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Jolie Cooks with Madhu Column: Making Roti and Pakoras with Granddaughter

Posted on August 3, 2021 at 11:00 AM by Madhu Gadia

August 3, 2021. 

Jolie Cooks with Madhu Column:  
Making Roti and Pakoras with Granddaughter



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My 13-year-old granddaughter and I had a fun afternoon making Madhu’s Roti and some Vegetable Fritters.


Roti are round breads made on the stove.  The only ingredients are atta flour and water.  My granddaughter made them herself. She mixed and kneaded the dough, divided it, rolled it out, and grilled the bread in a cast iron pan.  She pressed them with a kitchen towel as they cooked, as directed. Ta-da! We added melted butter.  Delicious.

Granddaughter's take on the roti: “Frying them was fun and so easy. I didn’t think they would puff up, but they did, but we should have left the dough sit longer.  When you make pancakes, the longer you let it sit before frying them the more air bubbles they have and the lighter they get.  I’m going to make a sandwich with them when I get home.”

My take:  I love making bread, especially with grandchildren, and this was the easiest bread recipe ever.   I discovered that the consistency of atta dough is different from any other.  Magically malleable and not a bit sticky, it felt like new play-dough.  I agree with my granddaughter about letting the dough rest longer than the minimum time noted in the recipe. Maybe the roti would have gotten puffier.


Every now and then having a fried treat is so satisfying. We decided to modify Madhu’s recipe a bit. Granddaughter said, “I don’t like onions or spinach that much, so we put in potatoes and corn instead.”  She did all the measuring and mixing, and I fried them in the hot oil while she kept watch. After making the first few, I adjusted the temperature and the pakoras cooked to a perfect crisp. Granddaughter gave them top rating: “I like them with ketchup, so I would order them in an Indian restaurant—with ketchup!”  We both could see why pakoras are served as appetizers and are popular street food in India.  

Making these recipes was a wonderful way to spend time together and indulge in some delicious carbs. I hope we can do it again. 


Madhu’s Comments

Making roti is simple yet takes talent. I’m amazed that a 13-year-old made Rotis puff the first time. So many variables can affect the quality of roti, dough consistency, the griddle (tava) temperature, the thickness, and the puffing. One thing for sure, puffed or not, thick or thin, they taste great when fresh off the griddle. 

Chai and Pakoras

Did you know that pakoras and chai are a winning combination? I am sure corn and potato pakoras were great. I will have to try them next time. There are so many types of pakoras; potato, onion, spinach, eggplant, bread, etc. Tell your granddaughter to try onion and spinach pakoras - she may just like them. Although I like cilantro chutney with my pakoras now, I always serve ketchup as an option.

Recipes: Roti, New Indian Home Cooking, page 78
Mixed Vegetable Fritters (Subji Pakora), The Indian Vegan Kitchen, page 64

CHAI & CHAT - Live Q&A  
Join Jolie and Madhu for a live Q&A on Facebook. 

Jolie is coming to Ames, IA from Milwaukee, WI. This will a fun and informal chat as Jolie shares her experiences with Madhu. 

Please send us your questions in advance. We look forward to seeing you on August 13th, at 11 am CT. 

Disclaimer: "Jolie Cooks with Madhu" is an independent column. The views expressed are Jolie Zimmers's personal cooking experiences and do not represent any product or company. They are not paid or reimbursed by any third party for their viewpoints.

Could you send a link for the live chat and Facebook live. I am not familiar with Facebook live.
Marbeth Foley | 8/5/21 at 9:48 AM
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