So most of you will know these as ‘Chappattis’ or ‘Roti’.  In Gujerat we call them ‘Rotli’.  They are a staple part of our diet and almost every meal.

some basic equipment

If you want to make these often, I would suggest you invest all of a few quid in an  Indian rolling pin called a ‘Velan’.  It’s thinner than British rolling pins with a thicker part in the middle.   For some reason it turns the rotli as you roll giving you a round shape which is evenly thin.

We cook the rotli on a  ‘Lodhi’ which is like a cast iron frying pan.  These are readily available in Indian food shops nowadays but if you can’t get one just use a non stick flat frying pan.

You’ll need

  • 300g rotli flour – try looking for the Elephant Atta brand
  • 5 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • About 50ml boiling hot water
  • Ghee to baste – you can leave this out but it’s just so so much better with it!

To make them

  • First put your ‘lodhi’ or frying pan on over a medium heat.
  • Measure out the flour into a large bowl, add the oil into the middle and then stir in half the water with a fork.
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Making a well in the flour for the oil

  • Mix the dough with the fork until large lumps form.
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About the right consistency for bring together by hand with no more water

  •  Switch to work the dough together with your hands adding a little water to bind into a stiff dough.  Be careful as the water should still be quite hot
  • Pour a few teaspoons of oil onto your work surface and knead the dough until it’s slightly smooth.
  • Break off a little ball about the size of a large walnut and roll it out on a lightly floured surface aiming for a circular shape which is a few millimetres thick.
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Rolling with an up and down motion with the 'velun'

  • Cook your rotli for a couple of minutes on each side.  Use a spatula to turn them over.  If it looks undercooked in the middle use a flannel to apply some pressure and make it cook faster.
  •  Take the rotli off the lodhi and pour a little ghee evenly over the whole circle.
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May favourite part or adding the ghee

  • Repeat this process until you’ve got enough rotli for your meal or used up all the dough. The dough will keep in the fridge for a few days in cling film.

Cooks treat – hot rotli with ghee and scraping of jaggery!


15 responses to “Rotli

  1. Hi Urvashi
    Thanks very much for sharing this and for starting your new blog.

    I was taught to make ‘roti’ by Indian ladies who had moved to Jamaica and then to the UK when I was about 8 or 9 (a very long time ago). They are one of my most favourite foods and they’re so versatile.

    I got a tava which is similar to your Lodhi from Rusholme in Manchester in my University days.

    I need now to get hold of a Velan 🙂

  2. Very yummy! My girls love to make chappatis with their didima (my mum) too. I totally agree that the gujerati velun is brilliant for making round ones as the shape spins the dough as you roll. I love reading about the regional differences tooz thabks for sharing.

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  6. Hi.:) I’m half-Gujerati, half English, but my parents split up, so I was raised by my English family. It’s so nice to see rotli like my dadima used to make!

    • Hello! Thanks for stopping by. My daughters are half and half too and this blog really is for them to remember all the things their nanni-ma and aunties taught me when I was little. I hope you’ll have a go at the rotli yourself. Easy when you get the knack 🙂

  7. Urvashi! I’m so pleased you have put all these recipes up – my grandparents are Gujarati and I have been trying to teach myself dishes that bring back childhood memories! Rotli’s being the best of all. So good to finally see a good dhokra recipe!

    Really hope you keep this going!

  8. Thank you for that.

  9. When we were little, one of my favorite ‘treats’ was rotli with sugar inside. “sugar vari rotli” ? You’d make the rotli like above, put sugar in the middle and fold sides over the top and roll out again–slowly and carefully– to form a rotli. Fresh off the lodhi with ghee, omgggg….so good. The sugar is melted inside and its kind of amazing.

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