I Give You Roti And a Big Hug

Today is the International Dentist Day.  I am sure that many of you, Beautiful People, do not count your visits to a dentist among your most pleasant memories. I, on the other hand, vividly remember lines of patients by my father’s door who had preferred to wait (and suffer!) for hours in order to be seen by “the painless doctor.” With this post, I am honoring the kindest and most wonderful dentist in the world, my father, may he rest in peace. He did not have sophisticated technology  – it hadn’t existed in those times – or an array of painkillers to numb your mouth (those did exist but were scarcely distributed to local clinics). His gentle, but deft touch, his radiant smile, and soft, caring voice worked better than drugs. Not only little kids and pretty ladies were called “sweethearts” and “darlings;” old drunks and smelly street denizens got the same treatment.

Dad 5.jpg

I am happy that for the last three years of his long and fruitful life, I was able to spend so much time with my father, and during the final few months, I was with him almost 24/7. I got to hug him and to hold him, to wash him and to dress him, to kiss his hand and to comfort him. To the last moment, he was telling jokes, and with his last breath, he gave the nurse “his lovely smile,” as she called it.  In memory of my father who was brought up on Popaliks (for recipe, click here), I made an Indian variation of flatbread – Roti. I am sure he would’ve loved it because, as traditional as he was, he was never averse to trying any of my funky culinary experiments and liked most of them.

Roti 1.jpg

In my kitchen and for our purposes, spelt is considered gluten free. However, if you are allergic to gluten or have a celiac disorder, please consult your physician. Basic roti dough is made by mixing flour with water, a little olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Mix it in a bowl until it doesn’t stick to the sides any more, than flip it onto a working surface lightly dusted with flour.

Roti 2.jpg

Knead it for a few minutes, to make it nice and smooth, and divide into 8 – 10 pieces, depending on the size of your frying pan. Grab your rolling pin and roll out each piece into a thin round the diameter of your frying pan. It helps to cover the rest of the pieces with a damp cloth to prevent drying out.

Roti 3

Just as popaliks, the reason roti could be used instead of the traditional two challahs on Shabbos is that, even though they are baked stove top on a frying pan, there is no oil. In other words, they are not fried, but dry baked. It literally takes a couple of minutes on each side, but the pan must be very hot, so watch your hands!

roti-4

I know my father would’ve enjoyed these beautiful, soft and delicious roti! His shining Neshomah (soul) is reminding us to tell those we love that we love them – while we can!

INGREDIENTS
2 cups white spelt flour (alternatively, whole wheat flour)
3/4 cup water or more
1 tablespoon olive oil
A pinch of salt

PROCEDURE
Mix ingredients in bowl until dough pulls away from sides. On lightly dusted with flour surface, knead until smooth. Divide into 8 – 10 pieces, cover with damp cloth.
Preheat dry (not oiled) frying pan to high heat. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a round equal in diameter to your frying pan.
Place each flat round on hot pan, bake for 1 – 11/2 minute on each side, until golden brown spots appear.

Roti could be warmed in the oven before Shabbos.

Enjoy!

47 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for the recipe for Roti, I will try them one of the coming days, Dolly 😀
    Good to read, that you had so great a relationship with your father.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Irene!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. what a nice tribute to your father. He sounds like a remarkable man. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He was – humble, understated, yet remarkable in his own way. Thank you so much, dear Ronit!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A_Boleyn says:

    A sweet way to remember your father on Dentist’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear friend! It’s been almost four years since I lost him, and the loss is still fresh in my heart. This is the portrait of him that I see first thing as I open my eyes in the morning and last thing before I turn out lights at night.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A fine tribute – and, of course, I like rotis

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Derrick.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. cookingflip says:

    Hi Dolly, what’s the reason why bread served on Shabbos should not be cooked in oil?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello darling, and thank you for stopping by!
      It is commanded in the Old Testament that bread fried in oil should only be used as part of sacrifices for specific sins. Since we do not have a Temple any more and thus do not have the ability to bring sacrifices, we don’t do it. For Holy Days, which includes Shabbos, regular baked bread should be used.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. cookingflip says:

        Many thanks, Dolly for the explanation. Very much appreciated 😻🐾🍀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My pleasure, dear friend!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for once again including me in your prestigious line up, dear Sally!

