June 19, 2008

Roti with Lentils and Spinach Curry

Srivalli is hosting Roti Mela and it is a chance for me to try out making Indian roti. I was so obsessed with naan bread and was not happy because they turned out as hard as rocks and did not have any black blotches. So I seek advice from Peter how he made his naan bread, and I will surely try it again (thanks, mate!).

On the chilly weather like ours these days, it feels really warm eating a bowl of lentils curry or soup with home-made bread. Roti is an Indian flat bread which is eaten with dhal. I choose to make curry with a little bit thicker mixture and mop up the juice with roti.

mild version of Indian lentils curry

I don't find it difficult to make this roti, but I am curious how to flatten it to make a coin-thickness bread, as flat as it should be. In the recipe Srivalli did not mention how to flatten the bread, so I browsed my own cookbook and found one recipe to make roti. It is said I have to pull the bread balls on the edge, rotating along it until all flattened. I still can find some thick corners on some rotis though, but hey I am learning!


To use up the heat of the fireplace, I cook the bread on the iron griddle pan on the iron cast-roof fireplace. It did not take so long to get the black blotches. And I am happy!

The thing that I need to take a note is I really need to leave the dough for 2 hours or more otherwise when it is going to be cooked, the dough will be too soft and the finished roti won't be making a thin layer like shown on the photo above. I noticed that soft dough will also wet the roti. I realized that my curiosity to cook the dough as soon as it was kneaded will give me a failure, so I left them and went outside, prune the rest of the roses I left in the garden, did some weeding, let the chooks out, and then came back again to cook the bread.


I also received music meme from a friend of mime, Barbara of Winos and Foodies last month. I grew up in a musical talents in my family. My mother used to be an art teacher, a band arranger, and a choreographer. My father is not as musical as my mother but he can play Javanese puppet as well as my grandfather was. My brothers are all into music and they play guitar, bass and drum. My youngest brother is a drummer and has a band and runs music studio as well as a talented photographer.

And I? What have I achieved in music? Well, I've been in a vocal group, a dancer, and a member of a school band. I did dance a lot when I was young and stopped as soon as I joined Karate and Tae Kwon Do clubs. I felt like my body was more 'muscular' to be a dancer, and I wasn't really confidence on stage. Looking back, I must have been very skinny that was chosen to dance the delicate Srimpi Dance (a Javanese fine dance--if you follow the link, you can imagine me in that costume) on one occasion the school held. Until today, I still dance with my children, doing the Hi-5 grooves, very different from the fine delicate dance, but it keeps me going!

Here's the list of music I love to listen:

  1. Degung: I do like traditional music and I grew up with gamelan, angklung, and other Indonesian traditional musics. To me, it is special and playing it requires special skill.
  2. The Four Seasons by Vivaldi: this is how you appreciate each season.
  3. Wishing You Were Here by Alison Moyet: Sentimental, lyrical, and great voice!
  4. Frisco Blues by John Lee Hooker: I can immerse myself in every note of this blues. My favourite music when I am a bit moody.
  5. Beachcombing by Mark Knoffler and Emmy Lou Harris: Sweet coffee baby!
Now, I am tagging:

Happy Cook


Barbara said...

Gosh arfi I didn't realise you came from such an artistic family. Very nice looking Roti.

Andhra Flavors said...

very nice looking roti. wonderful pics.

Happy cook said...

Here is rainy weather today and i woudn't mind having the lentil and naan.
Thankyou for tagging me will do it soon.
You are indeed from a music family really wonderful.
Once in India i went to this home of a lady who plays gamelan music and it was so nice to see her playing ( her huby was in diplomatice service and she was a musician and they lived in indonesia for 4 yrs)
Like you i learned to appriciate western music by listening to vivaldi's 4 season.

Jeena said...

Please give me some bread to dip in your beautiful curyy?? Beautiful pictures!

Y said...

That curry looks fabulous, and the roti too!

Srivalli said...

Arfi, that roti is really looking very crisp and nice...about the method to flatten the roti, you got to use the rolling pin to roll them out. For the roti you made, I don't find the recipe?..so which one did you follow?..for pooris I see that you are referring to coconut stuffed poori, we dust the dough and using the rolling pin, flatten them into small discs.

For rotis using Wheat flour, dust and again rolling them using the rolling pin! Refer this post for basic roti making..Making of Chapati
I am sure you know these!...and such lovely pictures!

Bruno said...


Your curry and roti look great!

Bron said...

Thanks for the tag Arfi
I shall try and do it soon, beautiful curry and roti ...yum!

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Sorry I'm late Arfi...thanks a million for tagging me. *BOW* to you great lady!! WOW...what an immensely talented family you belong to!! Your artistic genes reflect in all your posts...the humble roti included! Make it look so good!!!