Thursday, 17 December 2015

Corn Bread with Radish (Makkai ki Roti) [Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking]

This cornstarch roti from the Indian Vegetarian cookbook is one of those recipes where I kept on saying "that can't be right, that's not going to work, this is clearly the wrong texture", and yet, I'm glad I stuck with it exactly, because it turned out actually pretty well!

Cookbook Recipe:


  • 1 cup packed grated daikon radish (don't press the water out of it)
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 cup "fine ground corn flour" (this is the British term for cornstarch)
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

Following the cookbook recipe exactly:

Is it supposed to be this soupy? It still works, though.
1. In a bowl, mix the radish and salt. Add the cornstarch and mix well with your fingers, pressing the water out of the radish. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time, mixing well. The "dough" turns pretty soupy at this point, and it's kind of hard to "divide it into 8" when it's mostly liquid.

2. Cut 9x9 inch pieces of wax paper and have a bowl of water handy to wet fingers. Spread an eight of the dough into a thin 5 inch round circle on the wax paper.

Again, it shouldn't work, but it does.

3. Heat a frying pan over medium for 3 minutes. Carefully flip the round onto the griddle with the paper still attached and peel the wax paper off. Cook on one side for 3 minutes, the other side for 2.

4. Add 1 1/2 tsp butter and fry the bread for 1 minute on each side. Repeat for the rest of the batch.

The Outcome:

This actually works! I was expecting it to be a runny mess, but as soon as it hit the heat, it came together into a solid roti. It fried up nicely, and I really liked the slightly glutenous texture from the cornstarch. My only problem is that most of the water evaporates in the first few minutes, so one side stays a bit harder and paste-white. Frying it in the butter helps brown it a bit.

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