Trini Roti & Chana Masala [Vegetarian/Vegan]

One of the first posts on this blog when I was just filling it up with content was making Trini Roti.  This is a more indepth version, along with a review of a store bought Masala mix!

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Recently at work, I had setup a potluck with my team members for American Thanksgiving lunch.  Of course, being Canadian, this was just an excuse for us to have a big feast!  The theme of our potluck was to bring a dish native to your heritage.  What’s native to mine? Roti of course!  One of my bud’s at work is vegetarian, so to accompany the roti, chana masala is always a good choice!

Part 1: Aloo Roti

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Potatoes
  • Cumin or Jeera
  • Green onion or chives
  • Butter

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I made a double batch — one whole wheat version, and one white flour version.  White roti is sooo much softer, but I can’t eat it.

Measure out your flour in a large bowl.  Add in a pinch of salt, and baking powder.

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Add in the water slowly, and then knead until you get a nice ball.

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The water should not be ice cold.  Room temperature is where its at!

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After it’s kneaded to a doughy consistency, cover with a tea cloth, and set aside to let it rest.

Now you can get your filling ready.

Boil your potatoes until fully cooked.  If you are in a rush, microwaving them isn’t a bad option.  Since you are just going to mash them up anyways and add seasoning, the texture you get when microwaving potatoes doesn’t matter in the slightest.

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Once fully cooked, peel the skins.  Make sure to compost those!

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Chop up the green onions, add in the cumin and about 1/4 cup butter.  Add salt to taste.  I would suggest making this a little bit more flavourful than you are used to, as it will be going into the middle of the roti.  It will need to hold up against all of the flour.  Mash the hell out of the mixture.

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Now that the filling is ready, head back to your dough.  Separate out each into a 1 inch ball, and press them down to flatten them.

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Get your rolling pin out, and make them nice and thin.  To fill the roti, grab a spoonful of filling, cup the roti dough in one hand, and place it in the middle.

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Wrap the edge of the roti together to completely seal the ball.  It is super important that there are no holes, otherwise the filling will come out during the cooking process.

Next, flatten the ball again, and roll it out.  The roti should end up being roughly 30cm diameter.  Once again, it’s super important that there are no holes anywhere in this roti, or else you’ll be cursing as you cook it.

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Now grab your tawa, or if you are like me, cast iron skillet, and put it on medium heat with some oil.  Place the roti directly on it.

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If done right, the roti will swell up.  Now if you had a hole, this wouldn’t happen.  Once it swells up, flip it around and cook the next side.  Add a drizzle of oil on each side, by either brushing it directly on, or pouring from a small spout.

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The edges are the usual places to form holes.  If you notice steam escaping from these spots, just hold your cooking utensil over it.  This will act like a seal and let it cook from the inside still.

Part 1 done!  Roti made!

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Part 2: Chana Masala

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Chick Peas
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Coconut milk
  • 1 Whole Garlic
  • Hot Peppers
  • Salt
  • Masala Seasoning Mix

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First you have to prep the chick peas.  On the can it usually tells you how to do this.  Place in a large bowl, fill with cold water, and let it sit.

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Next prep your basics.  Dice your onions.  Mince the garlic.  Chop the hot peppers.

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I happened to have frozen tomatoes from the summer (I grow them every year) so I did a rough cut with them.  Add everything to your stock pot.

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Add the chick peas and seasoning mix.

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Give it a good mix, and then add the coconut milk.  Add enough water to cover the mix, and simmer the crap out of it until you get the consistency you are looking for — not too watery, but not thick either.

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To serve, cut the roti into 4 pieces, and serve the chana masala in a metal bowl.

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Ta da!  There you have it!  Trini aloo roti along with chana masala!

Now let me tell you, I did not like this brand’s chana masala mix.  It was a little too Indian for my liking.  Next time to fix it, I would add more coconut milk, and possibly some butter to make it creamier.  Overall, I would rate it a 5.5/10 for flavour.  Actually, there would not be a next time, because I would be sure to not buy it.  Sorry MDH brand, I will not be a repeat customer.

(ps, here is a sampling of the food we had at the potluck! Indian, Caribbean, French, Malaysian, Russian, Middle Eastern, Canadian … we had a little of everything!)

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