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.
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.
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:
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.