CORN ROTI

This is a gift from Punjab to you and me and everyone we know. Use it wisely, preferably as the Punjabis do, with a steaming bowl of mustard leaf saag and a spoonful of freshly churned butter. I’ve broken with tradition by cutting these rotis with a large cookie cutter instead of rolling them by hand, because the cornmeal can crack easily (and besides, it’s much quicker).

Makes around 10 small rotis

1¾ cups fine cornmeal
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon salt
canola oil
2 Indian green chiles, very finely sliced
¼-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2/3 cup hand-hot water

Put the cornmeal, flour, and salt into a bowl and mix. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and rub through with your fingers until the flour resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then add the green chiles and ginger and stir to mix. Little by little, mix in the water—you might not need it all—and knead for around 5 minutes, until it becomes a soft and pliable dough.

Roll out half the dough on a floured surface until very thin. Take a 4-inch round cookie cutter or a bowl with a thin rim, turn upside down, and press into the dough to create discs. Do the same with the other half of the dough.

To cook the rotis, put a frying pan over high heat, drizzle a little oil into the pan, and cook 2 to 3 rotis at a time for around 3 minutes, turning every minute or so until cooked through and no darker doughy spots can be seen.

Slather with fresh homemade butter (see here) and eat with mustard greens