Here is an extremely popular breakfast dish from the South Indian state of Karnataka - Akki Roti. Akki means rice and hence akki roti means a roti (flat bread) made using rice. Add some colorful vegetables to amp up the nutrition. A gluten-free and vegan dish - fabulous way to use leftover rice.
About 13 years back...
I was just married at that time and I was always looking out for unique recipes to add to my recipe repertoire and listened intently every time when someone was talking about food.
Imagine my surprise when my colleague told me that they eat Akki roti for breakfast every day of the year! I thought she was exaggerating.
She was telling me how they make extra rice everyday so that they have leftover rice to make akki roti the next day. That sounded quite fascinating. Well, not just fascinating, sounded pretty efficient too. Since you know exactly what to cook, the mornings become more efficient.
So, the idea of the dish, the recipe for Akki Roti was filed in some corner of the brain, which stores my "to-be-used-later-ideas". It was a while (may be a couple of years later) when I finally decided to try making akki roti at home. And that too as an effort to save a disastrous cooking episode where I added a little extra water while cooking rice, and instead of perfectly cooked rice, I ended up with a mush. I knew I could not eat the rice as such, and that has to be transformed into something to salvage the rice - and my version of vegetable akki roti was developed. And since then, this yummilicious akki roti has a permanent spot in my menu.
It is a pretty straightforward recipe, simple enough even for a novice cook. Knead the cooked rice into a dough, add some vegetables to add nutrition and color. The only thing I would worry about is that it is a little delicate roti, so handle it with a little care so that it does not break.
Typically, the kneaded rice dough is rolled into a ball, and flattened into a thin pancake using your hands directly on the griddle. Instead, I use two sheets of greased parchment paper, and gently roll into a thin disc. Now, it becomes easier to transfer the roti onto the griddle without burning your finger tips.
When I was working on the Chinese Fried Rice post, I found out that fried rice was developed to use up left over rice. In South India, there are many ways to use up left over rice (since rice is the staple food) and akki roti is one of the best ways to put leftover rice to good use. If you are using leftover rice, make sure it is brought to room temperature before you knead it into a dough. Sometimes, it becomes too dry to knead into a dough. In such cases, I steam the rice a little (or if it is al dente cooked, I cook it a little more), to add moisture to the rice so that kneading becomes easy.
Though this Akki roti (I like to call it masala akki roti or vegetable akki roti to give it a little more clarity about the ingredients) is a convenient method to use up leftover rice, I also prepare it with freshly cooked rice. But when I cook the rice to prepare akki roti, I use extra water than usual to make it slightly more cooked than normal. This helps me knead the rice dough to a smooth paste.
Did I tell you I love akki roti with a nice spicy, tangy tomato chutney, which, according to me, is the best side-kick for akki roti. And my recipe for tomato chutney can be made in advance and can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days. It might stay in the refrigerator a little longer, but it hardly takes 10 minutes to prepare, that i do not make a ton of it. This tomato chutney is also good with plain dosa.
Week before last we were doing something fun here at Framed Recipes. Any guesses? We were working on two chalkboard images for a dear friend of mine - Meera who blogs at 7 Saffron Street. We had fun coming up with the design and actually implementing it. We touched base with her at every step of the way. Thanks so much for your trust in us, Meera. Please check out her uh-mazing (I repeat uh-mazing) post about her daughter's seventh birthday party. I promise you will be impressed by her photography. She gave us an amazing canvas to work on. The rest was easy. Visit Meera's blog and read all about her daughter's special celebrations - party prep and party day. You can also take a peek at the chalkboard images we did for her.
While you are enjoying Meera's photography, enjoy some hot, right out of the griddle akki roti with tomato chutney. Oh I forgot, add a cup of coffee too, please.
- 2.5 cups well cooked rice
- ½ cup fine rice powder
- 1 medium sized carrot; grated
- 1 bunch about 6-8 spring onion/green onions; white and light green parts finely chopped.
- 2-3 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
- 5-6 curry leaves finely chopped optional
- 1-2 Serrano pepper/Green Chilies; finely chopped.
- Salt to taste
- Water as required
- Oil as required
- Wash and peel carrot. Grate the carrot on the large hole of the grater.
- Wash and finely chop green onions, cilantro and curry leaves.
- Wash, remove the stem and finely chop Serrano pepper. If you want to make it less spicy remove the seeds from the pepper.
- Knead the rice into a fine paste sprinkling water as required. Add the rice powder and knead again to very smooth dough.
- Add the grated carrot, chopped green onions, cilantro, Serrano, curry leaves and salt to the dough. Mix well to combine.
- Grease two pieces of parchment paper.
- Place a griddle on the stove top and heat at medium high heat. Grease with oil.
- Make a big lemon sized ball out of the rice dough and place it on a greased sheet of parchment paper. Cover it with a second greased piece of parchment paper.
- Gently flatten the ball into a thin disc either using your palm or using a rolling pin.
- Remove the top layer of parchment paper. Gently lift the akki roti along with the parchment paper at the bottom and place the parchment paper on the griddle with the roti side down. Gently lift the parchment paper off of the roti.
- Let the akki roti cook on both sides for about 2-3 minutes each.
- Repeat with rest of the dough.
- Serve hot with tomato chutney.