Soft Butter Rotis

Soft Butter Rotis

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I make 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 a roti 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 my roti to perfection. I remember the days my hubby cringed when I made rotis.

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.

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 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 rotis 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.

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 give you perfectly soft rotis. 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

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

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5 from 36 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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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

Notes

  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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This Post Has 130 Comments

  1. Cliff

    Beautiful

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you 🙂

    2. Tanya

      Thank you so much, made rooties for the first time and may I say it was fabulous. You are a great chef, can you please post how to make easy koeksisters.thank you

      1. Lorraine

        Thank you Tanya! So glad your first time worked out so well. I will try and post a koeksister recipe shortly. Take Care:-)

      2. Linda

        5 stars
        Tried this and they came out perfect.

        1. Lorraine

          Thank you so much Linda:-)

  2. Lindsey

    5 stars
    Made these last night. They took me 5 minutes and were the yummiest roti’s I’ve ever had. Can’t stress how easy this was! Thank you, Lorraine. I will never, ever be buying store bought again!
    Lindsey

  3. Erika

    After trying very involved and unsuccessful recipes; I was pleasantly surprised by this simple and successful one! Thanks!

  4. Erika

    5 stars
    After a few dismal attempts at other involved recipes, I was pleasantly surprised by this simple and successful one. Thank you!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Erika. I am so glad the recipe worked for you. Stay Safe 🙂

      1. Nande

        Just tried this recipe today. Best Best Recipe… I put extra 2 spoons of butter and I was very happy. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

        1. Lorraine

          Thank you so much Nande 🙂

  5. Liz Marsden

    5 stars
    Never tried these before and they came out well.
    Thank you
    Nice explicit instructions.
    Very yummy

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Liz. So glad I could help you and the instructions made a difference. Stay Safe:-)

  6. Karen

    5 stars
    This Recipe is so quick and easy to make. Clear instructions coupled with images really help alot for a novice like myself. Thank you for the share.

  7. Siphiwokuhle

    Oh my word thank you so much it was easy to make and the whole family was pleased with the taste❤

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Siphiwokuhle. So pleased that your family enjoyed it. Take care:-)

    2. Michelle

      5 stars
      Oh my word.. I cannot explain how impressed I am with how the roti turned out. It was my first attempt ever, i was always too scared to try it always looked to complicated. I actually halved the recipe as I was too sceptical but I actually ended up making another batch. Thank you this recipe was awesome.

  8. Raylene

    Hi, I tried this recipe today and they came out fine. My dough was very sticky though, even after kneading a few times adding bits of flour and leaving it to rest for a while. Is it supposed to sticky and tough?

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Raylene! Roti making is a little tricky. I normally suggest that people don’t add all of the water at once. You will see in a lot of my posts I talk about altitude and how the weather affects the amount of liquid we need in our baking/cooking. The amount of water I used here in JHB may differ to the amount people near the coast would use. So I suggest you use your discretion, reduce the amount of water and see what works for you. The dough is not supposed to be sticky, after kneading it should be really soft but not stick to your hands. Sorry it didn’t work this time. Hope you have better luck next time. Stay safe:-)

      1. Kezia

        Hi just made mine and its was awesome couldn’t believe myself and it was my first making it well thanks a lot for your help I’ll be looking out for more of your chef skills❤❤❤

        1. Lorraine

          Thank you Kezia and you most welcome. Well done on your first attempt. Take Care:-)

    2. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Michelle! It warms my heart that so many people have had so much success with their roti making skills. Especially since I couldn’t make rotis to save my life a few years ago. So glad you enjoyed it. Take Care:-)

      1. Claudette

        Hi Lorraine

        I tried many recipes, and this worked

        I used 3 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups of water.
        6 table spoons, of butter and a teaspoon of salt

        1. Lorraine

          Thank you Claudette! Happy to hear you found a recipe that works:-)

    3. Lorraine

      My family loved them, so quick, having another go tonight with home made
      Chicken tikka curry, hopefully they will be just as good second time round🤞
      Thank you

      1. Lorraine

        Thank you. I am sure it will be great this time too:-)

  9. Idah

    5 stars
    This is the best recipe ever thank you so much I enjoyed my soft roti

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Idah. I am so glad the recipe worked for you. Take Care:-)

  10. Ingrid Marsha Naidoo

    The best recipe ever….first try ever, being a roti girl – i have perfected puri but today i tried roti for the first time………beyond amazed……sharing the recipe with everyone

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Ingrid. I am a South Indian girl so it’s my pleasure teaching you how to make roti. The battle has been won…haha! Take Care:-)

  11. Mimi

    Can I use Rama if I don’t have butter in my house. How do I warm it for reuse?

