coconut flatbread

June 14, 2011

It's so nice to make things that are naturally gluten-free especially things as simple as this flatbread.  Conversely, it's not nice to quickly hoover them all up and get a bellyache because you lack portion control.  That can be blamed solely on the fact that they're just that good.
This is a coconut-rice flatbread and is the easiest thing you've ever made in your life.  This particular bread hails from Sri Lanka and are called rottis.   They're a pan-fried soft bread sort of like an Indian naan.  
They're incredibly versatile and can be eaten alone with butter or honey or even used in a sandwich. 
And the highlight?  Only four ingredients.  Beat that!

Coconut Rotti ; Sri Lankan Coconut Rice Bread
vegan, gluten-free
2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup unsweetened, dried and shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups water

  1. Place the rice flour in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir the flour continuously to ensure even toasting. Remove from heat when the rice flour has darkened several shades and emits a toasted aroma. Place the toasted rice flour in a large bowl.
  2. In the same skillet, toast the coconut, stirring constantly, just until it begins to turn golden (note: toasting the coconut second will help unstick any toasted rice flour that's stuck in the grooves of your pan if you have a textured pan like me). Add the coconut to the rice flour and add salt. Stir to combine. Add just enough water to make a soft dough. Knead it until it forms a ball and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. To test the moisture level, roll a bit of the dough in your hand and press it flat. It should easily stay in one piece but it should also have some cracking around the edges. If your edges are totally smooth, you've added too much water. In this case you can add a bit more untoasted rice flour to the mixture. 
  3. Roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball. Place each ball between two pieces of waxed paper and use your palm or a rolling pin to flatten to your desired thickness. If you're a rotti newbie like me you might want to keep them on the thicker side; if you make them too thin, the can break easily.
  4. Fry on a preheated, lightly greased griddle or frypan over medium to medium-high heat until it begins to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until golden.