We used to typically get this for breakfast when visiting family in Mysore. Somehow mom rarely made this in Delhi when we were kids. Later on, after I started working and mornings were less frantic, she used to make this every once in a while, especially when dad had got fresh green beans from Bangalore, and I always loved it. It got into my repertoire when I got married, particularly because rice flour was easily available at the grocery store in Fontainebleau.
Akki rotti is best had crisp, with a yummy coconut chutney or Ranjaka as an accompaniment. We've carted these handy eats with us on a very long driving holiday to Switzerland, and they came in very handy on stretches where we found no veg food.
2 cups rice flour
Handful freshly grated coconut
Handful chopped coriander leaves
2-3 green chillies if liked
2 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds
1 red onion, chopped finely
Salt to taste
Mix the ingredients together with a little water to make the dough. Be conservative while adding the water, because this flour soaks it up pretty fast so it's all too easy to end up with a sticky, slushy mess ( and I speak from experience!)
Keep a wide bowl full of water handy on the side.
Take a fistful of dough and form it into a ball. Put the ball of dough in the middle of the frying pan, and using your fingers, press the dough out towards the corners of the pan.
Try and get the roti as thin as possible so it turns out crisp. Warning - your fingers will start to hurt a little bit, but all in a good cause! (The rice flour is too brittle to lend itself to rolling, hence the need to press them out). Occasionally dip your fingers in the bowl of water to keep the dough from sticking to them.
Once the dough has spread out, make 3 holes with the tip of your finger in the middle of the roti. Put the pan onto a hot stove and cover it with a lid that seals it off tightly. Cook under cover for about 2-3 minutes, and then remove the cover. The roti should be looking steam-cooked by now.
Dribble a few drops of the oil into each of the three holes, and taking a bit more oil in a teaspoon, run the teaspoon around the outer edges of the roti. Cook on a medium-high flame, turning over occasionally, until the back is nicely browned, and there are a few brown patches on the front.
Serve hot with traditional Karnataka coconut chutney. You can add fresh, lightly steamed green beans to the dough for an even more traditional touch.
Now the chutney too is a work of art, in my opinion. I hate the typical coconut chutney served at restaurants, particularly outside the south. They basically consust of ground up coconut and a bit of salt.
Homemade chutney - now that's the real thing, with taste and zing. It's so delicious I could eat a bowlful by itself, and it's the icing on the rather bland cake of idli or dosa. Neither idli nor dosa have the same savour when served without this accompaniment.
1 fresh coconut, grated
1 lime-sized tamarind bit soaked in hot water
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
3-4 green chillies
Handful coriander leaves, chopped roughly
Handful Roast chana, peeled ( bhuna hua chana)
Salt to taste
Squeeze the tamarind into the hot water so all the tart juice runs out. Strain the tamarind juice into your blender. Add the rest of the ingredients, and half cup water. Grind finely, adding a little more water as and when needed. Top with the Garnish, and serve with idli, dosa, akki roti, uppittu, plain chapatti and whatever else takes your fancy!
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal( white)
1 red dried chilly
Handful curry leaves, washed and dried
Pinch heeng ( asafoetida)
We had akki roti with this wonderful chutney made by dad for breakfast on Saturday. The weather was lovely - warm but with a cool breeze, so we ate out on our balcony, which has mediterranean-style stucco white walls and orange flooring. The balcony looks out into a jacaranda tree, and beyond that a lawn with frangipani trees, so it was the perfect place to enjoy a lazy breakfast. We wound up with traditional filter-kaapi supplied by dad again ( we don't go for coffee much at our place) while watching the two kiddos run around and play - Gar firdaus bar rue zameen ast, hameen ast, wa hameen ast, to paraphrase Babur!