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Archive for March 3rd, 2014

Do you love West Indian food? We do, particularly West Indian Rôti and fortunately there are a couple of really great places to get takeout near our home, but I’ve always wondered how to make them at home. Believe it or not, it was surprisingly easy and not very time consuming at all. In fact, I probably spent more time searching techniques to make the Rôti than actually making the roti! And the curry was just popped into the slow cooker and cooked all day with little to no attention! Can you believe it?

The following few posts are of West Indian Curried Chicken Rôti, I hope you give it a try, it was incredibly tasty!

Roti_2092

It’s not that difficult to make, it’s more about technique than anything else.

I finally settled on Chef Marcus Samuelson’s Trinidadian Chicken Rôti and I even made his roti bread, but to be honest I wasn’t entirely happy with it. My rôti from Chef Samuelson’s recipe did not turn out soft and pliable nor did it have the layers that our local rôti joint makes so I went back to the drawing board and found this recipe and very good video tutorial and my first attempt worked out perfectly! It’s definitely not as calorie conscious as I would normally like, but then again we won’t be indulging too often and I bet it’s a bit healthier than the takeout version!

As it turns out, the rôti is more or less a laminated dough, which means you add some kind of grease and fold the rolled dough to create the layers. The recipe I used was made with white flour but I altered it a bit with whole wheat and it really didn’t change the mouth feel or texture, I also reduced the oil for laminating quite a bit. I’m definitely going to incorporate this wonderful dish into our Cottage Repertoire!

Roti_2095

It’s kind of a cross between a Naan and a Crêpe

West Indian Rôti Bread

Makes 2 30 cm (12 inch) rôti breads. Please click here for original recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Combine the flours, shortening and baking powder in a large bowl. Rub the shortening into the flours well.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water a little at a time until the dough comes together (it should be relatively soft and shaggy but not sticky).
  3. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Combine the vegetable oil and butter and melt in a microwave. It’s OK to use this if it is warm, but not boiling.
  5. Divide the rested dough into two evenly sized balls. With a little flour on the work surface, roll out each dough to about 30 cm or 12 inches in diameter (it will be very thin).
  6. Using a pastry brush, brush the vegetable oil and butter combo on the circle (I used a relatively light touch and it still worked out beautifully!).
  7. Using the technique described in this video, slice a single cut into the circle from the edge to the centre. Begin folding a triangle, going all the way around the circle.
  8. Then flip the cone up so the point is downward. From the wider end on top, pull the outer sides into the roll to seal it. Then flip it again so the pointy end is up, and using your forefinger and middle finger press the point down into the roll. Repeat for the second circle. The video is excellent, so if you have time, please watch it.
  9. Cover these laminated balls with a damp paper towel and allow to rest 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  10. Once rested, lightly flour your work surface and roll out the laminated dough to about 30 cm or 12 inches in diameter. In the meantime, using a large flat cast iron pan, heat to medium heat.
  11. Cook the first side for about 2 minutes, and then flip. Brush the top side with some of the remaining oil butter mixture, then flip and brush the second side. The instructions were quite explicit not to brush the bread first, you must cook the first side before brushing.
  12. Repeat cooking for the second roti.
  13. Store in an airtight container or zip lock bag so it doesn’t dry out.

Laminating

Laminating2

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 2.26.11 PM

This is the roti with Chef Samuelson’s slightly modified Chicken Curry.

Chicken Roti_2097

An authentic West Indian Roti

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