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Besan Ki Roti - Bengal Gram Four Flatbread

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Besan Ki Roti is a great accompaniment to most Indian dishes. Learn how to make them with my step-by-step recipe. Don't be fooled by the number of steps there are because making a single Besan Ki Roti from start to finish, takes 1 1/2 to 2 minutes at the most! Let's get started...

Yield: Makes approximately 18-20 Rotis

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1 cup Bengal Gram flour/ Besan
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Water (Using yogurt or milk will give you super soft Besan Ki Rotis!)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil

Preparation:

Tips:
  • Wash your hands well before you start. You will be using them to knead the dough for the Besan Ki Roti.
  • Organise all your ingredients - wholewheat flour, water/ yogurt/ milk, salt and vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil - in one place so that you're not running about later with flour-covered hands!
  • Go slow with the water - add it as you go along and only as needed. Instead of water, you can also use yogurt or milk. The result is really soft Besan Ki Rotis.
  • The secret to really soft Besan Ki Rotis lies in the kneading. The dough must be smooth and just the right softeness - medium to soft. Add water/ yogurt/ milk as required and continue to knead till you get the right consistency.
Making the Rotis:
  • Put your flours and salt into a deep mixing bowl. Stir well to mix them all together. Take out about 5-6 tablespoons and keep aside in a plate for when you are rolling out the Rotis.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour in your mixing bowl. Pour a tiny bit of water into the well and begin to mix the flour into it. Go slow with the water and add it only as needed. The idea is to wet the flour only enough to get it to start binding together into a dough. As the dough begins to come together, knead firmly to knock out any lumps.
  • Adding oil at this stage is optional but I have found it results in a very smooth dough and soft Besan Ki Rotis.
  • The finished dough must be smooth and medium to soft in consistency. After it is done, cover and set it aside for 10-15 minutes to rest.
  • Divide the dough into approximately 18-20 equal portions, roughly the size of a golf ball.
  • Roll between your palms, applying a gentle pressure, till the balls are smooth and without cracks. Make as many as you need and keep ready to roll out.
  • Lightly flour a smooth, clean and dry surface using some of the flour you kept aside earlier. Coat one ball in this flour. Doing this will prevent the ball from sticking to the rolling surface.
  • Flatten the ball of dough with your fingers to get it ready to roll! Roll with circular motions till you have a 4" circle.
  • Lightly coat the circle on both sides to prevent the dough from sticking as you roll the Besan Ki Roti.
  • The size of the fully rolled Besan Ki Roti should be roughly 6-7". This is not a fixed size. The rolled out Besan Ki Roti must not be too thin or it will not puff when roasted, so stop rolling when the Besan Ki Roti has reached 1/6" thick, no matter what the size.
  • Heat a pan on a medium flame and put the rolled out Besan Ki Roti on it to cook.
  • The Besan Ki Roti is ready for its first flip when you begin to see raised bumps on its surface. Use a spatula to turn it on to its other side. The side that was facing down (and is now up) will have light brown spots all over it.
  • Keep checking the other side and do the second flip when it looks similiar to the first side.
  • Wait 10 seconds (approximately) after the second flip and then use a folded kitchen towel to gently press the Besan Ki Roti around its edges. This will encourage it to puff out!
  • Once puffed up, the Besan Ki Roti is done! You can now remove it from the pan and serve immediately or store in a container. The steam that caused the Besan Ki Roti to balloon will release soon after it is removed from the fire, so line the container with kitchen towel to keep the Besan Ki Roti warm, soft and free from moisture.
  • Get started on the next one and keep going until you have used up all the dough!
  • Eat the Besan Ki Rotis hot and garnished with a small dollop of ghee if eating them by themselves! Serve with a curry, pickle or daal for a terrific meal!
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