Rice Flour Flat Bread (Chokha ni Rotli)

Gluten Free Rice Flour Flatbread (Rice Flour Rotli) Recipe at Indiaphile.info

Long before the gluten free diet became popular, and well before I had even heard of Celiac disease, my mom cut wheat out of her diet. She noticed that she felt better when she didn’t eat wheat so for a while we ate a ton of rice dishes along with other lesser known grains like millet and sorghum.

When she switched our diet, my mom started making rotli (flat breads) with rice flour. Although it is eaten in some parts of Gujarat and South India, it is not all that common. Rice rotli are softer than the regular whole wheat rotli we ate and much whiter. And they were delicious.

Gluten Free Rice Flour Flatbread (Rice Flour Rotli) Recipe at Indiaphile.info

A blog reader recently asked about gluten-free flat bread recipes and I immediately thought of my mom’s rice flour rotli. I had never made these before and didn’t think there was much to it, so I made a dough with rice flour, oil, salt and water just like I do with wheat flour. My rotli came out so tough, I knew I had done something wrong.

So I called up my mom and asked her how to make the rice flour rotli. She told me the secret was to use boiling water and she shared her method with me. I decided I didn’t want to bother with her technique and made my dough in the food processor with boiling water. Again, I got it wrong and ended up with super tough rotli.

Finally, I gave in and followed my mom’s instructions exactly. And as much as I hate to admit it, it worked out! We ate soft and delicious rice rotli for lunch with a quick pea saute.

Gluten Free Rice Flour Flatbread (Rice Flour Rotli) Recipe at Indiaphile.info

These rice flour rotli are a little tricky to make because the dough is super soft and not as forgiving as wheat dough. But with a little practice, I got the hang of it. I am sure you will too. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about these.

My mom’s experiment only lasted a few months because the rest of us got pretty tired of eating so many rice based foods. We all started eating wheat again for a while. But my mom is gluten-free again because has noticed gluten seems to inflame her arthritis. And this time, she’s not switching back.

Gluten Free Rice Flour Flatbread (Rice Flour Rotli) Recipe at Indiaphile.info

Gluten Free Rice Flour Flatbread (Rice Flour Rotli) Recipe at Indiaphile.info

Gluten Free Rice Flour Flatbread (Rice Flour Rotli) Recipe at Indiaphile.info

Here is a video that demonstrates how to roll out the rotlis and cook them. (Please excuse the messy counter).

Gluten Free Rice Flour Flat Bread (Chokha ni Rotli)

Gluten Free Rice Flour Flatbread (Rice Flour Rotli) Recipe at Indiaphile.info

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 45 min
  • Total time: 1 hrs
  • Yields 12 rotlis

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup extra rice flour for rolling

Instructions

  1. Bring the water, oil and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. When the water just begins to boil, add in the rice flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Once the water and flour are well mixed, just let the dough hang out in the pot until it cools enough to handle with your hands.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large bowl.
  5. Knead with your hands for about a minute. The dough with start to get gummier and hold together better. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plate so that it doesn’t dry out.
  6. Heat a tava or a cast iron pan (any kind of pan will work if you don’t have a tava or a cast iron pan) over medium low heat. Let it heat while you roll out your first rotli.
  7. Break off a golf ball sized piece of dough, knead it in your hands a few times and form a disk.
  8. Roll the disk into the rice flour and roll out to about 1/32″ thick.
  9. Carefully transfer the rolled out rotli to the pan.
  10. Let cook until you see bubbles start to form. About a minute or two. Then either using your fingers or a pair of flat tipped tongs flip the rotli.
  11. Let cook on the second side until you see more bubbles form. Another minute or two.
  12. Turn on a second gas burner on high and transfer the rotli directly to the flame. Let cook for about 15 seconds on each side. (You can also just turn up the flame on the existing burner, move the pan and transfer the rotli to the flame. Just don’t forget to turn the heat back down to medium low!)
  13. Repeat the process.

Notes:


Makes about a dozen 6 to 7 inch rotlis.
When you are rolling out the rotli, use light pressure from the center out.
If I had a tortilla press, I would definitely try to use it with this recipe. I think it would work great.
Update 12/20/13: These rotli are served with this simple pea saute.

