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Soft Butter Rotis

Soft Butter Rotis

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I make these Soft Butter Rotis almost every week and yet I don’t have a recipe on my blog. What’s wrong with me!

Finally I have taken some photos and my recipe is ready to be posted. If you are South African you will know it’s “blasphemous” to make it anything other than soft…haha!

As you will know if you have been reading my posts, I was raised in a South Indian home. Roti was not a staple in our home so it took me a lot of trial and error to get it to perfection.

I remember the days my hubby cringed when I made them. It was too thick, too thin, too hard, some days like rubber, other days rock hard….Lol! I can safely say I have finally passed the test.

You know they say “practice makes perfect”. I have watched my mum-in-law make them and I have asked her a million questions so I never fail again.

She is quite the expert at making rotis. Nothing is measured either. I am proud to say I have also reached that level of expertise, I no longer measure my ingredients when making these Soft Butter Rotis. However, that too comes with patience and loads of practice.

Roti is similar to Paratha.

Soft Butter Rotis

Tips on how to make the perfect Roti

If you read my little post on roti making, you will find a few helpful tips. Firstly, your water has to be freshly boiled straight out the kettle.

Depending on where you live and the weather you may require less than a cup of water. You can use butter or oil, doesn’t make a difference. I have tried them both and they work equally well.

Your dough will feel a little sticky at first but as you knead the dough will become silky smooth.  I usually don’t add salt to my dough but you can add a pinch if you wish.

Perfectly round Rotis

Perfectly round rotis are only achieved by starting with a neat ball of dough. If you start with a great foundation you will achieve a great final product. I personally love the rotating rolling pins, it works well for me.

My Indian flatbreads are perfectly round when I use this rolling pin as I feel that I can roll my dough with ease. But you can use any rolling pin that you are comfortable with.

You must also dust your surface with flour, the dough is soft so you need the flour to help you roll it out.

Resting the dough

If you have the time you can cover your dough with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for half an hour, that’s guaranteed to make them perfectly soft.

I don’t usually have time for this but one day I had an emergency and couldn’t finish up my roti-making and when I got back to finish them I had the softest rotis.

I also mentioned in my post about roti making about not having to knead your dough too much. The most I’ve kneaded my dough for is about 2 minutes and this works perfectly well as long as you get a smooth silky dough.

Butter Roti on a white plate

I must admit this is not an easy task and you may not get it right the first time. But please don’t despair because they say “practice makes perfect”. Keep at it and you will definitely become an expert after a few attempts.

There are days I thought I will never reach that level of success ever but I am so proud of my efforts these days. 

If you do try this recipe please drop me a note, I would love to hear how it turned out.

You may want to try these curry recipes to go with your delicious rotis:

Durban Lamb Curry

Spicy Chicken Curry

Sugar Bean Curry

Prawn Curry

Print Pin
5 from 71 votes

Soft Butter Rotis : South African Recipe

Soft, buttery rotis made the South African way. Perfect accompaniment to Indian curries
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Butter Rotis, Roti, Soft Rotis, South African Rotis
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8


  • 2 cups/500ml cake wheat flour sifted
  • 4 tbsp melted butter plus extra for brushing the rotis
  • 1 cup/250ml boiling water
  • pinch of salt optional


  • Sift the flour. Add the melted butter
  • Pour the cup of boiling water into the flour
  • Mix it into the flour using a fork or spoon. You will have a wet, lumpy mixture.
    Rotis made the South African way with butter
  • Mixture would have cooled down a little. Knead into a soft dough. The dough will feel a little sticky but as you knead the dough will become silky smooth.
  • If the dough doesn't feel soft you can drizzle in a little more butter and keep kneading
  • Heat a non-stick pan or thawa on the stovetop on medium heat. You may need to adjust your heat if the pan gets too hot
  • Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a neat round ball
    Rotis made the South African way with butter
  • Flatten the dough with the palm of your hands. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface. You can add more flour as you are rolling to prevent the dough from sticking
  • Roll out into a circle, about 20cm in diameter
  • Place the roti on the pan. Cook until it starts to bubble a little
  • Flip it over. Cook until the other side bubbles. Brush with butter and turn over again.
  • Brush the other side with butter and turn over. You will be flipping your roti over 3 times. Takes about a minute or less to cook the roti
  • To keep rotis soft place them in a container with paper towel at the bottom and more on top of the rotis


  1. Depending on the altitude and weather you may require less or more water. If you have added all the water and the dough is far too sticky add a little more flour immediately and knead
  2. As you make rotis a few times you will get a feel for what the dough should look like and therefore it will be easier to judge the amount of water required
  3. Roti making is tricky at first but it gets better with practice
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Recipe Rating

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Friday 10th of September 2021

First time roti maker! Thank you for your pictures and clear instructions. It was a husband/wife team effort and they turned out beautifully, although we will need much more practice! I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone who asks!

Sinah Louw

Tuesday 7th of September 2021

The recipe was easy and the Roti was to die for. Soft and light. Thank you so much.... Will never buy Roti's again. 😊


Wednesday 1st of September 2021

I've made roti a few times before. I tried this recipe for the first time and Oh My Gosh, I'm like, what have I been making before this... They came out so perfect. They were soft and buttery, they didn't flake and break or get hard and taste bland. The dough was a dream to work with and I even managed to roll them out very nearly round(still need some practice there). I'm so grateful to have found this recipe. Thank you so much.


Thursday 2nd of September 2021

Thank you so much Leesha! I'm really happy to hear that it worked for you:-)


Tuesday 31st of August 2021

I’ve tried your your recipe, and I’m proud to say it was succesfull. Thank you very much for sharing.


Thursday 2nd of September 2021

Thank you so much Marietjie. I'm really happy to hear another success story:-)


Friday 27th of August 2021

Hello, thank you for the recipe and tips!

I tried it last night to use with butter chicken, unfortunately mine came out like tortillas! Haha!

Luckily my children do not know the difference so I will keep practicing!

My dough was so sticky I had to add more flour, I think this is why they came out hard!

Anja, western cape


Tuesday 31st of August 2021

Hi Anja! If the dough is sticky try and knead for a few minutes. Maybe next time don't add all of the water at once, depending on the weather you may need more or less. Hope it works out the next time.

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