MISSI ROTI – मिस्सी रोटी (Spicy Chickpea Flour Flatbread)

Have had a very busy and taxing past two weeks, one because of the festivities and other because my daughter was to ‘finally’ join her university (after a year spent in online classes). We were busy shopping and packing and mentally preparing for this phase of our lives. And that is one reason I have been unable to visit your blogs and have also been erratic on my Instagram and also Facebook accounts.

Food, memories, nostalgia. These three words sum up how I feel when I think about missi roti. I had shared in one of my posts how we used to spend our summer vacations at my maternal grandparents along with cousins. Those were simpler times and that simplicity was reflected in all spheres of life – meals, living standards, our relationships with our cousins and various aunts and uncles. Life was less complicated I feel. Our breakfast meal invariably used to be left over chilled dal straight from the fridge served with piping hot parathas and pickle. No one used to complain about these left-over meals. Rather everyone used to love these meals, enjoying with the whole family, sitting around a large table, with love and laughter in abundance. Missi Roti day was my favourite when my Naani (maternal grandmother) would dish out these spicy flatbreads. I would eat them on their own (not even needing pickle or dal) with only some butter liberally applied on it. Her parathas were matchless and I have tried to recreate her recipe to catalogue it here along with other desi recipes.

Missi Roti is a kind of flatbread which is made with a mix of flours but the primary ingredient is besan or chickpea flour to which spices are added along with onions (optional), ginger, fresh coriander and green chilies. They can be enjoyed on their own with pickle or with dal and curries. They are the best flatbreads that you can have and really enhance the experience of enjoying an Indian meal. In fact, most north Indian restaurants have this flatbread, unfailingly, on their menu.

2 C Besan

1 C Atta (Wheat flour/ whole meal) plus extra for dusting

¼ tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

2 tsp Chili Flakes (adjust to taste)

¾ tsp Haldi (Turmeric Powder)

1 pinch Hing (Asafoetida)

½ tsp Amchur (Dry Mango Powder)

½ tsp Ajwain (Carom Seeds),

2 tsp coarsely ground Dhaniya (Coriander Seeds)

½ tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)

1½ tsp Anardana Powder (dried & ground Pomegranate Arils)

1 tbsp crushed Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)

1 tbsp Ghee or Oil

100 gm finely chopped Onion

2 tsp finely chopped Ginger

2 Green Chilies, finely chopped

2 tbsp finely chopped Fresh Coriander

Topping

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Coriander

For serving 

Ghee or Butter (as desired)

Mix together all ingredients for paratha (except the topping). Add water and make pliable dough. (I used a little over half a cup of water). Cover the dough and keep it aside for half an hour.

Divide the dough in eight equal parts (I could procure eight balls weighing 75 gm each). Make smooth balls and keep them on the plate and cover with a clean cloth.

Keep a skillet on medium heat, while you begin to roll the dough.

Using wheat flour, roll the dough to a quarter centimetre thickness. (This roti is not rolled thin like the regular rotis) My rotis were approximately six and a half to seven inches in size.

Sprinkle a little water over the dough and press some finely chopped coriander over the roti. (This step is optional but I like to some kind of topping to the roti just like one does for Naan. It is sometimes nigella seeds other times garlic or even sesame seeds)

Place the roti, coriander side up, on the hot skillet and cook the roti on medium heat. Flip the roti once you see the colour of the roti, slightly change.

Flip and cook again till you the roti begins to attain brown spots. Flip the roti so that the coriander side is facing you, add a little bit of oil or ghee and over the roti and flip it again.

You can fry both sides of the roti if you wish to, I only fry the coriander side. Keep rotating the roti using a spatula and flip the roti to cook both the sides evenly.

Once the roti is cooked, remove it from the skillet and apply ghee or butter (vegans can use vegan butter). Serve immediately with accompaniments of your choice. The usual accompaniments are yogurt, pickle, lassi or any curry or dal of your choice.

If you are not in a mood to fry the roti, you can apply a little bit of water to one side of the roti and place the water side down, over hot skillet. Once the top begins to change colour and no longer looks raw turn over the skillet and cook the roti on direct flame (medium flame) will you see small back char marks all over the roti. You will have to move the skillet around for even cooking / charring.

Remove the roti from the skillet and apply butter or ghee and serve.

The roti that is made over direct flame will give you the feel of tandoori roti.

Yield – 8 Rotis (you can make 12 rotis of smaller size, each with 50 gm dough)

Note – Adding baking powder helps soften the roti making it flaky (khaasta) or you can use a ratio of 2 cups of besan along with ¾ cup atta and ¼ cup maida.

Note – Onion can release water therefore, use either of the two methods to avoid that from happening. Either rub and squish the onions into the dry flour, before adding water, so that they release the water and moisten the dough before begin making proper dough. Or, sprinkle the onions with a little salt and keep them aside for ten minutes and then squeeze out excess water before adding the onions to the dough.

Thank you for your visit and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!

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