Darshi’s Methi Rotis

Hyderabad, 5 August 2012.

We were talking yesterday -  at Sheila’s niece’s engagement ceremony – about the last time I had met Darshi. It was Delhi, January five years ago – the year when newspaper headlines in Delhi read "Delhi 2, New York 5". It was wonderfully cold! And though we didn't know it, it was five days before Darshi was to die. Before going out on our shopping trip to that ridiculous Sarojini market in Delhi where I got Khadi tops for fifty rupees each, Anjali had asked their cook to make methi rotis, proper Punjabi fare, with proper Punjabi blobs of butter melting on them. I asked about how they were made, and Anjali  watched in bemused silence as Darshi stepped in to give me a blow by blow account of how just how to finely to chop the methi and just how to stuff the rotis. I ate three – quite a feat even for me! She was bemused because he had never even stepped into the kitchen!

Two cups of wholewheat flour

½ to ¾ tsp salt

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp jeera powder

½ tsp dhania powder

a pinch of garam masala.

1  English-sized bunch of methi leaves, very finely chopped (use only the leaves)

1 medium sized onion, very finely diced


Mix in the flour, salt and powders.  Sprinkle the onion and methi on to the flour and mix in. Now add some water and knead it thoroughly. Make little balls of the dough and roll each out medium thin and make rotis in usual fashion – get them light brown on both sides, and only then add a little oil on each side.  Eat hot with a blob of unsalted white (homemade) butter on each roti, and with fresh dahi (yogurt) with black salt in a little bowl or on top, and achaar (pickle) if you want.