dhalpuri roti

While I love Chicago (to a degree) and have committed to working here for the next few years, there are some things that really irk me about the place.  For example, the lack of diversity in the food scene.  Sure Chicago is known as a restaurant town but I challenge you to find a Portuguese or more than one Trinidadian restaurant.  I’m sure there are tons of other countries that aren’t represented but having grown up in Toronto, those two stood out.

I haven’t been to the basically one Trinidadian restaurant here because a) it’s far from where I live and b) I’ve heard it isn’t that great.  When I first moved out here I was craving doubles and decided to bite the bullet and just learn how to make me some doubles.  A success!  I was home over American Thanksgiving and got in my Trinidadian food fix but when I got back to Evanston I was still craving roti.  I seriously contemplated renting a ZipCar and driving down to the South Side to try the Trinidadian spot.  As in, I was on ZipCar’s website and was looking for cheap cars near me in the next hour.  No cheap cars were available (and I surely wasn’t renting a luxury car for this endeavour) so that got me thinking about making my own roti.

I know I can whip up a pot of curry ANYTHING so the filling wasn’t the issue, it was just the roti skin, or wrapper that would be the problem.  I honestly had no concept of how to make the roti skin and assumed that I would need some crazy, special equipment.  I took to the interwebs and was borderline overwhelmed by all of the information.  There are so many different types of roti skin!  I mean there’s buss-up shot, sada roti, paratha roti, dhal puri roti, dosti roti and probably others that I’m forgetting.  Then I wasn’t sure which were more common in Trinidadian cooking vs. Indian cooking.  The most recognizable to me was dhal puri roti (aka the roti skin that has a layer of crushed peas in it) so I decided to go down that route.  I also learned that rotis are traditional made on a tawa which I obviously didn’t have.  A little googling revealed that I could make them in a very large frying pan, so  that’s what I did.

dhalpuri roti 2

The process of making roti isn’t difficult but it is on the time consuming side.  You have to make the dough and let it rest.  Make the filling and let it cool.  Fill the dough and flatten it. And then finally you cook the roti skins.  From start to finish the process of making the skins was about an hour give or take.  Not the worst in terms of time commitment  but it’s often pretty hands on and there is definitely room for frustration when it comes to filling the dough with the peas and then flattening it out.  I was very careful and still had some of the peas try to escape the dough.

dhalpuri roti 3

Making my own roti skins felt like the final frontier in achieving self-sufficiency for foods I crave.  Honestly it tasted just like some of my favourite roti skins.  Plus it I wasn’t hard to make at all. AND you can make a bunch at once, freeze some and always have roti skins on hand.  Brilliant.  I made a chicken, chickpea/channa and potato filling and was basically in heaven.  I honestly feel like I’ve unlocked a secret Mario level or something with this roti-making situation.

Do it.

dhalpuri roti 4


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2 Responses to Homemade Dhal Puri Roti

  1. charlotte says:

    Love love LOVE rotis!

  2. Janna says:

    Thank you for this!

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