‘I Can’t Believe it’s Gluten-Free’ Cassava and Sorghum Flour Roti (Chapati)
May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month!
Coincidentally, last May, we became ‘aware’ that my husband had celiac disease.
This meant some changes for us as a family.
There were newfound limitations when eating out. Forgoing birthday cakes became the norm. We read nutritional information like warning labels.
But here’s the biggest change we dealt with:
On a Pakistani dinner table, along with the main dish, you’ll almost always find rice or roti (sometimes both). They are staples. Essentials. You simply can’t do without them unless you’re deviating from the cuisine in some way.
This diagnoses meant half our carb sources were eliminated, leaving us with nothing but rice. If you’re familiar with South Asian cuisine, then you know that some things are just better with roti.
So began my journey with gluten-free roti making.
I’ve experimented and discovered several that I liked. Quinoa Flour Roti, for example, is protein-rich, nutritious, and quite pliable but can have a bitter aftertaste. Buckwheat Flour Roti is also packed with protein, but there’s a distinct robust taste of buckwheat.
Truth is – they may be delicious, but don’t taste like “real” rotis.
Gluten-Free Cassava and Sorghum Flour Roti
I first had the idea for this roti while I was out of town. I’ve always loved the wheat-like taste of sorghum flour, but it was usually too tough when used alone. So I thought to combine it with the more pliable, mild-tasting cassava flour.
Trust me when I say I stayed up that night thinking about this combination and how it would taste so much like real rotis.
My theory proved true. After a few experiments upon my return, this roti came out even better than I had imagined.
I did a taste test on my father-in-law, and he couldn’t tell which one was real roti and which was gluten-free. Of course, the texture is different, as always with gluten-free flours. But the taste…you won’t believe it’s gluten-free!
Sorghum flour (called jowar in Pakistan and India) contains protein, iron, and fiber. Cassava flour is low in calories and high in vitamin C. Unlike Tapioca starch, which is the bleached and extracted starch of the cassava root, cassava flour is made from the entire root. So this roti is a healthy day-to-day alternative for anyone seeking a new roti recipe.
Pictured here with Achaar (South Asian mixed pickle)[/caption]
So there you have it, friends! My newest and favorite recipe for gluten-free roti. If you try it, be sure to let me know!
‘I Can’t Believe it’s Gluten-Free’ Cassava and Sorghum Flour Roti
- In a medium bowl, combine the flours, olive oil, and salt. 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 30-40 minutes.
- Heat a tava, griddle or non-stick (preferably cast iron) skillet to medium-high heat, depending on your stove. You may need to lower the heat after you start making the rotis.
- Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll between your hands to form each into a somewhat flat ball. Then place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out with a rolling pin. In between rolling, remove the top parchment and flatten with your hands. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to the rotis while rolling them out. You do not want them too thin.
- Remove the top paper and gently turn out to your hand and place on the hot skillet. Let it cook for about a minute or until the bottom sets, then flip with a large spatula and smear it with a bit of ghee or butter. Let this cook again for about a minute and then flip again, adding more oil or butter, if desired. Flip a couple more times, while pressing gently with the spatula, until the roti is completely cooked. Cover with a cloth and serve immediately.
- These rotis puff up in places but not entirely.
- I have found it to be easier to roll these out between parchment paper versus dusting them and rolling out as I do for other gluten-free flatbread recipes.
- These may be stored in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for 24-48 hours. Reheat in the microwave or skillet.