xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Trinidad Paratha Roti (Buss up Shot)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trinidad Paratha Roti (Buss up Shot)

Early Sunday mornings, the Trini in me heads straight to the kitchen to make fried bake or roti for my family. But since I am allergic to raw flour [it makes me sneeze, eyes swell and itch] my hubbie helps.  Cooking is not one of his fortes, so I developed this recipe for him. He has been using it for a few months and does a great job every time.  If he can do it, anyone can!!!!  And no I am not being dishonest about the flour allergy to get him to help me.

[P.S.....Don't be intimidated by the length of this post, I wanted to include as many photos and detailed instructions to make it easy for you!]

Paratha, also know as “buss up shot” is one of the various types of roti ubiquitous in Trinidad. It is called buss up shot because of its texture, appearance and similarity to a torn (burst) t-shirt. Leave it up to a Trini to come up with a name like that. 

It is usually the roti of choice served with various vegetables or meat dishes at weddings, religious gatherings(poojas/prayers) and other special occasions.  While growing up in Trinidad, it was customary for neighbors to gather before dawn on these occasions to knead hundreds of pounds of flour to make the parathas. Nowadays, it is becoming more customary to “place an order” for the sake of time and convenience instead of continuing this tradition.

From my experience, a  typical Trini husband had his meal delivered into his hands and it was at these gatherings I first witnessed men actually involved in the cooking process---including making roti. It shocked me every time. My nana(mother's father) was one of those master “roti makers” and when he gave up that role, my auntie Jang, his daughter, assumed that prestigious title. I was always front and center when the cooking for these special occasions took place and was always eager to look, learn and assist. [Future cookingwithria in training].

While I was in Trinidad earlier this year, I learned that one of my hubbie’s neighbors is a roti maker. I couldn’t wait to go over to her house to see her in action. Luckily for me, she was very willing to let me watch her in action---unlike many cooks I know who guard their recipes with their life.

This is an authentic recipe, the real deal, but when I make paratha at home, I decrease the amount of clarified butter to one teaspoon and use extra virgin olive oil to brush on the dough while cooking. I also make 5 rotis instead of four because of the size of my tawa. Two of these are usually enough for my family of four. The remaining dough is covered tightly and placed in the refrigerator for a day or two to enjoy with another meal. 

Home made paratha most definitely contains less fat than the ones we buy in the restaurant. It's no surprise they are usually melt in your mouth, stick-to-your-hips tender. The price we pay for goodness....

Trinidad Paratha Roti (Buss up Shot)

Serves 6-8


For kneading
4 cups organic unbleached all purpose flou
4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons raw brown sugar
About 2 cups lukewarm water (sometimes require less --about 1 3/4)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For filling the dough
4 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee) or organic butter (or half butter and oil or coconut oil)
flour for dusting

To cook the paratha:
1/4 cup vegetable oil (healthier alternative - use light olive oil or coconut oil)

*** (if using salted butter, reduce salt)

VEGAN OPTION--Use Coconut oil or Olive oil.


Knead flour
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. 
Gradually add water to make a shaggy soft dough.
Rub 1 tablespoon oil over dough. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 15-30 minutes. (Sometimes only requires 5-10 minutes of resting if the dough is very soft)

Filling and wrapping paratha

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.  (if you have a very small taw or griddle make 5)

Press each dough into a circle using fingers or rolling pin. Using your fingers (or the bottom of a spoon) rub the surface of the dough with clarified butter. 

Sprinkle with flour. Cut dough downwards from middle of the top edge (12 o'clock) to the center of the dough. 

Roll clockwise into a cone.

Take the end of the dough and tuck it under the cone. 

Push the tip of the cone downwards into the dough. 

Let it rest for 30 minutes. 

Cooking the paratha
When ready to cook the roti, heat tawa, dry cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot. 

Working with one ball of dough at a time (keep the remaining dough covered) and using just enough flour to prevent sticking to counter and rolling pin, press dough into a small flat circle (about 4 inches). 

Using the rolling pin, roll the dough. Flip, rotate and roll until it becomes a thin, even 10 inch round(or as large as your tawa), making sure that the edges are not thick. If you can't make it round, don't worry, it tastes just as good. 