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Mimi! Yes you can use margarine or oil if you wish. If you need to reheat, you can microwave them or pop them back on a pan and heat on the stove top. Take Care:-)

  12. Nakita

    Hi there. is this dough ready for the pan straight away or does it have to sit over night?

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Nakita! The dough is ready to be cooked straight away,doesn’t sit overnight. You can cover it with a clean kitchen towel and allow it to stand for 30 minutes if you wish.

  13. Monica

    Thank u wat a simple recipe, I tried for the first time it came out perfectly, my family loved it.

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Monica. Makes me happy to hear they turned out perfect and your family loved it. Take Care:-)

  14. Buffy

    5 stars
    Fab recipe, thank you so much. It really was as easy as you said. I did choose to leave mine to rest for a couple of hours. First time ever, and apart from a few shape issues 😉 they turned out awesome <3

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you for the feedback. The shape will come with practice so keep trying. Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Stay Safe:-)

  15. Bongiwe Ngcobo

    5 stars
    Ive made rotis using your recipe and they came out soft and fluffy. Thank you

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Bongiwe. I am happy to hear that they turned out great. You take care:-)

  16. Tebogo

    Hi Lorraine. Can the rotis be prepared, frozen, and then cooked at a later stage?

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Tebogo. I do not recommend freezing the raw dough, however you can cook them and then freeze. You will need to stack them between some plastic or clingwrap before freezing the rotis. When you are ready to use, thaw them and re-heat in a pan. They will be as good as fresh. Stay Safe:-)

      1. Tebogo

        Thank you for your response Lorraine. Freezing the rotis after cooking them makes sense.

    2. Emma

      Can I use all purpose flour?

      1. Lorraine

        Hi Emma! Yes you can

  17. Stephen

    Great recipe – easy, quick, fantastic results. Thank you Lorraine.

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Stephen 🙂

  18. Peter

    Thanks Lorraine, it is as simple as it is to read the recipe and it turned out spot on. I’m busy with my 2nd batch as my two daughters thoroughly loved them and requested more.
    Do you know if l had to refrigerate some dough in a sealed Tupperware if it would keep for a day or three?

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Peter! Thank you for your message. I have seen people mention that the dough can be refrigerated in an oiled container. However, I have never tried this myself. For me the best way to keep a batch of extra rotis is to cook them, stack them between plastic or cling wrap and freeze. Reheat them in the pan as you need them, they will be as good as fresh. Hope this helps. Stay Safe:-)

  19. Thirusha Balanco

    What a pleasant experience making your soft rotis. Thanks for a really great method and explanation.

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Thirusha 🙂

  20. Nonkululeko

    5 stars
    What a great recipe, very easy to follow with fantastic results. Made these to go with a mince and pea curry I made and the family thoroughly enjoyed them. Getting perfect circles wasn’t as easy as I thought but the taste more than made up for the looks. Thank you for this, it was my first time making rotis but certainly not the last!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Nonkululeko, I appreciate your kind comments. Happy to hear that it turned out well for you. Stay Safe:-)

  21. Gloria

    Thank you very much i tried roti yesterday it was very soft and tasty.

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Gloria 🙂

  22. Shonnel

    Thanks so much for the recipe on the roti.. it was so easy and came out so soft.. this lockdown has really made me try out so many things that would usually be bought. NO MORE STORE BOUGHT ROTI FOR ME!!!!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Shonnel. It warms my heart to see so many people actually cooking and spending time in the kitchen. Nothing beats home cooked meals so I am glad I could share my knowledge with you. Wishing you many more happy days in the kitchen. Stay Safe:-)

  23. Ash Maharaj

    5 stars
    I’ve tried a few roti recipes before but somehow they weren’t quite right. Decided during lock down that it was the time to perfect my skills. I needn’t have worried. Your recipe was so simple, quick and easy I didn’t actually need any skills. Dough was perfect but I allowed it to stand for about half an hour just to make rolling easier. Whilst my shapes weren’t that perfect roundness of my mums my roti’s turned out beautiful and soft. Something I’ve never managed to achieve in a good many years. Thanks a stack for a perfect roti recipe!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Ash, never would I have ever imagined that I would create the perfect roti recipe. Especially since I was the worst roti maker. I am so glad that I am able to share my knowledge from my own trials and errors. Stay Safe:-)

  24. Esmare

    5 stars
    I had mentally prepared myself that I would NOT be able to make the perfect roti, and then they came out just perfect! Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe with the rest of us. Making such great rotis really made my day.