      Like

  6. What a sweet tribute to your father, he sounds like a wonderful man! I’ve never made Roti, but I might try, sounds great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, dear TIffany!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a quick, delicious recipe for a home baked treat of a good bread!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Forgot to say, i wish i could have met your father. He sounds a lot like mine, a doctor, someone who cared about all of the people he lovingly served.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s exactly how he was, and I thank you for understanding and relating to your father, dear Mimi.

        Like

    2. Thank you so much, dear Mimi! It’s also much healthier than any yeast-raised bread.

      Like

  8. Thank you for another great recipe. Looks like the French crepes, but i am sure they are much more delicious. Your father – God blessed him – was as i read between the lines of your story – a very remarkable man. Looking in his face i am sure, i had lost any fear too. Trust is especially important with a doctor and also dentists.You can’t play trust, it comes from the human being itself, i would say from the soul. Thank you Dolly! Have a beautiful week. Here in Europe we are shaked by storms, with lovely names like “Ciara” (the English naming for the same storm, in Germany is named “Sabine”). So far also for political unity in Europe, if one already chooses different names for the same meteorological pressure area. Lol Michae4l

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love French crepes, but these are totally different; they are actually flatbread, so you can’t roll or fold them.
      Yes, my father didn’t have an enemy in the whole world – everybody loved him! In Yiddish we call it a “liebe mich” personality, and my son has it too. I thank you for understanding, dear Michael.
      As to European political unity, I think the last person who managed to achieve it was Charlemagne in 8th century, and it has fallen apart after his death, never to be seen again.
      Stay safe from the storm and have a wonderful week, Michael!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great to read, Dolly! Thank you for mentioning Charlemagne, and the wishes. It looks like the storm is over, our old tree (80+) has survived. Would be a great pleasure for the birds. Have a beautiful week too. Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am glad the storm is over for you, Michael. Enjoy your week, dear friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you very much, Dolly! Hope the only and last one too, for this year. Have a wonderful week, Dolly! Best wishes, Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you, Michael, and the same to you!

        Like

  9. Joëlle says:

    Your dad sounds like he was a great person, Dolly.
    Your “roti” look both delicious and healthy; alas for me spelt is not a cereal I can use without suffering — and your dad wouldn’t approve of that, would he now?
    The word “roti” reminds me of a funny misunderstanding that happened to us once in the city of Quebec. I won’t say any more, but will keep it in mind for a future post ☺️
    Thank you, take care, dear neighbor!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do include a warning every time I use spelt,
      Joelle, but I am sure you can use any GF flour you prefer for this very forgiving simple recipe. I am looking forward to your post!
      Thank you for your kind words about my father; it’s been almost four years without him, and I still miss him very much. He spread love and kindness whenever he went.
      Have a wonderful week, dear friend!

      Like

  10. purpleslob says:

    He was so handsome! How wonderful you got to be with him the last years of his life!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Handsome? Ha! When he visited me in college, he was in his late 30’s, and all the girls were asking, “Who is this tall, dark, and gorgeous guy you are walking around with?” When I said, “My dad,” they went like “Aha, sure! You just want to keep him a secret so that nobody tries to move on him!”
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, dear purple person!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. purpleslob says:

        My pleasure! I can see why they were gaga over him!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Girls will be girls, right? Thank you, dear purple person!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. purpleslob says:

        My pleasure, my dear feline person!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. What a beautiful tribute to your Father!! 💕 What a wonderful person. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, dear Bernice!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your welcome. 💕💕💕

        Liked by 1 person

  12. kelleysdiy says:

    This must be one of your easiest recipes for me to make! Thank you, and God Bless your dad honey, beautiful story!😘❤️️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, darling! I treasure the memories, may he rest in peace.

      Like

  13. kelleysdiy says:

    ….and I will take that hug and enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here is a virtual hug for you, darling!😻

      Like

  14. SAM VOELKER says:

    Beautiful tribute and I can almost smell that bread baking, but the best I can do today is red beans and rice, that will have to do until I find someone to help me with the bread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Red beans and rice sounds delicious, Sam!
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      Like

  15. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    a message we can sink our teeth into….!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The very least I can do!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are doing a lot, Jonathan, and I, for one, am grateful.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ORT-ORT-ORT-!!!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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