Bengali Style Roti: Soft, Wispy Bite
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The humble roti may seem like the easiest item to make, but nothing could be further from the truth. A round, leavened, soft roti, chapati or flatbread, is essential for a satisfying meal. But the technique is difficult to master. Expert roti makers make it seem effortless in how they knead, roll, and cook the rotis, but the skill is second nature to them, and if you are a beginner or someone who would like to make polish their roti-making abilities, then this Bengali style of making soft rotis or rootis, as it is known in Bengali, is recommended. 

The key factors in making soft rotis are the technique of kneading (for example using hot water to knead the dough), rolling technique, and the heat used to make the rotis. Once you get experienced in making rotis, the process will become easier, but the basics need to be perfected. 

Theories abound regarding the origin of rotis, with some believing it came from Persia, but there are debates over the origin stories. It is, however, safe to say that rotis are essential to Indian cuisine. 

Below is a recipe for making 8-10 soft Bengali rotis: 


5-6 cups of wheat flour/atta

1 and a half teaspoons of salt

2-3 cups water

One bowl of tepid water


. Put the wheat flour/atta into a bowl, add one and a half teaspoons of salt

. Bowl 2-3 cups of water

. Pour the hot water into the atta 

. Take a spoon and mix the contents 

. Wait till the water cools down and then use hands to knead the dough

. Take a bowl of tepid water, dip hands into the water occasionally, and knead the dough

. Once the dough is smooth, place it in a bowl, cover and let it sit for about 8-10 minutes 

. Roll the full dough into a cylindrical shape, then tear portions of the dough and make roughly-shaped balls

. Smoothen the dough balls into slightly flat and round discs

. Place the discs in a bowlful of flour, pat on both sides

. Then start rolling it with a rolling pin 

. Roll the disc into a smooth round and keep rotating the disc, occasionally sprinkling flour over it while rolling

. Gently roll the roti in short strokes

. Make even sized rotis, and sprinkle a little flour on both sides

. Then, avoiding the centre, lightly roll the right hand side of the roti while rotating it

. Dust off the flour from both sides of the roti

. Then heat a pan on medium and slightly high heat. But  it should not be very low or very high heat as this will spoil the texture of the roti

. Place the roti and at the first signs of it rising, flip to the other side and cook till it slightly rises, and a few brownish spots appear

. Then place the roti directly over high heat

. Let the roti fully fluff up. Then take off the roti from the fire

. Serve hot 

The rotis can be served with vegetable curries, chicken curry, dal, or any stir fry preparation. It can also be slathered with jam or with ghee/butter and sugar and savoured