Clap-hand roti is great to mop up tasty curries and sauces. Clapping helps release the air pockets and makes these Caribbean flatbreads lovely and light and flaky.
- 225 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 40 g chilled butter
- 75 ml (3 tbsp + 3 tsp) water
- melted butter or light olive oil, for brushing
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 30 minutes.
1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl or food processor, add the butter and blend until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the water to make a stiff, but pliable dough. Cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide the dough into 8 equal-sized balls and, using flattened hands or a rolling pin, roll out to 10-cm diameter rounds, about 5 mm thick. Brush each with plenty of melted butter or oil. Fold them in half, then into quarters, then roll back into balls. Roll out again to 10 cm rounds.
3. Heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan or flat griddle over a medium heat. Brush each roti with a little more butter or oil and add to the pan and cook for 3–4 minutes, turning frequently and brushing with melted butter or oil each time. Remove from the pan, allow to cool slightly, then place in the palm of your hand and quickly clap your hands together 4–6 times to slightly separate the leaves (if they are too warm, do the clapping in a tea towel). Wrap in foil to keep warm while you cook the rest.
Recipe and photograph from Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen by Ainsley Harriott (Ebury Press, hb, $39.99). Photography by Dan Jones. (The book also includes the curried crab recipe pictured).