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Esmare. I think we’ve all had our fears when trying roti for the first time, trust me I have been there. I’m so glad you got it right. Many more happy Roti making 🙂

  25. Terri

    5 stars
    We’re making these tonight for the leftover curry from last night. Such a simple recipe and fun to make together. (We did have leftover rice that we would have had the curry with instead, but felt like a meal with a little more pizzazz.) My partner has whipped up a salsa and a mint yoghurt to accompany it all. Thanks!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Terri! Yes it is fun to make them together. My hubby often helps me cook them whilst I roll them out. I won’t trust him to get them round so it’s best he sticks to cooking them…haha! Hope you have an amazing dinner with loads of pizzazz:-)

  26. Anita

    Please is normal baking flour same as wheat flour and if not can normal baking flour be used.i want to try it this recipe but i don’t know the difference in the flour. Thank you

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Anita! Yes it is normal cake flour or all purpose flour, here in SA we call it cake wheat flour. Hope this helps.

  27. Teneal

    5 stars
    Thanks for the great recipe…really was helpful and, quick and easy

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Teneal:-)

  28. Monique

    5 stars
    It was my first time making roties, and oh how fun it was. It tasted divine and was also really quick and easy to make. Thank you so much 😀

    Please post a koeksister recipe 😊

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Monique. Glad you fun making rotis. I will work on that koeksister recipe and post soon:-)

  29. Shelley Frow

    You have inspired me to make roti tonight. I use a kenwood chef when making mine. When the dough hooks into one ball around the dough hook, I know that I have added the right amount of water.

    1. Lorraine

      Perfect, glad you found a way to make life easy and thanks for sharing. So many people are not fortunate enough to have an electric mixer it’s why I posted a recipe using your hands. I have an amazing mixer too but I still prefer the old-fashioned way, kneading by hand. Unless,it’s a really sticky dough. Have a great day:-)

  30. Alison

    Such an easy recipe and the results were perfect. Thank you so much!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Alison 🙂

  31. Tha

    5 stars
    I tried the recipe for the first time with the help of my 3 year old son. It was easy to make and the taste was just too good and soft . We enjoyed it with mince curry. Thank you for the recipe

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Tha. I’m sure it was joy making them with your 3-year-old 🙂

  32. Londiwe

    5 stars
    Marvelous.
    Tried this recipe for the first time and they came out great. I’ve always been reluctant to try roti out but I am glad that when I finally did try it out, I had your help.

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Londiwe! Happy to hear that your first roti making experience was a good one. Happy to have helped 🙂

  33. Zakareeyaa Johennesse

    5 stars
    Was a great and simple recipe loved lots of helpful tips

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Zakareeyaa 🙂

  34. Kubeshnie

    5 stars
    This is the first time I tried making roti after a failed attempt more than 20 years ago. Thank you for sharing your recipe. My roti came out soft and delicious. I don’t think that I will ever buy roti at the shops again 😘

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Kubeshnie. Glad you finally found a recipe that works:-)

  35. Masego

    First time making roti in my life. Used this recipe, rested the dough for 30min just in case, turned out so well! Thank you!

    1. Lorraine

      There’s always a first Masego, so glad yours will be a memorable one. Thank you so much:-)

  36. Laura

    What a fabulous recipe! I’ve tried roti before and failed – this time they were an effortless success! Added about half a cup of sourdough starter in place of some of the water and flour – mostly because I’m trying to find uses for my discard! It worked well and I think helped the dough keep supple. So happy to have found a simple, easy and successful recipe for a favourite side dish!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Laura. Great way to use your discard. I still haven’t plucked up the courage to try a sourdough starter and I think more because I don’t have the patience. So well done to you. Take Care:-)

  37. Ruby

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience with us, Lorraine! I am beyond excited that about this success in the kitchen. Made your recipe for the second time today. So quick and easy, and my parents love them.

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Ruby. So happy to share everything I have learnt through my own trials and error. Take Care:-)

  38. Wandi

    I have tried this and my family wanted more I did again still perfected it thank you so much for sharing your experience with my family

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Wandi. I am so pleased that the recipe is working well for you. Take Care:-)

  39. Leantha

    5 stars
    Found the recipe this morning and tried it at lunch. Roti came out lovely and soft on my first attempt. Thanks for this!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Leantha 🙂

  40. Jasmine Sabera

    5 stars
    I’ve been looking for a South African roti recipe forever, so you can believe my joy when I found this simple and easy one. I used to make rotis with my Aaji as a young child and over the years forgot this recipe. After trying this, it reminded me of my childhood and my rotis came out round the first time around! To my surprise. If I could give this recipe more stars I would. Will definitely try the Diwali recipes, as I moved to Cape Town, sweet meats at a reasonable prices are hard to find and I cannot wait to try your Diwali recipes. Will definitely let you know how it goes 🙂

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Jasmine, it warms my heart to hear you say this. So glad you found a recipe that reminds you of those happy memories. Take Care:-)

  41. Kay

    It came out very great! Thankyou , this is the 4tt time and all of the 3 times it was hard as stone with other people recipe haha , but the 4th time (your recipe) was heaven 🥰

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Kay! I am so happy to hear you finally had success with your rotis. Take Care:-)

  42. Emily

    5 stars
    Super yummy!!Do you have a recipe for milktart ???

