Ubbu Rotti

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” 
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” 
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet. 
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.” ― A.A. Milne

So, have you done your bit for Siri’s ‘Vaidehi Ashram Fund Drive’ already? I’m sure all you kind souls have. I did hear from Siri that she had a few contributions after my post. I hope some of those were from you guys. If you haven’t yet, please do now. There’s time till the 25th, and remember, every little helps. It’d make me proud and happy to know my readers are with me :). Over to the food talk now.

I believe in eating a sumptuous breakfast. Start the day on a good note, and you can’t but help feel cheerful and positive as you gear up to brave the day. Right? Right. A well-fed tummy is almost always accompanied by a happy mind.

Coorgi ubbu rottis are cousins of the well-known Akki Rottis. Only, these are made plain and are served with a fiery chutney or spicy saagu. Curries and gravies work too. However, curries and gravies in the morning are not my cup of tea. We had been to a home-stay in Coorg during October 2010, and the lady of the house had made these for breakfast one day. Oh how we all instantly fell in love with these! I quietly went into the kitchen and got the recipe from her. I now make these very often ‘cos they’re really simple to make and healthy to boot.

Ubbu Rotti

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Comes together in: 10-15 minutes
Makes: 12-13 rottis of 6-inch diameter each

Ingredients

  • Rice flour – 1 cup
  • Maida – 2 tbsps
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Oil – 1+ 1 tbsps
  • Salt – to taste
Notes:
  • Rice flour to water is always in the ratio of 1:2.
  • The maida is what’s the trick to getting rottis without them cracking around the edges. However, you can omit if you don’t wish to use maida.

Procedure:

  • In a wide wok, boil the water along with 1 tbsp oil and salt to taste.
  • One the water starts bubbling, dunk in the rice flour and maida. Do not stir.
  • Leave for 30 seconds and then stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to bring the dough together. The dough should be smooth and not have any lumps.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • While the dough is still warm, transfer onto a clean kitchen platform and knead for 2-3 minutes with the remaining 1 tbsp oil.
  • Pinch dough to form small orange-sized balls and flatten ever so lightly (like in the picture above). The edges shouldn’t have cracks. That’s the acid test for a well-prepared dough.
  • There are two ways in which you can proceed next. I use a heavy iron press to flatten the dough and get the rottis ready to be cooked on the griddle. I use a lightly-oiled plastic sheet in between to ensure I don’t deal with a sticky mess. Also, the plastic sheet makes it easier to lift up the pressed rotti and transfer to the hot griddle.
  •  Alternately, you can lightly oil a plastic sheet, place the flattened ball of dough in between two layers of the sheet and roll out delicately. If you’re going with this method, treat the dough very delicately and roll only in one direction at a time. You cannot roll these out the way you would your rotis/phulkas.
  • Press the rottis using either method and cook them on a hot griddle, turning the rottis in between to cook on both sides. There is no need to use oil. Only, be a little patient with them for they take a little longer than a dosa to cook. Also, roll-out/press your rottis one-by-one and cook each immediately since the dough can dry up pretty quickly, in turn making your rottis hard around the edges, which is not-so-nice.
  • Traditionally, the rottis are first cooked briefly on a hot griddle and then moved onto a naked stove flame where they puff-up like puris, which is why the name ‘Ubbu’ rottis (‘Ubbu’ is Kannada for puffed-up). You could do it this way too. My rottis puff up on the griddle anyway, so I haven’t bothered doing the 2-step process to cook them.
  • Cook on both sides till the rottis have small brown spots on them. Remove from griddle and serve hot with a spicy chutney or saagu. I served mine with a tongue-tickling tomato chutney that I promise to post next.

Traditionally, the rotti dough is made with a mixture of cooked rice (usually left-over from the previous night) that is mashed together with a little rice flour, salt and a few drops of oil (optional). You could try it too. In my honest opinion, dough prepared this way and the rottis pressed out with this dough need to be handled very gingerly.

In other news (if you don’t already know), do you know that you can come bake with me? :) Yeah, I have baking and chocolate-making workshops for all you interested enthusiasts here in Bangalore. I can help you bust all the apprehensions you might have and get you to walk out at the end of the workshop with your head held high, and brimming with confidence. Sounds like something that you would love to do? Come on over then! I cannot wait to meet you :D

And hey, do food tweets make you hungry? They sure make me. Follow me on twitter for some foodie chitty-chat @cookcurrynook 

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5 responses to “Ubbu Rotti

  1. In Kerala, we make something similar- called pathiri which uses only rice flour, salt and hot water. Ubbu looks sumptuous and wonderful to dig in on a weekend morning.

  2. This is the same as the dish pathiri… but it requires truckloads of patience to roll them out as they are very delicate!… Next time I’ll use ur method of using plastic sheets in order to flatten them… I also like the idea of adding a little bit of oil… it would definitely help..

  3. hi madhuri, we too make this, but without maida, It doesnt really crack. In kerala the same is called Pathri, great dish with baigan bharta with coconut paste

  4. Im so going to make this roti tomorrow – so bored of the regular ones!

  5. The content completely describes about the Ubbu Rotti. Thanks for sharing such valuable post.

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