The converted cook

Indian bread - roti

Actually I was never really fond of cooking. People around me know that, so they will probably have a hard time believing that I spend more time in the kitchen these days. But when it comes to essentials even long established habits can change.

In India eating out can be a threat to your health. You better know that the food you eat is clean. Otherwise the days with bad stomach will multiply and you will have a hard time recovering from it in the New Delhi summer heat.

Since I am at an almost total loss of ideas when it comes to choosing a dish and shopping for it, I decided to get some help. I found a cook who exactly understood what I needed: learn how to cook healthy Indian fast food, in order to reduce the time in the kitchen to a minimum – essential at temperatures above 40 degrees – and increase the output in food to a maximum.

We ended up cooking three dishes in one evening, producing food supply for a whole working week. That’s the way I like it. Ever since then, I have been cooking for myself and did not yet fall back into buying street food on work days. I am not entirely converted yet, but at least I am ready to give it a try for some time. Let’s see how I cope with it in a couple of weeks.

Since I am learning all the quick and dirty stuff of Indian kitchen, I thought this might be of interest to you as well. I will start out with the very basic of Indian kitchen: bread – roti. It comes with every meal.

Indian flat bread – roti


Roti in its simplest form is made of whole wheat and water. You can add spices, onions, oil, ghee or salt if you like. Plain roti is made of flour and water.

Of course you need the right ingredients to do it. So you go shopping first. I bought five kilos of flour – whole wheat atta – and one of these flat frying pans you can directly put on the gas stove. Then you start.

Put some flour – atta – in a bowl and add luke warm water to it in small amounts while mixing all of it with one hand. Once it becomes a soft and still slightly wet but non sticky dough, you can let it rest for some minutes in a wet cloth.

Roti portions are then formed into small balls which are flattened with a rolling piece of wood. You need enough flour, so the dough does not stick to the working surface. Then you roast it 30 seconds each side in your hot roti pan – and that’s it. You can add some ghee or oil on top of it, so they don’t stick together when you start piling them up.

It’s fast and easy – and it tastes good with every Indian meal. Try it. Even I can do it.

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