Chick Pea Flour Bread (Besan Roti)

(Photo by darktek13/Flickr)

Known as besan roti, these are nutritious because of the protein content of chick peas.


140 g/4 1/2 oz/1 cup besan
250 g/8 oz/2 cups atta or roti flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed ajowan seeds
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup water
ghee or oil for shallow frying


Sift besan before measuring it, and in a heavy pan roast it over low heat, stirring constantly all over the base of the pan as it burns very easily. It will turn from pale yellow to gold. Remove from heat and continue stirring until it is cold, or turn it out into a bowl so it doesn't scorch in the hot pan. Sift both kinds of flour together with salt, pepper and ajowan into a bowl. Rub in ghee or oil. Add water and mix to a dough, kneading firmly until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with food wrap and set aside for at least 1 hour.

Take balls of the dough, roll out on a lightly floured surface to the size of a large saucer, and about 3 mm (1/8 in) thick. (Spreading with ghee and rolling twice, as in the recipe for parathas, gives a much softer result.) Heat a griddle or heavy frying pan and cook as for parathas.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998).