I once read that the essence of a culture is in the words that cannot be translated. Explained yes, but not directly translated. The word “Takalluf” was the example given by the author. It is that courteous first and often second time repudiated offer that stems from good manners.
Roti ka Salan is one such dish – it gives new life to day-old rotis and one that carries the essence of my household and culture. You have gone through all of the work of preparing a batch of rotis, but couldn’t finish them all in one sitting. What to do with the leftovers now? Make ‘Roti ka Salan’. By using stale rotis for this recipe, less food ends up in the trash. The simple warming spices in this salan make it flavourful and wholesome. Roti ka Salan is a vegetarian meal that relies on simple ingredients for beautiful flavours. The stale rotis make it hearty and the spiced yogurt based gravy adds depth. The idea is that as rotis become stale, they become a sponge for the flavours of the yogurt gravy.
Majority of my recipes are inspired by my mother. She has tried her best to instil the sharp ‘andaza‘ (guesstimate) trait in me as well, as it serves to be a strong base of giving your own touch to any recipe at all. Roti ka Salan is just one of the most amazing recipes that my mother first learnt from Baa (grandmother) after her marriage. Do you know that feeling you get when you eat that first bite of the perfect biryani? And those resourceful dishes that are comforting and so interesting at the same time. This salan is one such example for me. Recently someone quoted, “while we glorify the power of comfort food we often gloss over the discomfort it came from” – and making rotis is no joke, so don’t waste them!
I tried to squeeze this recipe’s description into a short paragraph, but then it would be a disservice to the generations of women I learnt it from. Sometimes you can’t capture generations of recipe traditions in one reel. But you can somehow magically capture them in one bite. This Recipe has passed down through my family for generations and it warms my heart. So it’s my turn to pass it on to you.
Roti ka Salan
Serves: 3 Total time: 30 mins
- Leftover Stale Rotis – 7 to 8
- Onion Chopped – 1 medium sized
- Yogurt – 150 gm
- 1 tbsp Besan / Gram flour
- Water – 250 ml
- Salt- ½ tsp (adjust accordingly)
- Oil – 4 tbsp
- Jeera / Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Few Curry leaves
- Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp
- Coriander cumin powder – 1 & ½ tsp
- Turmeric – ¼ tsp
- Ginger Garlic paste or Hara Masala (Green spice paste made of coriander, ginger, garlic, green chillies & coconut) – 1 tbsp
- Sugar – 3 tsp
- Handful of chopped Coriander
- Cut/tear leftover stale rotis into small pieces.
- Blend together yogurt, salt, besan / gramflour & water. Make sure there are no lumps.
- In a vessel heat 4 tbsp oil.
- Add cumin seeds to it, once it starts crackling add curry leaves.
- Add chopped onion. Cook until it turns golden brown in colour. Lower the flame, then add ginger garlic paste/hara masala, red chilli powder, coriander cumin powder, turmeric powder & little water to avoid the spices from burning. Mix well and cook on low flame till oil starts separating.
- Add the yogurt mix prepared previously (mentioned in the 2nd step). Cook on high flame while stirring continuously. Once it comes to a boil lower the flame, add sugar & chopped coriander (reserve some for garnishing). Mix well.
- Finally add the small pieces of rotis. Give it a good mix and simmer for 2 mins. Turn off the flame. Adjust the amount of salt if required.
- Garnish with some chopped coriander & serve it immediately!!!
- Enjoy this heartwarming & comforting meal on a lazy day.
Watch this recipe here – Roti Ka Saalan
Misbah Khimani is a trained young chef who has always been passionate about food and believes that creating a dish is no less than creating art. She was an intern at Taj Mahal Palace hotel until 2020 when her mother underwent a surgery and COVID lockdowns hit. Being at home to care for her family gave her the space to explore food content creation because she wanted to share this art with others all over the world. This gave birth to her Instagram handle @mealsbymisbah where she started slow and unsure but soon found what clicked. She now focuses on learning, creating and sharing this artform with fellow food enthusiasts.
Translations and detailed descriptions are provided to give a better understanding of the story to people from different cultural backgrounds across the globe.