Saturday, October 9, 2010

Akki Rotti

If you do not know the language, Kannada, then you might be wondering about the title, "Akki Rotti." Well, Akki stands for Rice and Rotti stands for Roti/bread. So simply put, it is bread made of rice flour. I simply LOVE this preparation and as usual, I think that my mom and Avva (mom's mom) make THE best akki rottis in the world!

The standard version incorporates finely chopped onion, green chillies and cilantro. And of course, the innovative version or well, MY version, incorporates spinach and even grated carrots!

You need:

The standard version: Rice Flour (available in any IGS), finely chopped onion, some chopped or slit green chillies, cilantro, cumin seeds, salt to taste. I sometimes use grated coconut too......adds to the taste.

The spinach or grated carrots version:  As above plus chopped spinach or grated carrots. Easy!

Oh and a few teaspoons of oil (yep, you don't need a lot of oil for this!)

First, the Dough:

You know how you make pizza dough? Or dough for rotis/chapatis? This one is pretty similar.

1. So take rice flour in a mixing bowl, add the chopped onion, green chillies and cilantro, cumin seeds and salt (and coconut, if you are using it). If you are using spinach, then go ahead and put that in too. Ditto for grated carrots.
2. Take some water in a cup and start pouring it into the above flour mixture bit by bit. Start mixing it all together with your fingers. Keep adding water until you can make a nice pizza-dough like dough. It should all hold together when you make a ball out of it.

Next, the making of Akki Rotti: 

1. Take a pan (my mom & grandmom use aluminium kadhais/woks for this. But I just make-do with regular pans..........) and put a teaspoon of oil into it.

2. Then take some of that dough you made and form a rough ball out of it and then put this into the pan and start patting with your fingers, so as to spread it out. It is almost like the reverse of making a pizza base out of pizza dough. The difference being, you make the pizza base with your fingers underneath the dough and spread it out, while here you use a pan as a support and spread it out with a patting action going on. Here, this picture should help a bit:
See how I spread out the dough with my fingers? 

3. Then switch on the stove and cover the pan with a lid and cook the rotti. You don't have to cook both the sides because the bottom part gets cooked with the heat from the stove and the top part gets steam cooked because of the combination of the heat and the lid on top.

4. I like my akki rotti nice and brown and crunchy and so I cook it for about 7-10 minutes on medium heat......if you prefer it white and soft, then just cook for 5-7 minutes and it should be good to go!

5. Can be eaten with chutney or Indian pickle or even with any kind of curry. Pretty rustic and yummy!!

Akki Rotti with tomato chutney

Making akki rotti can be pretty tedious the first time around. But as with anything, practice makes perfect! If you want a really healthy, rustic version of this already rustic preparation, use Ragi (finger millet) flour.

Note: You gotta make sure that when you start patting out the dough to make the rotti, the pan has to be cool and not hot--- because if it is hot, then patting it out is going to be one messy job.

When I make akki rotti for the entire family, I just use 4 pans at a time. That way I get 4 rottis in one shot!

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