Life-Changing Gluten-Free Quinoa Flour Roti (Chapati)
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. 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 he eat too much processed food? Is his gut bacteria that weak? It’s because he never took probiotics when I told him 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 a modern issue – I’m sure there’s a way out.
- Depression – There’s no way out. If you need me, I’ll be in the corner inhaling chocolate mug cake made with all-purpose flour. I’ll thoroughly wash 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. 🙂
Like so many families, we had to adjust to our mindset along with our diet. But once we did, we saw for ourselves how powerful food is to healing, and the improvement in my husband’s health made all the changes worth it.
Recently, I posted the recipe for buckwheat rotis. Well, I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite roti. (Update: These Cassava and Sorghum Flour Gluten-free Rotis are our current favorite!)
These gluten free 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 gluten free quinoa flour 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.
Don’t miss these gluten-free flatbread recipes:
- “I Can’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free” Cassava and Sorghum Flour Roti
- Gluten-Free Buckwheat Flour Roti
- 30-minute No Yeast Egg-Free Naan
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 has an earthy taste but the bitterness subsides. Also, quinoa can sometimes irritate your digestive system so only consume with caution if you tend to have digestion issues. Try these Cassava and Sorghum Flour Gluten-free Rotis for a milder roti that’s easier on the tummy!
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!
Curries to serve these with:
Spinach and Potato Curry (Aloo Palak)
Okra and Onion Curry (Bhindi Pyaaz)
Life-Changing Gluten-Free Quinoa Flour Roti (Chapati) – Flatbread/Wraps/Tortillas
- 1 cup quality quinoa flour
- 1/2 cup or more warm water, this varies according to your flour
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp salt, optional
- ghee or butter, for brushing
- rice flour or other gluten-free 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, oil, 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 to medium-high heat, depending on your stove. You may need to lower the heat after 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), dust both sides with flour, and 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 or until the bottom sets, 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 to get rid of excess flour. If you have a gas stove, you can try using the direct heat to let it puff up. Serve immediately.
41 Comments on “Life-Changing Gluten-Free Quinoa Flour Roti (Chapati)”
Sorry I meant rotis. Auto correct has caused me some minor issues sometimes
اسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
We are going through acupuncture treatment seasonal allergies and gluten is the first thing I was told to avoid. Along with white sugar. I went through some of the same emotions that you did. We’re Hyderabadis! The every day South Indian breakfast begins with rotisserie and vegetable curry. I’m still struggling, because apparently rice has arsenic in it so we should not be eating it daily. No rotis and limited rice means I’m wondering what we are to eat now. Maybe we should just go Keto!!! Luckily we are only sensitive to gluten so sometimes I used Einkorn flour to make roti, with some oat flour mixed in it. Your website is a real find and you may be sure that I will be a regular from now onwards.
All the best in your journey to good health!
W.S..Thanks so much, Fatima! I know – diet restriction is difficult. It’s something we deal with every day because of my husband’s gut issues. I hope you find what works for you, and I’ve learned that even that is fluid! Wishing you the best of health ♥️
Thankyou, I love this recipe! The method I altered slightly by soaking the pseudo grains over night with a tablespoon of organic vinegar or lemon juice. I learnt that all nuts and seeds are easier to digest when soaked for atleast 1 hour, up to 24 hours, with either lemon juice or vinegar. The acidity and saoking may be important for any one with digestive complaints.
I have not tried this recipe yet but I shall try it next. When I saw that you eat quinoa and buckwheat, I thought I should share my recipe with you. I adore both of these. The recipe is:
My Fermented Quinoa and Buckwheat Dosas
Either 1 cup white quinoa or 1/2 cup each dry quinoa seeds and 1/2 cup dry buckwheat groats, wash well and drain through a fine sieve
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1. Put all ingredients into a Vitamix, cover with water and run until smooth. Pour this into a large bowl. Add a little bit of water to the Vitamix and pour into the bowl also.
2. Cover with plastic wrap or a small plate and leave out all night on the counter.
3. The next day, add spices and 2 eggs to the batter:
1 heaping Tbsp tandoori spices by Saveur
1 small finely diced onion
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp turmeric pwdr
1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt
6-8 grinds of black pepper
2-3 finely minced garlic or garlic powder
1/2 to 1 tsp dry mustard powder
4. Heat a non-stick skillet, add butter or oil, add a ladle batter into the skillet, flip when bubbles form and you know the rest.
This is great for your digestive system. I have been experimenting and I think I have a winner. I’m so excited. Thank you for letting me share. Take care…
Your recipe sounds phenomenal. Thank you for generously sharing , Laura! My husband’s stomach started reacting to quinoa which is why I haven’t updated this recipe for some time. I still do hope to try this sometime. Thanks again!
Yes, soaking quinoa removes the saponins that can irritate the tummy!
The acidity of lemon juice or organic vinegar help to remove anti-nutrients and begin the digestion process through fermentation. It also helps to bring out the flavours and remove bitterness.
I love your recipe 🙂
I learnt the importance of soaking seeds, pseudo grains and nuts for anyone with digestive complaints.
Since year 2015, at 50+ years of age, I can tolerate neither lactose or glutan, which make me exceptionally unwell!
I can’t help wondering if flaxseeds (soaked overnight with the buckwheat and quinoa) can be a replacement for the eggs in this recipe in a vegan diet?
Hi, Can you please tell the brand name for the quinoa n other flours? I tried many and it wasnt soft…
Hi Suganya, I believe I used Bob’s Red Mill when developing this recipe.
Can I make quinoa flour at home by roasting and then grinding flour?
Hi Lakshmi, I haven’t tried that so I can’t say for sure. If you do so, just make sure to grind it very fine (maybe in a spice grinder or high speed blender). Hope that helps!
Thank you for the recipe Izzah. Do u think I could use a tortilla press with this dough? I know it doesn’t work for regular wheat rotis.
Yes! In fact, I just bought one and will update instructions when I use it to make this. Be sure to use parchment paper with it.
I know you have your personal family reasons for going gluten-free, but do you by chance have a recipe for chapati or naan for those of us who still consume gluten?
Hi Farwa, I don’t have a simple roti or naan recipe since I figured there are so many great resources online for them. I’d look for videos as it’s such a nuanced process. I do have a mooli wala paratha recipe on my blog. Also, Maryam from Pakistan Eats shared my paratha recipe which shares how I prepare my dough in the kitchen aid. http://www.pakistaneats.com/recipes/izzahs-laccha-paratha?rq=paratha.
I loved your posting. I am an American marrying an Indian man. I am also allergic to gluten ????. Not only do I need to learn to make roti in general….but I need a gluten free option that tastes as much like original roti as possible. Please help!!
Thank you, Drea! I’d say my Cassava flour roti taste most like real roti! You can also download my free gluten-free flatbread e-book for my oat flour roti!