I didn't let my first roti recipe get me down. I've watched enough Rocky movies to know that you don't give up after one try. I tried a more complicated version that seems to do the trick. I'm still going to hound my local roti guy until he gives me his recipe but until that happens I can live with this option. I need to have more Caribbean food in my life even if I'm not going there anytime soon.
In my last post, I mused about how inexperienced we were as sailors when we set off for the Caribbean. We only had a 30 hour course and a few day sailing trips under our belts before we left for our 10 month voyage. Most of the people we met had been sailing for decades, and often I felt quite lacklustre in my navigational skills. There was only one boat that we met on our trip that lacked even the basic knowledge of sailing. And frankly they made us feel like we had been born sailing when we compared ourselves to them.
They were four kids in the mid twenties who had been waitering at the same restaurant in Miami. They all agreed to pool their money together, buy a 42 foot sailboat, and then spend a year or two sailing the seas. The problem was that all of them had very little sailing, but were all pumped after reading Tanya Aebi's book Maiden Voyage. They decided they would take a sail over to the Bahamas and back for a bit of practice. Instead of waiting for a good weather window to go, they simply went when they all had two days off from their restaurant work. That turned out to be a bad idea. A storm was brewing the day they set sail. The waves were high, and they all got incredibly sea sick. There dinghy got ripped off their boat in the middle of the night, and they were all silly enough to not be wearing life jackets. One guy was manning the helm with one hand, while the other was holding on to his girlfriend's tee shirt as she puked over the side of the boat. But they made it to the Bahamas and back in one piece and within their allotted two days off. The last I heard they had sailed the islands for over three years. I'm guessing their sailing and judgement improved. They would of missed an incredible trip if they gave up after that first harried voyage.
So with them in mind, I will continue my noble quest towards the great roti. Maybe I need to go back to the Bahamas to get it right. But until then I am going to eat this one.
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
3/4 cup yellow split peas, soaked over night
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
salt to taste
Cook peas until soft but not mushy. Combine peas, turmeric, and cumin and blend to a consistency of wet sand. Set aside.
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. When forming balls, flatten balls slightly, and add a tablespoon of pea mixture. Then carefully pinch dough back into a ball shape.
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.