There’s nothing better than a delicious and fluffy roti with a curry, or if you’ve got a sweet tooth, with butter and sugar. Making roti, however, can be tedious and time-consuming if you do the whole process by hand. Roti makers are machines that press the dough for you, but are they worth the cost?
Roti makers are worth it if you make roti frequently enough that the time and effort required to complete the flatbread is bothersome to you, as the appliance makes the process easier and faster.
The rest of this article will detail the advantages and disadvantages of using a roti maker, how to make dough for your roti maker, and how to use the machine. We’ll look at roti makers at every price point and the best ways to eat roti. If you’re a lover of Indian cuisine and want to know if roti makers are worth it, keep reading!
Should You Get a Roti Maker?
Preparing a perfectly round and deliciously fluffy roti isn’t always easy. Rolling the dough can be labor-intensive and time-consuming, and it can be challenging to make the rotis uniform if you’re doing it by hand.
Roti, which is also called chapati, is a staple Indian food, and an electric roti maker can help you save time and effort on this cooking process. Electric roti makers press and heat the dough, eliminating the need to roll out the dough yourself.
You should get a roti maker if you make roti regularly and want to save money and minimize the manual labor required to roll out the dough. If you rarely make roti, purchasing another kitchen appliance may not be worth the cost.
Advantages and Disadvantages To Using a Roti Maker
Roti makers have a variety of advantages that you should know about if you’re considering investing in one:
- Roti makers are easy to use. Roti makers eliminate the need to roll out the dough, and all you have to do is put the balls in the roti maker and flip them, which simplifies the cooking process.
- The machines distribute the heat evenly. Equally distributed heat makes roti fluffier and softer than traditional roti.
- You’ll have more consistent quality. Every roti will be well-baked if you use a roti maker, and rotis that are thoroughly cooked are more digestible.
- You’ll save time and effort. Roti makers streamline the cooking process, so it’ll take less time for you to make them. Since it’s less work, this may motivate you to make roti more often!
However, roti makers aren’t perfect. Here are some of their disadvantages:
- You have to clean the roti maker. Roti makers are more difficult to clean than just cleaning a rolling pin. You should also regularly wash your roti maker to avoid dust and bacteria buildup.
- Roti makers can be expensive. These machines won’t put you in debt, but they’re an investment. If you try to skimp on the cost by purchasing a cheaper model, it likely won’t last long, and you’ll have to spend more money to replace it.
- They aren’t great for commercial use. Roti makers are great for the home but serving many people will take a long time.
- You have to use fresh dough. If you use dough that has been stored in the refrigerator in a roti maker, they’ll come out hard and crisp instead of soft and fluffy, so you’ll have to make the dough every time. This will take away from some of the time you save by using the roti maker, as you won’t be able to make dough in bulk and save it for later.
- You miss out on the cultural experience of making roti by hand. Roti is a traditional food, and the traditional way to prepare it is by hand. If you use a roti maker, you miss out on complete authenticity.
Ultimately, whether or not a roti maker is right for you depends on your priorities, time, and financial situation.
Making Dough for Your Roti Maker
Most of the process of making roti dough is the same whether you’re hand making the roti or using a roti maker, but there are a few differences you should be aware of.
The dough should be softer and stickier than usual. To accomplish this, you should add more water to the mixture than you would normally and knead the dough less. Because you don’t have to knead the dough as much, you’ll save time and effort!
Combine flour, salt, water, and butter in a bowl to make the dough and mix.
You also have to make fresh dough if you’re using a roti maker. Using refrigerated atta in a roti maker produces hard rotis instead of the soft and fluffy texture that you want. You’ll have to make adjustments if you’re used to making your dough in bulk and storing it until you’re ready to use it.
After making your fresh dough, you’ll need to let it rest for an hour before you start cooking it. This gives the gluten strands time to form, which will help make the roti fluffier.
Finally, you’ll need to use oil when creating the balls of dough that you’ll eventually press. This helps the heat distribute evenly and stops the dough from sticking to your hands.
Ultimately, you’ll need to experiment with your dough recipe and preparation methods to discover what works best for your specific roti maker and your preference.
