Sri and I – we love our Rotis. We’ve been trying to make them for a long time. Our first efforts were disastrous. What looks amazingly simple when made by somebody else – becomes a complicated, herculean task involving all sorts of mathematical calculations and physical dexterity. At some point in time – while rolling the dough with the pin, I figured that it might be easier for me to move around the dough, instead of moving the dough itself. As a result, a complicated dance evolved. Additionally, there was also a very unfine layer of wheat stuck to my face and hair.
We tried. Again and again. No success. Too dry. Too unround. Too thick. Too uneven. When it seemed like we might almost get it right, we moved to London. We no longer had a flame-stove, and things seemed insurmountable. Falstaff’s post reminded me of those early days when we had a success ratio of about 1:4. 25% of the dough could be converted to something edible. The rest would stick to edges of other pots, pans, elbows and necks.
However in the first week of May 2006, a minor miracle happened. Kamla was in London for a conference I requested her to bring me one of those amazing machines that they have been developing in India for a long time. A roti maker. She was kind enough to buy me one from Bangalore. (You have to understand – I pinged her and made little circles on the sand with my toes – she couldn’t refuse.) Sri and I were a little apprehensive. How good could this be? We picked it up from Kamla’s hotel and got home at about 10 PM. I mixed the standard amount of dough. (Remember the 1:4 rule).
We had tears of joy in our eyes as we watched a little army of 25 rotis puff up one after another. I ate them, even as they were hot and burnt my tongue. Thanking God, Thanking Kamla and Thanking Those who made this lovely little thing. And the best part? The dough can be a little softer than usual! So no muscle-killing battle with water and flour.
Life is Beautiful. So is a Phulka.