MMMMM.. That delicious first bite of a warm steamy slice of sada, loaded with my favourite choka. Surely a slice or two wouldn't hurt. Before hitting my taste buds, the allure of the Blue Band hits, and I immediately reach for a liberal spread of my childhood favourite. The cool butter melts on that piping hot slice like liquid gold, and surely there is no better way to begin my morning.
Time to wake up from this fantasy, which will soon turn into a nightmare!!! The truth is that the delicious sada which is a staple in most Trinidadian homes purely consists of processed white flour. When ground into flours, most grains act like sugar in the body, triggering weight gain, inflammation and blood-sugar imbalances.
Many older Trinbagonians are under the impression that because their parents and grandparents survived for multiple years, typically with longer lifespans on a diet anchored on the beloved sada, that they too can eat the same. The truth is however, that our lifestyles have drastically changed when compared to that of our predecessors. They were accustomed to having more active lifestyles, when compared to that of the average Trinidadian. Our schedules are programmed quite differently, and our inactive lifestyles cannot sustain the foods which we have grown so fond of and accustomed to.
The Skini Trini is here to help, by providing you with my newly improved, tried and tested recipe to create delicious gluten-free sada roti will added flavour and no guilt!
What it contains:
· Gluten Free Mix: Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour is a blend of garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, whole grain white sorghum flour, tapioca flour and fava bean flour. One serving of 34 grams contains 3.5 grams of whole grains and 10% of the recommended daily serving of fiber.
· Oats: Thought to be the healthiest food in the world, oats have an extensive list of benefits. Rich in antioxidants and cell loving nutrients, oats can help to lower cholesterol, prevent heart failure, promotes good digestive health and supports a healthy immune system.
· Flax Seed: rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids and fiber, flax seed is positively linked to help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and strokes.
· Baking Powder/Yeast: Based on your personal preference and pantry availability you may choose between yeast or baking powder as they both have similar purposes in cooking, but the way in which they work is very different. I prefer yeast which is a single-celled living organism, but when purchased is in a dormant freeze-dried state, as opposed to baking powder which is an acid base.
· Water: The elixir of life!
Ingredients: Gluten Free Option
2 ½ Cups Gluten Free Flour Mix
¼ Cup Oats
4 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
1 Teaspoon Yeast or,
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Between 1-2 Cups of Water
· Place flour into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add oats, flax seed and leavening agent (i.e. yeast/baking powder).
· Mix dry ingredients, ensuring that they are well combined.
· Add approximately ½ cup of water and mix together, preferably using one hand.
· Continue adding water in ½ cup increments until the flour mixture can be easily formed into a dough that is slightly sticky but has a smooth texture. Kneed well, but do not over mix.
· Once dough is combined, cover and set aside to rest in a cool dry counter top for approximately 10-15 minutes.
· Separate dough into 4-5 equal portions and gently roll into round ball like shape. This may be difficult as dough may crumble easily, but be patient and work gently!
· Place tawa or non-stick frying pan on stove top under very low heat.
· Lightly flour a clean flat work surface. Take one of the rolled pieces of dough and carefully form into a flat circular shape of approximately 4-5 inches in diameter. To do this, gently press dough in the middle to flatten. Use hands to cup the outer circumference of the dough, molding it into a circular shape. Alternate between pressing the center and molding the outer perimeter of the dough until the desired shape and size is achieved.
· Transfer onto heated cooking surface. Cook on one side between 45 seconds to one minute on low heat, or until small bubbles form on the top. This may be difficult to detect owing to the consistency of the dough.
· After 1 minute, carefully flip the dough on the other side using a spatula or the flat handle of a long cooking spoon. Cook the underside for approximately 1 minute.
· Increase heat to medium and slide the cooking vessel away from heat. Partially place dough directly over the flame without allowing it to touch the flame. The direct heat will generate steam from within the dough, causing it to “swell” and allowing it to cook from the inside. I have found that with this recipe, swelling is minimal and in some cases it simply does not occur. Still this step is necessary to thoroughly cook the dough.
· If your'e like me, you can allow your roti added exposure to the heat, which will result in slightly charred or brown spots that have a delicious nutty flavour and crisp texture.
· Remove from cooking surface and serve with your favourite curries, vegetable chokas or meat dishes.
This recipe yields between four to five small sada rotis.
Those who cannot find this gluten free baking mix can make their own. Gluten-free all-purpose flour mixes are based on a 40/60 ratio: 40% whole grain and 60% white flours/starches. A future post with more information on this topic will be coming soon!
My Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix was purchased at Massey Supermarket for 45TTD
· It is very important to lightly flour your work surface. If the surface is heavily floured it will largely affect the texture of the dough and hinder its ability to form into a perfect flattened circular shape.
· Experiment with altering the heat levels during the cooking process. For instance if your cooking surface is initially not hot enough, you may need to cook the dough on either side on medium instead of low heat.
· You may also experiment with altering the ingredients and quantities to make it your own!
· Practice makes perfect! This recipe is indeed tricky, but with continued practice you will become a gluten free sada roti expert!