Round One

I am trying to perfect the roti. I haven't quite got it yet. I borrowed a stack of Carribean cookbooks from my local library, and did try a roti recipe but what I got was good naan bread. I started liking West Indian food the year Jess and I lived on our boat.

The software company Jess was working for was closing down. They fired most of the staff and then asked a handful of people to stay on an extra year to tie up loose ends. As an incentive, the bonus at the end of the year was a whole year's salary. His coworkers acted responsibly and paid off student loans, made down payments on new houses or tucked it away for their children's education. We did no such thing. In our defense, we didn't have any debt, weren't ready to buy a house and had no children save for. We did what any sane couple in their late twenties would do. We bought a 30 foot sailboat, took a 30 hour sailing course, and then spent a year sailing to the Bahamas and back.

Most of the people we met on our trip were retired and seasoned sailors. Not so with us. Several times, we found ourselves in dicey situations due to our lack of experience. We are lucky that we didn't get ourselves killed a few times. But it was all worth while in the end, even with all the bumps. There is nothing like drinking a cold beer on an empty Carribean beach, or making sushi fresh from the tuna we just caught off the back of our boat. We hope to go again when the kids are a bit older. For now we will settle with making roti at home and reminiscing.

Roti (but it really is more like naan bread)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 to 1 1/2 cup of water
1 tsp of baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp canola oil

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add water until the dough comes together into a soft dough. Knead slowly for a few minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
Divide dough into four equal balls, and let rest 10 minutes. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Roll out a ball of dough to a 8 inch circle, and place on skillet. Brush oil on one side, and flip after a few seconds. Repeat until both sides are browned, and roti are slightly puffed. Serve with curry.

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