Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Masala Oats rotti - super food rolled into super yummy rotti

I thought I had put myself on a weekly routine for the blog until things became a little less rushed in life. But here I am, red faced with shame having missed my Sunday night posting :-(. It doesn't mean I love the blog any less but just that I am hardly finding the time to sit down and compose the post these past few months. if it is not the lack of time, it is the lack of words that just refuse to leave their cozy spot, come out and express themselves coherently. I called it the blogger's block once (yes, it has happened before) and lifts itself off as unpretentiously as it came in. I just need to wait patiently, that is all. When it does happen and I try to write a post, it feels exactly the same way as pulling an unwilling tooth at the dentist's :-). At other times, the words just gush out in torrents like the first rains of season - unstoppable, in tune and totally refreshing :-).
Now that I am reminded of dentists (category of people I live in mortal fear of :-)), I went to my dentist 2 days back, nothing major, routine visit and she asked me to schedule a couple of sittings for the cleaning just like that. Oh, before you all go off and start thinking of me as a stinky teeth, bad breath monster, let me tell you this. Here in US, we pay regular 'well check' visits to doctors, dentists and eye care professionals, this is part of life. Growing up in India, we went to a doctor only when sick and needed medical care. I don't remember going to a dentist at all. To top it, having an older sister in medical school, training to be a doctor only added to that routine. Everything from common cold to bruised knees were treated free of cost and with lot of love at home and we didn't feel the necessity to visit an outside doctor. The rare occasions I remember going to a hospital was when nammamma had a fractured wrist or I was falsely diagnosed with typhoid in my sister's absence :-). Other than that, of course when I delivered my little girl but then my sister was very much there throughout.

Anyways, my dentist visit was part of preventative care. I am not looking forward to her sitting me on a chair open mouthed (for what feels like eternity) while she goes about talking the entire time as she pricks, prods and hurts my gums, all in the name of cleaning. Dentists, I feel, tend to be talkative just to fill that void when the other person in the room cannot really talk much :-). All you can do is just nod your head and grunt even when she says unpleasant things like you need a filling or have a cavity. Well, my appointment is not for another 2 weeks and I won't spend much time thinking about it. All you compassionate people, send me some warm thoughts when you get a chance :-). But for now, away from the dentist's chair, my blogger's block seems to have lifted off magically and I am able to go yap, yap, yap :-)

Back to the recipe today, I have a delicious masala rotti loaded with vegetables and made with the healthy grain - Oats. Oats gained popularity in the last 2 decades or so as one of those super foods, a grain that beats everything else and is marketed and pushed for human consumption. I have elders in the family who still think oats is meant to be used as livestock only :-), some perceptions are very hard to change. I use oats regularly in my kitchen, I am not someone to dispute or uphold the various research around oats but like them in recipes just for variety. Oats being good for health - oh, I consider that as the fringe benefit. There are a bunch of recipes with oats on the blog already. If interested, look them up in the recipe index or search for them on the blog.
Being a South Indian, bred heavily on white, fluffy rice, it is my weakness. I crave for rice (a simple yogurt rice with pickle will bring me cartloads of happiness and cheer me up instantly) and sometimes go into withdrawal if I haven't had rice for a few days. When I was looking to incorporate more grains and bring freshness into the recipes a few years back, I stumbled upon oats, quinoa, different millets etc. Most of these work very well as rice substitutes especially if you mix them up with a spicy side dish. Many work well in idlis, dosas etc too. I have found this 'mix and match' strategy goes well not only with clothes but also with food. It gives the necessary break from monotony, keeps food interesting and invigorating.

Oats get some flak from people who say the carb content is as high or higher (depending on the type of oats) than rice. I would say it is a one sided argument. Oats, being high in soluble fibre is meant to be good for heart and to regulate blood sugar. It digests slowly and keeps you fuller for longer. I had seen the ready to eat Saffola brand oats in Indian supermarkets on my last visit but was surprised find them here locally in my grocery stores. I wouldn't buy them personally since processed oats do not really give you any advantage over white rice or refined flour. To actually benefit from oats, use either the rolled oats or steel cut oats.
Finally, to blow some trumpet - when I was making these rottis for dinner, DD had a couple of her friends at home working on some music practice. As I took hot rottis out of the tawa, I smeared a dab of ghee, rolled it up and gave it to the girls. Polite teenagers that they are, both said it tasted yummy but I really found it truthful when they rolled a few more rottis on their own accord, wrapped them in foils and took with them to munch on as they headed out. It is tried and tasted, so go ahead and make some in your kitchen too.

What do you need to make masala oats rotti? 
Makes about 10 rottis
1.5 cups oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup grated broccoli
1 cup chopped fenugreek or fresh methi (optional, I love it)
1 medium potato boiled until soft
1/2 cup grated carrots
2 Tbsp finely chopped onions
2 green chilies - finely chopped
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1/4 Tsp red chili powder
1/8 Tsp amchoor powder
1/2 Tsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp oil - divided use
pinch of turmeric
1 Tbsp wheat flour for dusting

How do you make masala oats rotti? 
  • Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pan, add chopped onion and saute for a min or until it softens. 
  • Add grated broccoli, carrots, chopped green chilies & methi followed by salt and mix well. 
  • Cover and let cook for 3-4 minutes until the raw smell of the vegetables fades away. 
  • Mash the boiled, peeled potatoes and add it to the cooked vegetables. This absorbs moisture. 
  • Add the dry powders now - red chili powder, amchoor and sesame seeds. 
  • Mix well, taste and adjust salt or spices. Switch off and let cool. At this time the vegetables mixtures should taste strong on salt and spices, or else the rottis turn bland when mixed with flour. 
  • Powder the oats into a fine textured powder. 
  • Take the wheat flour and oats flour in a wide bowl, add the cooked vegetables and bring them together. DO NOT ADD WATER AT THIS STAGE. 
  • The moisture from the vegetables helps bind the dough.
  • Add water in drops to get a slightly firmer dough than chapati dough. 
  • Knead for a couple of minutes until the dough turns into a smooth ball, cover and let it rest for 20 minutes. 
  • Heat a roti griddle or flat pan on medium heat. 
  • Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and smooth them into a round ball. 
  • Dip the ball into dry wheat flour, flatten it and smooth any cracks at the edges. 
  • Roll out the rotti with a rolling pin, do not use too much pressure. Gluten in this dough is very less compared to regular chapati dough so it cracks under pressure. 
  • Roll the rotti into a circle of 1/2 mm. 
  • Put it on the hot pan, brush it with oil on top. Let cook for a minute before turning it over to the other side. 
  • Brush with oil and cook until both sides develop tiny, bright brown spots all over. 
  • Take it out and serve it with a cup of cool yogurt. 
  • You do need some wheat flour to be able to roll the rottis, this 1:2 (oats:wheat) proportion works well.
  • You can replace cooked potato with cooked raw banana (plantain) or skip it all together
  • Use spinach instead of methi leaves. 
  • Use other vegetables of preference like grated radish, bell peppers, chopped green beans for variety. 
  • Green chilies and red chili powder both add to the heat, use according to your taste. 
  • Cook the rotti on medium heat until the sides turn a golden brown, raw oats takes time to cook. 
  • You can make kadak rotti (it is a North Karnataka specialty made with jowar flour) or crispy rotti by cooking it for longer until it turns brittle, perfect to store and carry on travels. 


NamsVeni Pothas said...

looks very tasty and good for any time dish. i must taste them truly.

kitchen queen said...

delicious roti