Paratha Roti

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Preparation info

  • Serves:


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Like my father, I’ve found that my hand isn’t “set for” making roti. I’ve tried many recipes over the years and have better success with some than others. The best recipe I’ve found comes from my dear friend Darrel Sukhdeo whom I met shortly after completing the first edition of this book in 2004. Darrel is an entrepreneur and wonderful cook who has prepared food for many an Indian wedding in Trinidad, where sometimes hundreds of guests are served roti that is cooked on a four-foot-wide tawa. The secret to this recipe is not to over work the dough. If your dough is sticky enough to be barely able to be handled, then you’re doing it right.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional as needed
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder, preferably Lion Brand
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • Warm water as needed
  • 3 tablespoons cold ghee
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Gradually add a little warm water, using your fingers to mix the flour and water together—do not knead, just gently combine the flour and water. Continue adding water a little at a time until you achieve a soft sticky dough that just comes together into a ball. Cover and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

    Roll out the dough in to a circle and cut halfway down the middle.

  2. Combine the ghee and oil to make a paste. Set aside.

    Brush the dough with the butter paste.

  3. Flour a work surface and turn out the roti dough. Cut the dough into 4 large pieces and gently form each into a ball. Flour your hands so you are able to handle the dough and knead just enough to allow the dough to hold together (do not over knead).

    Roll the dough into a cone shape.

  4. Roll out a ball of dough into a circle ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle the surface lightly with flour. Make a cut halfway down the middle of the circle. Brush the circle with some of the prepared paste. Roll the dough away from you into a cone shape starting at one side of the slit. Roll the cone into a ball by pushing the narrow end of the cone in towards the wider end and pinching the edges closed.

    Pinch the dough closed into a ball.

  5. Roll the rested dough balls into ⅛ -inch-thick circles and place on a hot tawa or cast-iron griddle. Brush with oil, immediately turn over, and brush with oil again. Continue to flip the discs until puffy. Remove from heat and place on a clean dishtowel. Fold the dishtowel to cover the rotis so they stay warm. Serve warm.

Variation: Buss Up Shut

This bread’s unusual name, meaning “burst up shirt,” comes from the way its soft cottony folds are shredded after cooking. Simply make Paratha Roti and when removing the bread from the tawa or griddle, use a wooden spoon and lightly beat the hot cooked bread on a flat surface until it shreds. Alternatively, gently tear into 3-inch-wide strips. Serve hot with the curry of your choice.