Makes 8 roti flatbreads
Time: about 30 minutes
A thick tender flatbread that’s the perfect foil for intense curries, this roti gets its natural sweetness from loads of (almost) fresh coconut; frozen grated coconut is a great convenience and found in most Indian and South East Asian markets. Consider making a double batch; leftover are perfect toasted the next day and schmeared with orange marmalade and a good vegan butter.
2 cups grated frozen coconut, thawed at room temperature and firmly packed
1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
½ cup or more warm water
1. In a large mixing bowl combine thawed coconut, flour, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and salt. Use your fingers to rub the ingredients completely together to form a crumbly mixture. Slowly work in a little of the warm water at a time to form a soft dough; if necessary don’t add all the water if the dough starts to become sticky. Knead in the bowl for 2-3 minutes, form into a ball and drizzle the remaining oil. Roll the dough in bowl to completely coat with oil and leave alone for 20 minutes.
2. Divide dough into 8 pieces, roll into balls and flatten with your fingers. Press and pat the dough between your palms to flatten the dough to about ¼ inch thickness, repeat with remaining dough. If desired lightly oil hands to prevent any sticking. While making the roti preheat a cast iron skillet to high heat. Have ready a large bowl covered with a large clean kitchen towel; we’ll use this to wrap up the hot roti to keep it warm and soft.
3. To cook a roti place on the skillet and cook on each side for about 2-2 ½ minutes; ideally the roti should be firm but never hard, with a few dark brown spots on each side. Place in the kitchen towel and overlap the sides. Repeat and stack hot roti on top of each other to keep warm. Serve immediately, and store any leftovers in a tightly covered container. Reheat on a skillet or if small enough try popping one in the toaster!