How to Make Soft Roti
Last Updated on June 14, 2023 by Santosh Allada
Learn How to Make Soft Roti at home. Complement them with curries (veg or non-veg), dal, chutneys, Indian pickles, and yogurt, or use them to make wraps, frankie, rolls, or quesadillas.
Making roti is a skill that needs a lot of practice. Luckily, it did not take me a long time to make the perfect rotis. I learned many tips during my cooking journey which I have shared in this article.
By following this step-by-step guide, you can master the art of making soft rotis every time.
What is Roti?
Roti is a type of unleavened flatbread that is widely consumed in India, especially in North India. It is a thinly rolled Indian bread made using whole wheat flour (traditionally known as atta).
It is a staple food in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The word “roti” originates from the Hindi language, where it simply means “bread.”
Rotis are typically made from whole wheat flour, known as “atta,” and water. Roti also known as phulka is essentially puffed and can be cooked with or without oil or ghee, depending on personal preference.
About Soft Roti Recipe
Soft Roti recipe with tips and tricks to make them perfect and super soft every time. First, the roti is partially cooked on the skillet or tawa and then placed over a stove-top flame which helps it to puff.
The recipe to make soft roti is very simple but it’s a process that needs practice and patience. Honestly, the secret to making soft and fluffy rotis is not in the recipe but in the technique. From preparing the dough to rolling it out and cooking it to perfection, each step contributes to the desired softness and texture.
I prefer adding some salt and oil to the dough for a bit of extra flavor and a more tender result. With just a few simple ingredients and a little practice, you’ll be able to enjoy homemade rotis that are irresistibly soft and flavorful.
For one cup of wheat flour, half a cup of water should be enough. However, the water-to-flour ratio may vary depending on the type of flour. The quality of the atta/flour will change from brand to brand. Different flour can need more or less water.
While kneading do not pour the entire water in a stretch. Always add little by little water at a time and mix the dough thoroughly.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get round roti in the first go. The only true way of achieving soft and round rotis is to keep practicing until you find a method that suits you.
This roti dough can be used to make chapati too.
Reasons to try
Soft & puffed.
Excellent source of fiber.
Perfect for everyday meals.
Skip ghee for a vegan option.
I have carefully curated the tips that I feel every beginner should know before making roti.
1. Use good quality flour: Choose a high-quality whole wheat flour (atta) that is finely ground. The texture of the flour plays a crucial role in achieving soft rotis.
2. Get the right dough consistency: The dough should be soft and slightly sticky but not overly wet. Add water gradually while kneading and adjust the quantity as needed.
3. Knead the dough well: Proper kneading is essential for developing gluten in the dough, which gives elasticity and softness to the roti. Knead the dough for at least 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable.
4. Rest the dough: Allow the dough to rest for about 15-20 minutes after kneading. This resting time allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to roll out the rotis. Resting also helps in achieving a softer texture.
5. Rolling technique: Roll out the rotis evenly and uniformly. Apply gentle and even pressure while rolling to avoid uneven thickness. Rolling the roti from the center to the edges helps maintain a round shape. Roll out the roti that is not too thin and of course, even not too thick.
6. Avoid excess dry flour: While rolling, use minimal dry flour for dusting. Excessive dry flour can make the roti dry and hard. If the dough sticks, use only a small amount of flour to dust the surface and rolling pin.
7. Cooking temperature: Preheat the tawa or griddle on medium-high heat before placing the roti. Cooking the roti on a hot surface helps it puff up and cook evenly. Adjust the heat if needed to prevent burning.
8. Timing and flipping: Cook each side of the roti for approximately 30-40 seconds or until you see small bubbles forming. Flip the roti only once during the cooking process to allow it to puff up properly.
9. Gentle pressing: After flipping the roti, lightly press it with a clean cloth or spatula. This gentle pressure helps the roti puff up fully and become soft.
10. Keep rotis covered: As you cook the rotis, keep them covered with a clean kitchen towel or a covered container. This prevents them from drying out and helps retain moisture, ensuring softness.
11. Apply ghee or oil: Once the rotis are cooked, apply a little ghee or oil on each side. This step adds flavor and helps maintain softness. Use a brush or gently rub the ghee/oil over the surface of the roti.
Flour: It is the main ingredient. Use good quality, fresh, and finely ground flour. I have used Aashirvaad Whole Wheat Atta.
Oil: I have used vegetable oil.
Water: the quantity will depend on the type of flour.
Clarified butter (ghee).
How to make Soft Roti (Step-by-Step)
1. Measure 2 cups of whole wheat flour in a mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp salt and mix well.
2. Add little water at a time and using your fingers gradually mix the flour and water together. Continue to add more water until all the dry flour has combined.
3. Continue mixing until the dough starts to come together.
4. Knead the dough by pressing with the knuckles of your finger, by applying pressure. Fold the dough over and repeat the process – knead using the knuckles, then fold and knead again.
As you knead, the dough may feel dry or sticky. If it’s too dry, sprinkle a little water over the dough and continue kneading. If it’s too sticky, sprinkle a little flour and knead until the desired consistency is achieved.
5. Continue kneading the dough for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not overly sticky.
Dough test: It should be smooth and when you press the dough with your finger, it should leave an impression.
