Roti–Indian Flatbread

I love bread! It is a horrible and honest answer, but since I was a child I have enjoyed bread of any kind. I was excited to have found a recipe for what I had thought was naan. However, I was surprisingly excited to understand the differences between naan and what I found to have made, roti. The following describes the subtle differences:

Naan or Nan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread. It is popular in West, Central and South Asia. In Iran, from which the word ultimately originated, nān does not carry any special significance, as it is merely the everyday word for any kind of bread. Naan in other parts of South Asia usually refers to a specific kind of thick flatbread. Generally, it resembles pita and, like pita bread, is usually leavened with yeast or with bread starter. Naan is cooked in a tandoor, from which tandoori cooking takes its name. This distinguishes it from roti, which is usually cooked on a flat or slightly concave iron griddle called a tava. Typically, it will be served hot and brushed with ghee or butter. It can be used to scoop other foods, or served stuffed with
a filling.


Roti is generally an Indian bread, made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is also consumed in parts of South Africa, the southern Caribbean–particularly in Trinidad and Tobago–Guyana and Fiji. Its defining characteristic is that it is unleavened. Indian naan bread, by contrast, is a yeast-leavened bread. Roti and its thinner variant, known as chapati, are integral to Indian and Pakistani cuisine

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used whole-wheat flour.
  2. I used more than the amount of water suggested.
  3. You want to create dough that is firm but a cohesive piece.
  4. I mixed the dough in my Kitchen Aide mixer, then I kneaded it to incorporate the missed flour and lost pieces.
  5. I was able to divide my dough into nine balls, probably 12 had I made them evenly sized.
  6. Be sure to roll them thinly. Thicker pieces will leave a doughy texture when cooked.
  7. After rolling them, place them on a cookie sheet layering them with paper towels to keep them from sticking.
  8. Be sure to not over flour them because the flour residue will stick to the naan during the cooking process and be left afterwards. No one likes raw flour.
  9. Heat the skillet, without oil or Pam, on high.rotiindianflatbread2
  10. The dough will begin to bubble with air pockets within 30 seconds. Flip the bread immediately to reduce the chance of burning the bread and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  11. The tops of the naan will be freckled with brown cook spots.
  12. Oil only the top of the naan. Because the bread is thin, the oil will be absorbed on both sides.

Understanding my love for Indian dishes, I am thrilled to understand both the difference between naan and roti and having found a recipe that allow for a traditional bread to accompany my future exotic dishes. Paired with a curried quinoa stew or as a side to a tikka masala, the roti is simple and easy to make. You can even add peanut butter and enjoy as is, like my mother. Hurry though because with friends and family there might not be any left
for you.

Leave a comment with your favorite Indian recipes. Follow my Pinterest for more recipes. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.


Pumpkin Spiced Snicker Doodles

pumpkinsnickerdoodles2Cookies made healthy is a hard thing to imagine, but SkinnyTaste does it again with these sugary babies.  Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie, but adding a pumpkin flavor is making them top shelf cookie: pumpkin spiced snickerdoodles The whole-wheat flour makes them lighter than regular cookies without sacrificing flavor.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. The recipe makes 42 bite sized cookies or 21 regular sized cookies.  Just keep in mind to adjust times for making larger cookies.
  2. Be sure to use softened butter to make a dough rather than a short bread based cookie.
  3. You can use cream of tartar and baking soda or substitute both with baking powder based on which you have on hand.
  4. Using whole-wheat flour makes the cookies healthier than using all purpose, but both will work in the recipe.
  5. I used Truvia.  With truvia, you can use half the amount of sugar because it is twice as sweet as regular sugar.
  6. The dough should be easily formed into small balls by compacting it.  If it is too sticky, you need to add more flour.snickerdoodlepumpkin
    7.  Roll the dough evenly in the sugar to create that snicker doodle look and flavor.
    8.  I used parchment paper sprayed with pam instead of a mat.  You just don’t want it on the cookie sheet because the bottoms will burn
    and stick.
    9.  Press them down with a fork so that they cook evenly and form a cookie shape.
    10.  Since they are so small they only take ½ the time (about 5-7 minutes).  Keep that in mind so they don’t burn.

Again, I made these for friends and they had a hard time keeping their paws off.  Fall in season and pumpkins everywhere they are a great fall and Halloween treat.  The bite-sized pieces make them the perfect amount of sugar to keep you satisfied without bulging that waistline.

Leave a comment with your favorite pumpkin ideas.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Be sure to check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.