Pick up the dough, place it on the palm of your hand and lay it on the tawa by quickly flipping your hand over the tawa. 

Drizzle or brush about 1/2 tablespoon oil over the surface of the roti. Flip.

Drizzle or brush oil over the other side. Flip.

Cook for a few seconds more, spinning roti slowly in a clockwise direction to allow the oil to spread and the roti to cook evenly, about 15-30 seconds. 

Turn and repeat on the other side, cook another 15 seconds. 

When roti is fully cooked, use a wooden spatula to beat the roti gently, accumulating the edges toward the center (start at the top and work your way down), until the layers separate. 

Remove the roti from the tawa and wrap the roti immediately in a clean, dry cloth. 

Repeat rolling out and cooking the remaining dough, stacking and wrapping the finished roti in the cloth. Once they are all cooked, let them rest in the cloth for 10-15 minutes before serving. During this time, they will steam themselves, becoming soft and pliable. 

Well-wrapped roti keep in the freezer up to a month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat before using. 

This is how my babies and I love it when reheated....crispy/cripsy...

Hope I have inspired you to make this delicious paratha roti! Enjoy with some of my other recipes on this site including channa and aloo, bodi, curried chicken, stewed chicken, saltfish and tomatoes, baigan and tomato choka....or any of your favorite dishes....

Until next time,
Cooking with love,


Nicole Vazquez said...

I can't remember the last time I had Paratha, my god I wish I was living closer to you. I enjoy your step by step instructions, it's time consuming but the end result is well worth it !!!! I'll definitely give it a try,thanks much!

Sherry Ann said...

Thanks so much for this recipe. Can't wait to try it. Will let you know how I fared. God bless.

Cooking with Ria said...

Thanks, Nicole! It would be nice to have you as a neighbor again! Let me know how it turns out!

Cooking with Ria said...

Sherry Ann: You are most welcome. Good luck and God Bless you too.

Rhonda Delpesh said...

It has started....

Rhonda Delpesh said...

Ria...fantastic light..Naps lost again..tastes delicious..

Rhonda Delpesh said...

It's a pity I can't add the pic

Randy Girwar said...

i made it today! it came out great. this is the best recipe i got on the internet. THANK YOU :D

Ria said...

Thanks Randy! Happy to hear that! :-)

Lena said...

Thank you!! I think I finally found a recipe where my roti does not come out stiff. This has been a great help.

sophieb6916 said...

Thank you Lena..I am happy to hear that my recipe worked for you!

Cooking with Ria said...

Thank you very much Ria! We're living in England now and can't seen find a Trini style Roti cuisine. So I guess I'll have to make it by myself, with the help of you, of course! Your recipe was very detailed, also with a good sense of humour, I'm impressed! Will let you know how it turned out, keep up the good work!

Cooking with Ria said...

Thank you! Just for a minute until it's all combined .You don't want a smooth dough..soft and shaggy will do.

Cooking with Ria said...

what can i replace the ghee with? when you mentioned using less salt if using salted butter were you referring to the ghee?

Cooking with Ria said...

The recipe was very easy. The buss up shot was great and everyone loved it. Thanks Ria! My new favorite recipe:)

Cooking with Ria said...

Thank you so much Anntionia!

Cooking with Ria said...

Tramaine, you can replace the ghee with regular butter, and no I was not referring to the ghee. Hope your paratha turned out great..

Cooking with Ria said...

I will have to give this style a try! I made some last night - my 1st attempt - and it was good, but just a little thicker than I wanted. Thanks for this post!


Cooking with Ria said...

You should post that video that you promise in this post. I'm a self-taught American roti maker...learned what little I know from the internet and experimentation...and one thing I know for sure is that the key step in the whole process is getting the right consistency of dough. That's partly the flour-water ratio and partly the kneading technique. "Shaggy" is the right word for the consistency you want, but I always have a hard time handing dough that wet unless I put a ton of oil on my hands. The youtube poster known as "Guyana Rude Boi" currently has the best roti-making video out there, but it would be very easy to make a better one,and you should do it. Thanks for all the great recipes.

Cooking with Ria said...

Where can one get an authentic Tawa? Even if is has to be shipped from overseas and not what they're selling in the US as a "tawa"

Cooking with Ria said...

I've been looking for Gluten free options. What flour do you use??

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