13 May, 2012

How to knead atta: The quick-fix version.

Child's play, really.

In the past, there must have been kazillion times that I would have much preferred a good old roti with something or the other (most usually butter), but never bothered because it seemed like too much trouble to make. 

I'm talking, of course, about those hostel days when the easiest thing to do (especially when hunger pangs struck at midnight while working hard on an assignment) was to dig out some quick carbs like 2-minute noodles, or plain old bread, brew a large glasses of chai, (invariably such assignments were done in the august company of other last-minute-type, night-owl friends) and get back to work.  

Tch-tch. I would never do that now. 

Around the time Y1 was about a year old, I adopted this short-cut technique to whip up a quick, hot, roti from the scratch - the Quick-fix method, and I still use it often.

This works well for small quantities, like, say for 2-4 rotis or 1-2 paranthas.  If you're planning a meal for a family or having guests, then it might be better to stick to the traditional method.

So here goes, and if this gets even a single, reluctant person to make a roti at least once, I shall consider my job done.

All that's needed is a bowl, a strong spoon (or fork),
and a small scoop of wholewheat flour.

This time, I'm making the dough for a couple of namak-ajwain paranthas, (quick snack for Y1 and Y2) so I also add about a1/2 teaspoon each of salt and ajwain (carom) seeds.
(For making just plain atta, skip this and the next step.)
Stir to mix the dry ingredients a bit.
Add water, a little at a time -
Use the spoon to mix it in.
I tend to use a circular motion while turning the spoon around the bowl - a bit like a mixer (though not that fast!), and mash it well so that all the water is absorbed.
Keep adding more water, bit by bit.
And continue the process of stirring and mashing (it helps to have a "grip-able" bowl and spoon!) till all the final remaining dry atta gets mopped up in this way.
Almost done.  When this gets kneaded it will be slightly stiff -
- so I add just a last little bit of water,
- that also ought to 'clean up' the last of the flour,
and also make the dough nice and pliable.
a final good mix (it will take a bit of effort now)
And, still using the spoon, roll it into a nice ball of dough.
It's ready!
And you can still keep hands off,
 by scooping out a small ball (Loi) - just the size for the roti/parantha,
and dropping it into the flour
to coat it well, so that it doesnt' stick when being rolled out.
Easy, wasn't it?  All ready to be rolled out into a roti.
The next step would be to graduate to actual kneading - which can even be done with the individual "loi" merely by rolling it into a sausage doubling it up and rolling it out a couple of times before making the ball.  Here it is, below, looking a bit silkier after it's thus kneaded, also ready to be rolled out into a roti.

Don't forget to give out some bits to nearby children for the Very Important job of making wicks and other  dough artwork.


  1. Hi ,

    I'm Punitha from


    First time here.

    At your free time do visit my blog:)

    Very nice demonstrations ...

    1. Hi Punitha - thank you. I liked your blog :) Will visit again for sure.

  2. Really creative blog. Thanks for stopping by Unique Margarita! We love all of the echo ideas! New follower here:)

  3. Hi Laiana, Agnes, and Adriana. Thank you! I'm loving the projects that you've showcased in Recycle Uniquily! :)

  4. This is really a quick way knead atta. I love the way you took the pictures with those small figurines... really childs play...

    Glad to have found your blog... it's always good to know people who care about our eco system enough to change their ways...

  5. Thank you Anisha! Your feedback and appreciation makes it so much more fun and worthwhile! And I'm loving "Flavours"! :)

  6. Love the idea of not having to get your hands into the atta. But as a new desi mom to a toddler who loves rotis (thanks to Nani), would you be able to share how much flour and water you used? I Know what the consistency should be, but find that most of my time is going into adding a little more atta, and then just a little more water... It's a guessing game... Can anyone provide accurate measurements? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi, (sorry about the delayed response! hope you were able to figure that one out in the meantime!) In any case, as you rightly stated it's a bit of a guessing game, because the absorbency varies with each wheat variety, and the flour consistency, and even between batches of the same version. That is why, the simplest method is to add a little at a time, till the consistency is just right.
      That being said, one could always start off with a general ratio like 3:1 (one third cup water to a cup of flour), and then keep adding more as required. In just a few trials, it will be easy to establish a (more or less!) proportion that works for you. Rotis are such a convenient toddler (and kid) food aren't they?! cheers! - ila

  7. Hello, a really nice blog here. But am wondering, what can I add to flour when am using only atta flour to make it good better so that the dough does not break as I roll and so that the chapatis or rotis also do not tear too easily.

    1. Hello Edwin, Thanks for stopping by, and for the appreciation. :) About the atta flour, in fact you shouldn't need to add anything other than water to make a really great elastic dough that will not break. (If it is just atta) It needs to be kneaded well enough to develop the 'gluten' which is naturally present in wheat flour or atta. Or you could let it rest for an hour or so, covered, then a quick knead again before rolling out the rotis.). All the best! - ila



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...