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Emily! Yes I do, will post the recipe shortly. Take Care:-)

  43. Carla

    5 stars
    Best roti I’ve ever had and made, thanks to you 😁 Thank you for sharing such a simple, amazing recipe

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Carla, i appreciate the feedback:-)

  44. Petra

    5 stars
    Thanks Lorraine, this was my first attempt at making rotis and I was so nervous but they came out soft and lovely!

    1. Lorraine

      Thsnk you so much Petra. Happy to hear that:-)

  45. Anon

    5 stars
    Second attempt and much better this time around – maybe setting dough aside for 30 mins did the trick. I also preferred frying these on a tfal nonstick pan than thawa. Added some coconut oil to butter. Lockdown happiness. Thanks for sharing this recipe and notes 😍

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Christina! I am glad you had better luck this time. Glad you found a pan that works for you. Practice makes perfect so it will get even better with time. Take Care:-)

  46. Lucille Williams

    Hi. This the first I have made rotis that turned out so well. Thanks a million for the recipes.
    Lucille

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Lucille and you most welcome:-)

    2. Brian

      5 stars
      Hi Lorraine, I made these with my 8 year old son. Not only did we have loads of fun making them, but they were so good to eat! We will need to practice to get the shape right though. Thank you for sharing your recipe and bringing joy in this house!

      1. Lorraine

        Thank you so much Brian. So glad you got to make them with your little boy. Kids actually enjoy making these rotis. There was a time when my boys also loved getting their hands into my roti dough,I agree it’s loads of fun. Take Care:-)

  47. Roshnee

    Hi Im so glad i tried your roti recipe. I’ve been trying for years to make soft rotis and yours was just perfect but I just added 2 tblspn more water cause its freezin cold in my part of the country. Thank you so much

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Roshnee. Yes sometimes you need more or less water depending on the weather. Glad it worked for you. Take Care:-)

  48. Lezal

    5 stars
    Hi Lorraine thank you so much 1st attempt and it came out perfect I’ve use oil instead of butter

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Lezal:-)

  49. Popsy

    5 stars
    Amazing! I live in Cape Town and followed the recipe to the t (including the amount of water) and have made the Rotis twice in a week so far. They came out perfectly from the 1st try though the circles weren’t perfect but I’ll get there with the rolling 😊 thank you so much. The rotis are a hit in my house 🥰

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Popsy. So happy to hear your family enjoyed the rotis. Practice makes perfect so your circles will be perfect soon. Take Care:-)

  50. Selma

    5 stars
    Thank you for an excellent recipe. This will be on my weekly recipe rotation. Outstanding result!

    1. Lorraine

      You most welcome Selma:-)

  51. Carla

    5 stars
    Outstanding & so buttery, just melts in your mouth. Your recipes are fabulous!!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Carla:-)

  52. Lorraine

    5 stars
    After numerous attempts during the years and different recipes.. i finally got to make Roti right. Thank you 😁 im so excited right now. I had to make it twice today. Thats how much my family enjoyed it.

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much. So happy that you finally got it right:-)

  53. Shaheen

    5 stars
    Brilliant! Just brilliant!
    Nice, soft and easy!

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Shaheen 🙂

  54. Charne

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made it this morning. Being a mom of 3 kids under the age of 4 I try to get things done when I find time and it just happened to be now this morning. I actually gave up on making Rotis as they always came out thick and a bit firm. Like flying saucers. Really this is a gem of a recipe it came out perfect. My husband will be very impressed when we have supper tonight.
    Definitely will be a weekly addition to our meals.

    1. Lorraine

      Hi Charne! Omg, you must have loads of energy and well done for being able to take care of 3 kids and still make roti. Super Mom! I am so glad that you had success with your rotis, one more thing you can tick off your list. Hooe you have many more successes in the kitchen so you can have more time with your precious little ones. Take Care:-)

  55. Teresa

    5 stars
    Hi Lorraine , thanks for your recipes, tips I have tried quite a bit of your recipes, & they turned out excellent.
    Teresa

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Teresa. I am so happy to hear that. Hope you keep enjoying them. Take Care:-)

  56. Busra

    5 stars
    First time my roti came out perfect. I had watched youtube videos before but they were not as good as this recipe. I will definitely check other recipes too. Thank you for sharing

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you so much Busra. I am really happy to hear that!

  57. Tia

    5 stars
    This has become a weekly meal in my home.Thank you for making it super easy and impossible to flop.Saving so much money as well making these at home.

    Do you have an easy dulchi recipe perhaps?

    1. Lorraine

      Thank you Tia! I am so glad you found a recipe that works for you and saves you money. Are you referring to Dulce as in caramel?

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