Recipe for soft and bready Sri Lankan Coconut Roti flat breads with a wonderful chili flavour
2 cups unbleached spelt or all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups fresh grated coconut or unsweetened desiccated coconut
2 to 3 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil or sesame oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup warm water or as needed
In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut, chilies, oil and salt. Using your hands, work the oil into the mixture until well distributed. Gradually add water to the bowl until you have a soft dough that is not too sticky but moist enough to shape into a ball.
Knead the dough in the bowl for about 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let sit for 1 hour or longer.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape into balls. Using the palms of your hands, press each ball into a small round that is roughly 1/2 cm thick. Keep the uncooked dough covered with the towel while you cook up batches of the roti so the dough doesn’t dry out.
Brush a cast-iron skillet or heavy non-stick skillet with a scant bit of oil and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, cook the rotis in batches until browned on both sides – about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Take care not to overcook otherwise the roti will be too hard and won’t have a nice bready consistency. Keep warm in foil while you cook the remaining rotis.