You have surely heard stories of chefs stirring sauces with their hands. My story involves my mother-in-law shaping old-fashioned corn rotis on the hot griddle with her hands. I am presenting a story here and not a recipe. I can’t follow this recipe and I won’t recommend you try.
She estimates amount of corn flour she will need based on how hungry the family is. Adds appropriate amount of grated radish, chopped radish leaves, salt, dry mango powder, hot paprika and water. Kneads to form a pliable dough.
She puts the griddle to heat on medium-high, and keeps following things handy - a bowl of water convenient to dip her fingers in, a tablespoon and a cup of vegetable oil. She shapes tennis ball sized dough in her hands and flattens each into a fat roti with her palms.
She oils the pan lightly, places the roti on the hot griddle, dips her hand in cold water and flattens the fat roti into a thinner one. Then she ladles oil along the edges so the oil slides underneath and cooks the underside of the roti.
These rotis take a few minutes per side to cook. She flips only when the underside is done and repeats the oil treatment. The flipping is done gently as the corn rotis break relatively easily due to lack of gluten.
Voila! They are ready to serve. The rotis are crisp on the outside, melt-y polenta-like inside. Traditionally served with mustard greens that has been cooked for hours into a buttery smooth piquant sauce.