Missie roti

Missie roti

Flattened bread with chickpea flour and spinach

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

Different parts of the subcontinent use different flours for flatbreads, depending on the staple grain of that region. Some choose corn, others wholemeal flour or just white flour. This combines three, including delicious, nutty chickpea flour as I like it that way. However, you can use just one or two of them if that is all that is available. Simply increase the amounts accordingly. This one is a particularly popular delight. In fact, it’s often our dinner when we are tired and all we have is some stale roti in the fridge along with yoghurt and chutney!


Quantity Ingredient
250g chickpea flour, plus extra for dusting
150g wholemeal flour
100g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
40-50 baby spinach leaves
1 red onion
200ml water
1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower or rapeseed oil, warmed
2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Sift all 3 flours and the salt together in a large bowl or a food processor.
  2. Either finely chop the spinach and the red onion and add it to the flour or, alternatively, give them a few rounds in the food processor until they are finely chopped, then add the flour. Add the warm oil and mix with enough water to form a firm dough (remember that all flours vary and some absorb more water than others). Knead by hand for several minutes or run the machine for 1 minute until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Shape the dough into a large ball and leave covered with clingfilm or a damp cloth for at least 30 minutes to rest.
  4. It may happen the resting time this will soften the dough and this is fine, but if it gets too soft you may need to add some chickpea flour to make it dry again.
  5. To make the roti, divide the dough into 12 even-sized balls on a floured surface. Pat a ball of dough out thinly to about 3 mm thick. It need not be round: oval is just as good. Brush with a little oil or melted butter and sprinkle with a little flour.
  6. Fold the two edges over to the middle, apply some more melted butter and flour and fold over again to form a layered strip. Stretch it a bit and then, holding it between the thumb and forefinger of one hand, and with the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, gradually start to coil it up like a flat pinwheel. Repeat with all the dough balls.
  7. Place a griddle pan or tava over a medium heat. Roll out a roti coil, on a lightly floured surface if necessary, as thinly as possible – no more than 1–3 mm thick. Dust off any excess flour before placing it on the pan. Cook until light brown on the underside. Whilst this is happening you can begin to roll the next one.
  8. Flip the browned roti over and brush with a little melted butter. Once the other side is browned flip over and apply some butter on this side too. Now flip over once or twice and remove onto a plate lined with a clean kitchen cloth or paper towels. Cover and keep warm while cooking the remainder.
  9. Wipe the surface of the pan with paper towels before putting the next roti on. When all the roti are cooked, serve straight away or they will keep well and can be reheated later in a warm oven or very briefly in the microwave. They are also good cold with a sweet chutney or pickle and plain, thick yoghurt.
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