Leila’s rotis

Leila’s rotis

Leila's flatbread

By
From
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Makes
6
Photographer
Alan Benson

When my daughter Deborah and I travelled around Asia to research for the 'Complete Asian Cookbook', we stayed with my old friend and first mentor, Anne Abayasekara. Anne had given me my first job as a 19 year old, straight out of school. Throwing me in at the deep end, she told me to write a weekly cookery column. 'But I don’t know how to cook', I wailed. 'Then you had better learn,' she replied with scant sympathy. Fortunately, I had the right contacts. My aunts were excellent cooks, and supplied me with a wealth of recipes.

Leila was Anne’s family cook at the time of our visit. Leila’s rotis were a great treat, with the zing of some fresh chillies and finely chopped fresh red Asian shallots, which are used widely in Sri Lanka. I thought they were too good not to include here.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
320g rice flour
or 300g roti flour or plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
45g coconut, freshly grated or desiccated
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons butter or coconut oil
2 tablespoons red asian shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh red or green chilli, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
ghee or oil, for cooking

Method

  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, coconut and salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter until evenly distributed, then add the shallots, chilli, egg and just enough water to form a stiff dough, about 250 ml. Knead the dough until it forms a ball and does not stick to side of the bowl. Rest the dough for about 30 minutes.
  2. Shape the dough into balls, approximately the size of a golf ball. Pat each one out to a circle.
  3. Lightly grease a large heavy-based frying pan or a griddle plate with ghee over low heat and cook the rotis on both sides until lightly browned on both sides. Serve hot.
Tags:
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Charmaine
Solomon
Asian
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