn’t heated up enough. It’s the only thing that I can think of that makes any sense.
Anyhow, I was soon serving up the dal on basmati with a side plate full of cooked missi roti. And they tasted great. They were very filling and did a great job of scooping up the dal. I cut one of the missi roti into two and a couple of us tried a missi roti with butter – and, once again, it tasted great. The missi roti had a very mild heat/spice level and they received a great average score of 9 out of 10.
I can see that missi roti will be served up in my house fairly regularly. I don’t see why they cannot be eaten cold (maybe smeared with butter or chutney) so they could even feature in a picnic. I’ve been told that the missi roti freeze well so I could cook up a big batch and save the results to eat later.