Roti is consumed widely in South Asia. It is the main part of our meals. Roti, naan, chapati, paratha and kulcha all fall under the same category. We consume roti like the west consumes bread. A traditional meal is incomplete without roti.
When I was 18, my mother used to say, "Learn to make a perfect roti. What are you going to do in susral(in-laws)." Ten years later, I still have to master the art of making the perfect round roti. Don't get me wrong. It is not like I don't make roti. I have been making roti since the last ten years but all of my efforts are in vain. The roti ends up looking like different maps of the world.
A perfect roti should be soft, thin, round and puffed up. Somehow, my roti either gets burnt or remains partially uncooked. I love to cook for my family. I'm not bragging or anything. Everyone in the family simply loves my food. I am always getting requests for haleem, qorma, biryani, piloa etc. For someone who cooks a lot, not being able to make a perfect roti hurts.
My mother taught me to make bal-wala paratha with layers. However, my in-laws eat square parathas, which I learnt to make after I got married. I don't know why mothers bother to teach us so many ways to cook different things. Believe me, everything in susral will be done in exactly the opposite way. My mother would pull tawa to place roti directly above the fire to puff it up. In susral, the rule is to press a cloth on roti to puff it up. My point has been made.
The kids always find different ways to increase my workload. They want to eat chini(sugar) wala paratha, aloo(potato) wala paratha and moli(radish) wala paratha. Then there comes the different sizes.
"I want to eat a paratha shaped like a moon"
"I want a star paratha"
"It should be rectangle or flower"
They go nuts for different shaped parathas. I can not even make a normal round roti, how am I supposed to make different shaped parathas. I don’t know how they manage to get these things into their heads. It's probably from watching too many cartoons. I never caused this much trouble for my mother! At least I don't remember doing much.
A few days ago, I asked my husband to buy a roti maker. I can't make roti for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We even bought one. I was delighted that now, I would not have to engage in the troublesome task of making roti. I placed a ball of dough in the roti maker and waited for the magical roti maker to do its work. The result was quite unexpected. The roti was thick, raw and not at all puffed up. So much for the magical roti maker. I really want to sue the company and demand my money back.
"We are not eating these!" my husband told me, "Go! And make your Australian map roti, those are better than these."
So, I had to march straight to the kitchen again for another batch of roti.
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