Cumin and saffron flat bread


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

Bhopali Roti is a rich bread with a superb taste and flavour that does not need to be supported by a spicy curry - its attractive appearance and blend of spices make it good enough to eat on its own. Cumin and saffron are the key ingredients, but the addition of chillies and coriander make it even more aromatic.


  • 50 g/2 oz raw unsalted cashew nuts
  • pinch of saffron, pounded
  • 5 ml/1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 350 g/12 oz/3 cups chapati flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 115 g/4oz/ cup ground rice
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp salt
  • 1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped, (deseeded if preferred)
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp sunflower oil or olive oil
  • vegetable oil, for cooking


  1. Put the cashew nuts and saffron in a heatproof bowl and pour over 100ml/3 ½ fl oz/scant ½ cup boiling water. Leave to soak for 15 minutes.

  2. Dry-roast the cumin seeds in a small heavy pan for 1 minute. Remove from the pan, leave to cool, then crush in a mortar and pestle.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the chapati flour, ground rice, salt, chilli, coriander and crushed cumin together. Rub in the ghee or butter using your fingertips.

  4. Purée the cashew nuts and saffron with their soaking water in a blender or food processor, then add this to the flour.

  5. Mix together with your fingertips, then gradually add 120ml/4 fl oz/½ cup warm water. Mix until a dough is formed, then transfer to a lightly floured board and knead for 4–5 minutes until the dough is pliable. Cover with a cloth and rest for 30 minutes.

  6. Divide into 12 balls, rotating between your palms to make them smooth. Flatten into cakes 1cm/½ in thick. Dust with flour and roll out to 15cm/6 in discs. Preheat a heavy griddle or frying pan over medium heat.

  7. Place on the griddle or pan and cook for 2 minutes. Turn over and spread the lightly cooked side with 5ml/1 tsp oil.

  8. Cook until brown patches appear on the underside, then turn over and spread the other side with 5ml/1 tsp oil. When the underside is lightly browned, turn again and cook for a further 1–2 minutes. Serve hot.

Per portion Energy 169kcal/710kJ; Protein 5.4g; Carbohydrate 27.3g, of which sugars 0.9g; Fat 4.8g, of which saturates 1.3g; Cholesterol 3mg; Calcium 15mg; Fibre 2.8g; Sodium 22mg.