West Indian-Style Roti (Flatbread)

A meal with two pieces of roti flatbread on a plate

The Spruce

 

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 10 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
65 Calories
4g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 65
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 141mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 1g
Calcium 21mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Roti is a popular flatbread in South American countries that have West Indian influences in their cuisine, such as Suriname and Guyana. It is a simple dough that is rolled out into a circle and cooked on a hot griddle.

It can be stuffed with potatoes or lentils before it's cooked (dhal puri), used as a wrap, or simply served on the side of a plate of curry or dhal to help soak up all of the delicious sauce. This roti recipe makes thin, soft, and pliable flatbreads that can be made with white or wheat flour. If you don't have self-rising flour, you can easily make your own using all-purpose flour and baking powder.

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Click Play to See This West Indian-Style Roti Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour (or 2 cups self-rising flour plus 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (divided, plus extra for the pan)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Optional: melted butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making West Indian-style roti flatbread
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  2. Place flour(s) in a bowl. Mix in the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

    White flour in a bowl with a metal spoon
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  3. Add the warm water slowly, stirring as you go, until the dough starts to come together. Keep stirring, adding a little more water if the dough is dry, until the dough forms a ball.

    Roti dough
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  4. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for a few minutes, adding a little flour if it is too sticky. The dough should be soft but not sticky enough to adhere to your hands or the counter.

    Roti dough on a floured surface
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  5. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, covered with a damp cloth.

    Roti dough covered with a damp cloth
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  6. Roll out the dough into a large circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Spread about 1 teaspoon vegetable oil over the surface of the dough. Roll the dough up into a long roll.

    Roti dough rolled out on a marble slab sprinkled with flour
    The Spruce
  7. Slice the log of dough into 8 to 10 pieces. Roll each piece out flat into a 6-inch circle. Let the circles rest, covered with a damp cloth, for 5 minutes.

    Roti dough covered with cloth to let it rest
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  8. Heat a flat, heavy griddle or skillet (a cast-iron skillet or crepe pan works well) over medium-low heat.

    A heavy griddle is placed over gas stove flame
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  9. Roll the first circle of dough out as thin as possible (to about an 8- to 9-inch circle).

    Roti dough rolled into circles
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  10. Add about 1 teaspoon oil to the skillet and add a circle of dough. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, until the bread puffs up and turns light brown on the underside. Slide the roti to the side of the pan and quickly flip to brown the other side, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes more.

    Roti is toasted until golden brown
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  11. Remove from the pan and place roti in a colander to cool. Cover roti with a damp towel while you cook the rest; this will help keep them from becoming hard. Add more oil to the skillet as needed.

    Roti dough is covered with a camp towel to keep it moist
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  12. Brush the finished roti with melted butter before serving, if desired.

    West Indian-style roti flatbread on a plate as part of a meal
    The Spruce
  13. Serve and enjoy.

Tip

  • Roti can be reheated just like tortillas: Wrap in foil and place in a 300 F oven for about 10 minutes or microwave covered with a damp cloth.

What Is the Difference Between Roti and Chapati?

Chapati is another name for the flatbread roti popular in India and the surrounding region, East Africa, and the Caribbean. The exact texture, size, and thickness of roti can differ from country to country, household to household.