How To Use a Roti Maker
Using a roti maker is extremely simple, which is one of the reasons it may be worth it to you! After you’ve made your dough, let it rest. Once you’ve formed the dough into balls, it’s time to use your roti maker. Here’s how:
- Turn on the roti maker and wait for the indicator light to show it’s finished heating up. You may want to put the maker on a mat or a towel to keep it from scratching the counter. Make sure that the appliance is clean and crumb-free. To ensure it’s clean, you can wipe it down with a wet paper towel.
- Put one ball in the machine, closer to the hinge between the middle and the top. This placement prevents the dough from being squeezed out of the sides.
- Close the maker and press the top handle down to compress the dough. Press the dough for 30 to 45 seconds and then open the maker. Let the roti cook until bubbles start to form. Once you notice bubbling, use some tongs to flip the roti and cook the other side until you notice puffing in the middle.
- Remove the roti from the machine and repeat this process for the rest of your balls. Let the roti rest and cool, and then wrap them in foil if you’re not eating them right away. If you’re storing them, make sure you put them in a warm place.
Using a roti maker is simple and quick. No tedious and exhausting rolling is needed!
Roti Makers for Every Price Point
If you think a roti is worth it for you, here are my recommendations at various price points (all available on Amazon.com):
- Victoria Cast Iron Tortilla Press. I like this as an inexpensive roti maker option. It’s made with high-quality cast iron, and the construction allows for less work. The heavy cast iron presses the dough with little effort from you, and it creates a consistent thickness with every roti.
- Westinghouse Silver Roti Maker. A good middle-priced option, this maker is high-quality without breaking the bank. The nonstick material allows you to cook your rotis in one piece without breakage, and the stainless steel prevents external damage and erosion. There’s also a thermostat that allows you to control the heat of the plates to avoid burning.
- Star Blue Roti Maker. This is the maker you should buy if you want to invest in the best. The plates are manufactured with the smoothest nonstick material, so your roti will most likely never break. The maker’s strong steel body prevents any damage, and the cord can be wrapped around the body of the base for convenient storage. Star Blue also offers a 100% money-back guarantee for four months if something goes wrong.
While roti makers can be considered an investment, you have different options, depending on your budget. As such, you can surely find the right one for you.
The Best Dishes To Serve With Roti
If you’re investing in a roti maker, you’ll need ideas on what to serve with all your delicious roti! Here are the best foods to pair with your flatbread:
- Shahi paneer. Paneer is a fresh cheese used in Indian cuisine. In this dish, the cheese is topped with a gravy made with cream and pureed tomatoes. Add crushed red pepper if you like spice!
- Vegetarian korma. This creamy dish is loaded up with potatoes, carrots, jalapenos, cashews, green peas, and bell peppers. You can use your roti to soak up all the delicious sauce.
- Chicken makhani. This meal includes chicken tossed in spiced tomato sauce, which pairs perfectly with light and fluffy roti.
- Shrimp curry. Of course, roti pairs well with any curry, but especially a yummy seafood curry bursting with flavor thanks to cumin, ginger, and cilantro.
- Saag paneer. This meal, paired with roti, is hearty and vegetarian. It’s made with cubed paneer, which is kind of like Indian cottage cheese, and cooked spinach.
- Aloo phujia. This potato side dish can turn into a main dish if you add some roti. It’s simple to make, too, and only requires potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and spices.
- Masoor dal. Red lentil dal can even be frozen, so you can make it in bulk and have an easy weeknight meal to prepare in a pinch. The dal pairs perfectly with roti.
- Alu gobi. Alu gobi is a common vegetarian dish in most Indian households, and the flavors work wonderfully with roti. You can make it with potatoes and cauliflower for a hearty and filling dinner.
- Coconut chutney. Coconut chutney isn’t just popular in India; it’s also consumed regularly in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan. Each country and region has its own way of preparing this dish, so if you’re in the mood to experiment, you can try all the different variations to see what you like best! Chutneys are versatile, so while this is delicious with roti, it’ll be just as good with rice or as a condiment on a sandwich.
- Sauteed beetroot. This dish is vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and gluten-free, so if you have a lot of people coming over with many dietary restrictions, this is the perfect thing to serve with your roti.
Roti is so delicious that you can even eat it plain or with just butter and sugar. If you do decide to get a roti maker, you’ll have no shortage of ways to enjoy all your roti!