February 8, 2008

For the love of roti

Filed under: re-creating — newritings @ 1:41 pm

Wiki tentative definition:

Roti, is the traditional Indian bread, normally eaten with curries or cooked vegetables. It is made most often from wheat flour, cooked on a flat or slightly concave iron griddle called a tawa. Like breads around the world, roti is a staple accompaniment to other foods, maybe spread with ghee (clarified butter) or yoghurt.

I know that this sounds anti macho, but so it must be. I have tried to make roti for a long time that was both soft and tasty but often it came out like a flying saucer created by the brain of George Bush, essential in the war of terror. Usually they came out hard that kids and adults alike feared it – it could clinically decapitate both friend and foe alike.

My problem was simple and as my refugee neighbour from India advised, and of course one of my many sisters Kali too, “use very hot water” – my neighbour in South African city of Lenasia had to flee to anti Muslim pogrom in Gujarat state of India, initiated by reactionary zealots claiming to be Hindus.

That I would end up making better… nay, the best rotis of my life in Barcelona for our meals has a meditative effect on me, one who had two phones and with media overload to boot, not to talk of the pace of struggle work… Who would have thought that making roti can count as a small step towards relaxing and healing is a thought that never entered my mind, but I love it. Now my roti-making, like much else, has a Spanish influence.

Ingredients and implements

Wife – husband – lover – pareja (pick what is applicable). In our case we cook for 3 although the doctor says that MARTA needs not eat a lot for the unborn baby. But it looks like sometimes she does. No, truth be told she listens to doctors, after all her folks are from the medical profession. So, she eats smart and takes vitamin supplements as advised.

We use an old pan on a gas stove. We are making about 4 rotis at any one time and the rest of the dough we keep in the fridge for next time we need.

– whole wheat flour
– hot water
– olive oil
– salt
– recently added a few crushed black olives

It goes without saying that with my confidence overflowing like any good house-husband I can make this in a few minutes just before my working wife returns from a strenuous day.


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