You may have noticed, most of my recipes are gluten-free.
I’ll have you know, I’m not into food fads and I wouldn’t be banishing gluten from my kitchen for no reason. That’s mean. What happened was…
A few months ago, on a dark and stormy night (it was actually day and sunny but that’s how I picture it in my mind), we received a call. My husband’s test results came in and he was diagnosed with celiac disease. I had just made some berry rhubarb crisp, and I still remember how sad…how abandoned that crisp suddenly looked.
*Moment of silence for that berry rhubarb crisp*
I think I was more traumatized upon hearing this diagnosis than my husband.
In fact, I went through all the 5 stages of grief:
- Denial – I’m sure they’re mistaken. Pakistanis don’t get celiac disease. Roti is in our blood.
- Anger – Why??? Did you eat too much processed food, husband? Are your gut bacteria that weak? It’s because you never took probiotics when I told you to.
- Bargaining – I’m sure if he takes probiotics this issue can be resolved. It has to be in the gut. Maybe celiac is reversible. It’s definitely a modern issue. I’m sure there’s a way out.
- Depression – There’s not a way out. If you need me, I’ll be in the corner inhaling chocolate mug cake with all-purpose flour and thoroughly washing the mug out afterward to remove any trace of gluten. Sighhh.
- Acceptance – It’s okay. I got this. I can make gluten-free baked goods. I’m sure this will help our family in the long run. With the blog, maybe I can help others too. Life is good. 🙂
Now on to these rotis.
Recently, I posted the recipe for buckwheat rotis. Well, I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite roti.
These quinoa flour rotis are life-changing.
I know, I know.. This term “life-changing [insert food item here]” is thrown around rather loosely. But, I’m not using it in vain.
These rotis are actually life-changing. As in…
- My husband felt like he was eating a normal roti again after having been deprived of them for months.
- They are exemplary in their nutritional profile. (Protein and a whole host of vitamins + minerals)
- They are easier to work with than several other gluten-free flours I have tried.
- They taste delicious. They’re soft. They’re pliable. They can be used as wraps, tortillas, anything!
- They look and feel like real rotis. Andddd most importantly, they even puff up. Bliss.
Before you make these, please take a look at the notes on my buckwheat roti post for tips on how to make alternative rotis. And lastly, I must mention that quinoa flour in itself is quite bitter. However, the bitterness will be greatly reduced if you roast it at a low temperature for a few hours. I do this in advance so I have roasted quinoa flour in the refrigerator when I need it. It still had an earthy taste but the bitterness subsides.
I hope this post reaches other roti-deprived families…or anyone looking to eat a healthy alternative to regular rotis. If you try these, please let me know!
These quinoa-flour rotis are gluten-free and a nutritious alternative to rotis, tortillas, and wraps.
- 1 cup quality quinoa flour
- 1/2 cup or more warm water, this varies according to your flour
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1/8 tsp salt (optional)
- oil or butter, for brushing
- gluten-free all purpose flour, or rice flour, to dust the work surface
- In advance, spread about 1/2 pound of quinoa flour evenly on parchment paper on a large baking sheet and bake at 215 °F for 3-4 hours. This will remove any bitterness from the flour.*
- In a medium bowl, combine the cup of flour and salt (if using). Add the warm water, a little at a time, while continuing to mix the flour with your hands. Make sure the liquid is well absorbed before adding more. Mix and knead until a soft and elastic dough forms. You do not need to knead this dough excessively as you would for traditional rotis. Cover and let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes, up to an hour.
- Heat a tava, griddle or non-stick (preferably cast iron) skillet to medium heat. You may need to lower the heat when you start making the rotis.
- Flour your surface with preferred gluten-free flour. Form the dough into small balls (a bit larger than golf-ball sized), then use a rolling pin to roll them out into round circles about 6 inches in diameter. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to the rotis while rolling them out. Turn using a spatula and flour them as needed.
- Using a large spatula, carefully lift the rolled out roti and place it on the skillet. Let it cook for about 30 seconds, then flip and smear it with a bit of oil or butter. Let this cook for 15-20 seconds then flip again, adding more oil or butter, if desired. With practice, this 3rd flip will result in the roti puffing up like normal rotis. Flip a couple more times, while pressing gently, until the roti is completely cooked. Clean the pan with a slightly damp tissue and remove from heat or lower the heat if needed. If you have a gas stove, you can try using the direct heat to let it puff up. Serve immediately.
*Store the roasted quinoa flour in an airtight container in the refrigerator.