Trinidadian Paratha Roti
Recipe by The Ivory Hut
Serves: Makes 8
  • If you like, substitute self-rising flour for the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • 7½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling and sprinkling
  • 8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups lukewarm water, or as needed to create a soft dough
  • ¼ cup ghee or oil, or more as needed
  • 1 to 2 sticks softened butter
  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour in 1 cup of the warm water; mix very lightly with your hands until a portion of the dry ingredients come together into a shaggy, fairly dry dough. Transfer that portion to a plate. Repeat mixing with another cup of water, then followed by the last cup of water, sprinkling in additional water as needed in the last batch to form “shaggy dough”.
  2. Return shaggy dough portions to the mixing bowl and knead lightly it, adding oil, to form a soft mass. Coat bowl with oil then cover dough with a damp kitchen towel until dough is relaxed (or until it has properly “soaked” as they say in Trinidad), about 1 hour.
  3. Divide dough into 8 portions and gently form into smooth balls. Dust the balls with flour and place them about 4 inches apart on a floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel; let rest again for half an hour (or more, if you like) until dough relaxes again.
  4. Working one at a time, roll a dough ball on a floured surface into a thin round. Spread a thin coat of softened butter on the entire surface. Sprinkle flour on buttered surface. Following photos, slit dough with a knife from center to an edge. Starting on a cut end, roll dough in a cone shape. Using your thumb, tuck the dough into the open end of the cone, filling the hole completely. Then press the pointed end of the cone, and lightly press the dough back into a ball shape and return it to the floured baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Let dough rest again, about 15 minutes.
  5. When ready to make the roti, set out a plate and two clean kitchen towels. Heat a large skillet, griddle (or tawa if you’ve got one) over medium heat. When skillet is properly heated (very important), roll one of the dough balls on a lightly floured surface into an approximate 10-inch round. Brush skillet with butter (or ghee) and then lay the roti on the hot skillet. When small bubbles appear over half the roti surface, about 1½ minutes (if roti is cooking too fast, lower heat), lightly brush with butter and then flip. Continue to cook, occasionally spinning roti to prevent burning and pressing down on the edges with a spatula or wooden spoon so edges cook properly. When second side is done, lightly brush the first side with butter again. Flip one last time just to let the butter soak in. Roti surface should be slightly crisp and lightly spotted browned.
  6. Place the roti into the center of one of the clean towel, fold each side of the towel over to cover the roti, and twist the ends of the towel to create a candy-wrapper shape. Grabbing each twisted end of the towel, smash your fists together to break up the roti layers. Transfer roti to the plate lined with the other kitchen towel; cover roti to keep it warm. Grease skillet and repeat with remaining dough balls, occasionally shaking the "beating cloth" over the sink to get rid of crumbs. (Or eat them like I do. :) )
  7. Photos by The Ivory Hut & Tom
Recipe by Three Many Cooks at