One particular memory that sticks out in my mind is the overwhelming feeling my mom felt when she had to make paratha/oil roti for dinner on a weeknight. Now, if you are Guyanese and have ever made paratha roti, then you know how labor intensive it can be and can probably sympathize with my mom here. Paratha sometimes referred to as “oil” roti because of the oil that is rubbed in between the layers when making the dough as well as while cooking the dough, is a flaky, thin, flatbread that is served to compliment many Guyanese dishes. It is delicate and tasty and is worth all its labor, but can be time-consuming on a Wednesday night.
Because my mom knew that she had to have dinner ready by a certain time and a great deal of that time would be spent making this wonderful paratha roti, she sometimes opted to make Sada roti instead. Although not as delicate as paratha roti, Sada roti has its own glory. It is a hearty, rustic, and simple flatbread to make. It can be eaten with many different side dishes and is very filling. My dad used to spread peanut butter on his sada roti and have it with a cup of tea for breakfast. Today I share with you my mom’s sada roti recipe. Follow this recipe exactly and you will be sure you achieve a soft and hearty sada roti. See an alternate recipe at the end for sada roti without baking powder.
Cooking on the tawah
This flatbread is traditionally cooked on a cast iron skillet known as a tawah. The roti dough is rolled to desired thickness then placed on the hot tawah. My mom cooked the roti mostly on the edges of the tawah. It would result in a nice charred taste. The direct heat from the fire also helped the roti raise rather rapidly. If you do not own a tawah, a non-stick skillet can work also, but you may not be able to place roti over direct fire with this option.
If you do not have a gas stove, placing roti in the microwave will help it swell. Alternately, you can place roti under broiler in oven for a few minutes until it swells. Leave oven door slightly open so you can keep an eye out.