Misi Roti (A Spiced Whole Wheat And Chickpea/ Garbanzo Bean Flour Flatbread)
Posted Sep 15 2009 4:47pm
I ndian cuisine includes an immense variety of flatbreads (mostly unleavened) made from different kinds of flours. One of these is the Misi Roti from the Indian state of Rajasthan. This state is largely dry with a desert type of geography, and has a medieval history of several princely states and their armies who were at war most of the time.
Out of necessity, the cooks feeding these armies came up with extremely tasty food using whatever limited resources the desert provided. The chefs of the royal kitchens also excelled themselves in preparing dishes for the royal families, and many of the recipes were and still are closely guarded and handed down from generation to generation.
Misi roti is made mainly from chickpea flour with a little whole wheat and all purpose flours, onion and some spices. There are many different recipes for Misi roti and this particular one, which I make often, is from Tarla Dalal’s Rotis & Subzis.
1 cup chickpea/ garbanzo bean flour (besan)
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all purpose flour
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, seeds removed and chopped finely
½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
1 tbsp finely chopped fenugreek or coriander leaves
2 tbsp ghee (or oil)
salt to taste
Knead all the ingredients, by hand or in the food processor, using just enough water to make a dough that is somewhat stiff. If this dough is soft, it becomes sticky. Cover and allow the dough to rest for half an hour.
Knead again and divide into lemon sized balls. Roll each round into a thin chappathi, using a little whole wheat flour to prevent it from sticking.
Cook the roti on a griddle over medium heat until brown spots start to appear. Brush with a little ghee or oil. Turn and cook similarly on the other side as well. Repeat with the remaining dough. Serve hot.
This recipe, according to the book, should make 10 rotis but a more realistic estimate would be closer to 8 rotis. I served Misi roti for lunch yesterday with dal, green tomato and onion curry and yogurt.
Misi rotis are traditionally served with home-made unsalted butter. There is nothing to compare with this taste. Unfortunately, this is not practical for us on a regular basis so I do not use the butter. I also substitute the ghee (for the dough) with oil and use very little oil while making the rotis as well. If they are eaten hot, this is fine. However, the reduced fat makes a big difference once they cool down as the rotis lose their softness.
This goes to The Singing Chef who is guest hosting Sunita ’s Spice event, and this month’s theme is Think Carom.