Nutrition Info
Serving Size 2 rotlis Sodium 192mg
Calories 279 Trans Fat 0g
Carbohydrates 52g Fat 5g
Protein 0g Cholesterol 0g

Comments

  1. Dipa says

    They look gorgeous. My son has a wheat allergy and I am going to make these for him as an alternative to oat and buckwheat roti. Do they stay soft for long or do they get chewy as they get colder?

    • says

      Hi Dipa,
      They are like any other flat bread, they do tend to dry out. I had mine out for about 45 minutes while we photographed them they were fine for that long. I checked on the ones we didn’t eat a few hours later and they had gotten pretty dry. But you can slather some butter or ghee on them to keep them moist longer and keep them wrapped in a tea towel or sealed in a plastic bag.

  2. says

    I just stumbled onto your blog today looking for a sprouted mung bean recipe- but had to see what else you had. This recipe looks great, that it’s gluten free too. The video is really helpful. can’t wait to try it. Keep it up!

    • says

      Hello! There are two ways to make roti on an electric stove. You can get a metal grill or cooling rack to put over the electric coil and then you can follow the same process as with a gas stove. The grill or cooling rack will keep the roti away from the intense heat of the coils but still provide high enough heat to make them puff up. For the last step, just transfer the roti and cook on top of the grill or cooling rack until it puffs up.
      The other option is to flip the roti one more time on the pan instead of transferring it to a flame. Use a balled up tea towel to gently press on the roti. That will help it puff up as well.

  3. giyad says

    This looks great, but how come it rises when being cooked as if there is yeast in the dough? You don’t put yeast do you?

    • says

      Hi Giyad,
      There is no yeast in the dough. It rises because the heat creates steam on the inside of the roti making it puff up. It’ll flatten back down right away.

  4. alison gray-green says

    I have just stumbled up on this recipe and will try it as we are holding a fund-raising curry night next week for injured soldiers! I will let you know how they go down, as I am trying to educate people with some different foods from India

    • says

      Hi Alison! That sounds like a wonderful cause. I would recommend slathering some butter or ghee on them as soon as they come off the stove and then tightly wrapping them in foil. They tend to get tough pretty quickly as they cool. They’re not as forgiving as wheat flat breads. Happy fundraising! :)

  5. Tiffany says

    Hello, I am having a hard time rolling them out. They keep falling apart every time I lift them. Any advice? Thank you :)

    • says

      Hi Tiffany. I am sorry they keep falling apart on you! The first thing I’d say is to make sure the water is boiling hot when it mixes with the flour. I tried these with just hot tap water once and they kept falling apart and the final result was tough.
      Make sure you are using plenty of dry rice flour to roll them out. It’s no big deal if you get a few tears around the edges, just pinch them back together before you cook.
      If they are still completely falling apart, try rolling them out on a sheet of parchment of heavy plastic. That way you can lift the parchment with the rotli on it and invert onto your pan for cooking. This will give the rotli some support as you transfer it to the pan.
      Hope this helps! Feel free to ask if you have any other questions. :)

  6. says

    Hi Puja,
    Thank you for this recipe. My husband and I are new to the gluten free way of living. Your recipe looks really good, going to give it a try this afternoon. Please let me know that is in your photograph of your pea sauté. I love green peas and probably would like to fix that dish too. Thanks again for sharing.
    Happy Holidays
    Linda

    • says

      Hi Amena. I am sorry for the late response. I just saw this comment. I’ve never tried this with brown rice flour so I’m not sure it would work. Let me know how it goes if you try it. And I’ll try to experiment with brown rice flour soon.

  7. Mimi says

    Hi Puja
    Thank you very much, I’ve made it.
    I’m so happy to make bread at home.
    How to make it with wheat floor,please.
    Thanks again.

    • says

      Hi Richard,
      I’m not sure if this will work with brown rice flour. I think that the bran may interfere with the dough holding together. I’m going to experiment with brown rice flour soon.
      Also, this recipe works best with store bought rice flour. I’ve heard from a couple of people that the dough came out too wet when they ground the rice themselves. I think it must just depend on how sticky the rice is. You can try adding more ground rice to the dough, a tablespoon at a time until you get the right consistency.

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