Roti Maker vs Handmade – What’s Best?

Baking bread has never been more popular due to people embracing it as a new hobby during the lockdown. If you’re a fan of Indian food, you may want to start making your own roti to serve with curry or dahl. Luckily, roti is easy to make, whether you use a roti maker or make it by hand.

Roti makers are better if you want to save time and effort when preparing roti. Conversely, hand-making roti is best for those who prioritize tradition and taste when preparing this traditional Indian food. Plus, you don’t have to invest money in a roti maker.

This article will discuss how to use a roti maker, the advantages and disadvantages of roti makers, how to hand-make roti, and the pros and cons of using this technique. In the end, you should know which method is better for you and your particular needs.  

What Is Roti?

Rotis are unleavened Indian flatbreads that look like tortillas. They’re a traditional part of Indian cuisine, and there are different versions of roti in different parts of the world.  

Traditional roti is made with atta flour and is traditionally cooked on a hot tava griddle with no butter or oil in the skillet. The heat of the skillet puffs the dough to create a light and fluffy texture that pairs well with curry, dahl, and surwa. Most people eat rotis with their fingers and use it to soak up sauces. 

How To Make Roti Using a Roti Maker

Roti makers are machines that transform dough into roti without you having to roll it. 

If you want to make roti with a roti maker, you’ll need to start with making the dough. If you’re using a roti maker, the dough has to be softer than usual to keep the roti intact and soft. You also need to let the dough rest for a half-hour or longer before you cook it, or else the rotis will break.  

Here are the steps to make the dough using a roti maker:

  1. Start with 2 cups (400 g) of atta flour in a bowl and add water little by little.
  2. Mix with your hands as you add the water, so the dough starts coming together.
  3. Start kneading with your knuckles until the dough feels soft. If it feels tight, you’ll need to add more water.
  4. Remember that the dough will have to be extra soft if you’re using a roti maker. 
  5. While you let the dough rest, cover it with a damp cloth or a paper towel. After at least thirty minutes, knead it again and roll it into balls.
  6. Turn on your roti maker by plugging it into the wall and wait until the heating light turns off. 
  7. Take one ball and cover it in more atta flour before placing it in the upper corner of your roti maker. Then, close the lid and press firmly for one to two seconds. Then, open the maker’s lid and let it cook for fifteen to twenty seconds. 
  8. Flip the roti and cook the other side. Keep flipping until the roti starts to bubble.      

There are various advantages of using a roti maker; these are: 

  • 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 that’s 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, and it’s less work.  

However, roti makers aren’t perfect. Here are some disadvantages: 

  • You have to clean the roti maker. Roti makers are more difficult to clean than just cleaning a rolling pin, and you should regularly wash your roti maker. 
  • 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. 

Depending on your roti needs, a roti maker may be a great addition to your kitchen.  

How To Hand Make Roti

To hand make roti, you start by making the dough using the same process above. Then, the dough balls are rolled into flat circles using a belan and a chakla. Then, the dough is cooked on a tawa. If you’d like, you can transfer the disc to an open flame to puff it up.

Here are the pros of hand-making roti: 

  • Handmade rotis can taste better than those made with roti makers. If the dough isn’t made perfectly and you use a roti maker, the rotis can come out rubbery and dry.
  • Roti makers can be finicky and break. For almost thirty years, roti makers haven’t changed in functionality, so they aren’t improving their design or performance. Because of this, roti makers may not be worth the money. 
  • There’s a cultural significance in hand-making roti. Roti is a traditional food, and hand-making is the conventional way of preparing it. If you want authentic roti, hand-making is the way to go.     
  • You get the satisfaction of completing the whole process yourself. There’s a reason why so many have embraced bread-making recently: it’s a satisfying hobby, especially if you do it all yourself. 

There are a couple of disadvantages to keep in mind, these are: 

  • Hand Making roti requires more time and effort. If you want to save time or don’t want to go through the trouble of rolling out the dough, a roti maker is a better alternative. 
  • Your rotis may be inconsistent in shape and taste. Roti makers allow for more consistent cooking, whereas it’ll be more difficult to get the same uniformity by hand. 

Hand Making roti has a long history, and hand-making your roti at home is a great way to be part of that tradition. 

Roti Maker or Handmade: Which Is Better?

Ultimately, whether you should use a roti maker or handmake your roti depends on your priorities. If you want more traditional roti, you should hand make it. However, if you want to save on the time and effort of making your own roti, a roti maker is a great alternative. 

You can make great-tasting roti either way, so there isn’t a wrong answer. Which is better also depends on how much money you’re willing to invest in a roti maker. If you’re going to purchase one of these machines, buying a high-quality one that will last a long time is essential.