Whilst Roti bread may go by other names such as Chapati, Phulka or Atta there is no mistaking the identity of this round, golden flatbread once it has been seen and tasted. Roti has a distinguishable wheat taste combined with the flavours of being blistered over a hot fire (or really hot stove). To give it further due credit, it is stretchy and chewy whilst being maintaining a certain and very usable rigidity.
A Bowl Bread
Arguments have erupted about the precise origin of this masterpiece flatbread, so I will keep myself in the clear by speaking of the speculations surrounding its original use. It is conjectured that Roti became a kind of katori or bowl for certain gypsy people. It helped to keep their journeys lightweight by eliminating the need for plates, bowls and even cutlery as its rigidity provided a practical way to hold curry while enjoying the meal and rarely spoiled due to its ingredients.
Standing the Test of Time
Whilst the true origins of Roti remain a mystery, it is said that this flatbread was incredibly favoured by King Akbar, dating all the way back to 1556. Old Sanskrit text from over 6000 years ago makes mention of Chapati. Regardless of its beginnings, the versatility, flavour and many ways to enjoy this flatbread have ensured that it has stood the test of time throughout many different cultures.
Ways to Enjoy Roti
History records Roti being enjoyed with edible camphor and sugar. Of course, it is most notorious today as a complimentary accompaniment to a variety of curries – and the best part is that it can be used to ‘mop up’ any curry sauce that still remains after the meal. Other ways to enjoy Roti include having it with jams, filling it with mince and cheese or creating breakfast variations with the multipurpose flatbread.
Looking for a Slice of History?
Roti flatbread is certainly a slice out of history that has mysterious beginnings. Regardless of the birthplace of the Roti, mastering the art of this bread has become popular worldwide. In Johannesburg, finding out where to buy flatbread can be tricky. Blue Shirt Bakery has built quite a reputation and their Roti’s are no exception; contact them or visit their website.