6. Once the dough reaches the desired consistency, shape it into a ball. Lightly grease the dough, and cover it with a cloth or paper towel.
This prevents the dough from drying out.
7. Allow the dough to rest for 20 – 30 minutes.
This helps the gluten relax and makes it easier to roll out the rotis.
8. After the resting period, knead the dough again for a couple of minutes.
This will develop elasticity in the dough and makes rolling easier.
9. Divide the roti’s dough into small lemon size balls of roughly equal size. Roll each portion between your palms to form a smooth ball. Take each dough ball and flatten it with your hands.
Meanwhile, turn on the gas stove and put the tawa to pre-heat it. Keep the flame medium-high.
10. Take a flattened dough ball and place it on a rolling board or a clean kitchen countertop. Dip the flattened dough ball into the dry flour and dust it from all sides.
Start working with one ball, while keeping the remaining dough balls covered with a damp cloth so that they don’t dry out.
11. While rolling, anytime the dough starts sticking to the rolling pin, sprinkle little dry flour and spread it all over the top layer. Continue to roll.
12. Keep on rolling till you get an even circle around 5-6 inch diameter as shown in the picture below.
Apply even pressure while rolling to ensure the roti has an even thickness.
13. Place the rolled roti on the hot tawa and cook for about 15-20 seconds, or until bubbles start to form on the surface.
Make sure the tawa is hot enough.
14. Once the bubbles start appearing on the roti, flip the roti to the other side using a spatula. Cook the other side for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until light brown spots appear.
Using a tong lift the roti to see how much the second side has cooked. This side should be a little bit more cooked than the first side as seen in the below pic.
15. Place the phulka directly with the first side (which was a little less cooked) on a wire rack positioned above a high flame on the stove. The flame should touch the phulka. If you do not have a wire rack, place the roti directly on the high flame.
If the roti is evenly rolled it will start getting puffed up as shown in the below picture. Roast the roti on direct flame just for 5-10 seconds or until it puffs up completely and develops brown spots or blisters.
Flip the roti on the other side and roast it on direct flame again for 2-3 seconds. The roti is done.
Do not overcook the rotis, as they will become crisp and hard like papad.
16. Carefully remove the soft and puffed roti from the flame and place it on a plate. If not serving immediately, place the roti in a casserole or in a roti basket.
If you like, brush it with ghee or oil while it is still hot. This step is optional but adds flavor and helps keep the roti soft. Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls, rolling them out, cooking briefly on the tawa, and then puffing them on the direct flame.
Soft Rotis are ready. Serve them hot with your favorite curry or a side dish.
If you do not want to cook the roti on direct flame or have an induction top and cant puff the roti on flame no worries you can puff the roti on tawa.
Follow the steps until step 14. After the second flip (with the first side now at the bottom), press the roti gently with a paper cloth, cotton cloth, or spatula on all sides and center. It will puff up. You can flip and cook the second side too for a few seconds.
Here are some serving suggestions to complement your freshly made soft rotis:
1. Pair with Curries: Soft rotis are perfect for scooping up flavorful curries. Serve them alongside a variety of dry or gravy curries such as paneer butter masala, palak paneer, chana masala, matar paneer, or any other curry of your choice. Tear off a piece of roti and use it to soak up the delicious sauce.
2. Accompany with Dals and Lentils: Soft rotis make an excellent accompaniment to dals and lentil dishes. Serve them with dal makhani, dal tadka, whole masoor dal, or any other lentil preparation. The combination of the soft roti and the creamy texture of the dal creates a satisfying and wholesome meal.
3. Enjoy as a Breakfast or Snack: Soft rotis are not limited to main meals. They can also be enjoyed as a hearty breakfast or a quick snack. Spread some butter or ghee on a warm roti, or simply roll it up with your favorite fillings for a satisfying and nourishing start to the day.
1. Immediate Consumption: If you plan to consume the rotis immediately after cooking, it is best to keep them in a covered container or wrap them in a clean kitchen towel. This helps retain their warmth and prevents them from drying out.
2. Use a Warm Box or Insulated Container: If you need to store rotis for a short period before serving, consider using a warm box or an insulated container. These containers help retain the heat and keep the rotis warm and soft for a longer duration.
3. Refrigeration: If you want to store rotis for a longer period, refrigeration is an option. Allow the rotis to cool completely before storing them. Place the rotis in an airtight container or a zip-top bag and store them in the refrigerator. They can typically stay fresh for up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
4. Freezing: For longer-term storage, freezing is an excellent option. Don’t brush them with ghee before you freeze them. Allow the rotis to cool completely. Place parchment paper or plastic wrap between each roti to prevent them from sticking together. Stack the rotis and place them in an airtight freezer bag or container. Frozen rotis can stay fresh for up to 2-3 months.
5. Thawing and Reheating: When you’re ready to use the refrigerated or frozen rotis, thaw them at room temperature for a few minutes until they become pliable. You can also microwave them for a short duration to speed up the thawing process. To reheat, lightly brush the rotis with water, ghee, or oil and heat them on a tawa or griddle until they become warm and soft again.
How to store roti dough: You can store it in the refrigerator for 2 days. Apply a thin layer of oil on the surface of the dough and store it in a clean and dry airtight container. Oil will prevent the dough from drying. Bring it to room temperature before making rotis.
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