The roti — healthy, lightweight, filling and, of course, great on the taste buds are just some of the ways to describe this staple food item.
However, consuming it year after year in the same way can rob us of the enjoyment of its taste and texture because of the mundane ways we decide to eat it every single day. Nothing good ever comes from doing something the same way every day. So why not do a little experimentation, and see how this humble flatbread can be elevated.
Start off with a large piece of roti on a pan, and cover half of it with a mixture of seasoned chicken or beef, add on some green onions and cilantro for crunch and cheese to your taste. Flip the other side to create a semi-circle and push it down with a spatula to meld everything together. Once cooked, cut it into slices and serve with a sauce or dip.
While preparing the dough for the roti, roll it out thinner than one normally would, and coat it with butter or margarine. Fold in two sides to create a rectangular shape, and add a heap of cheddar or mozzarella cheese in the centre. Bring the other two sides and press down the edges to close it off. Cook it on the pan while brushing oil on the sides. It is similar to the regular roti, except the outcome is going to be more layered, crunchy and provide a burst of cheese with every bite.
A bit of creativity can turn the mundane chapati into exciting, light, quickly prepared and delicious complete meals
More often than not, we have roti with a side dish, usually a vegetable mix or gravy of sorts. Switching out the spicy side dish with a sweet one can be the change you needed all along. Molten gooey jaggery, topped off with coconut flakes for a crunch, make for a sweet and healthy side dish with plain rotis. Have it as dessert or maybe even your main meal if you feel your sweet-tooth talking.
While making the dough for your roti, mix in some Greek yoghurt instead of water. Roll it out, and cook it as usual, but end up with a nice crisp roti. Layer it with some avocados and add on scrambled eggs in the centre. This is a relatively quick and easy breakfast with a completely new taste to it.
Roti is one of the most versatile foods out there. What you put on it is completely up to you, as it is a perfect base that tastes great with pretty much all types of flavour— spicy, sweet or sour.
By arrangement with the Daily Star, Bangladesh
Originally published in Dawn, EOS, September 1st, 2019