Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Recipe of the month: Ukkarisida Akki Rotti

I'm back in Singapore. After three weeks of doing no physical work, shopping galore, eating like a polar bear before it goes into hibernation and being pampered silly by my family, I feel a tad glum to get back to my usual routine. But that being said, after returning from a long holiday, I feel privately happy to get back to my beloved home, my work and my friends so the feeling of melancholy is short lived 😊

This dish is my mum's first contribution to my blog. Akki rotti, a rice-based breakfast item, unique to my home state of Karnataka is probably one of the few dishes that I truly crave for year round. The minute I get home, the first thing I will invariably ask my mum is "Amma, akki rotti yaavaga maadkodthiya nange?" (translation: mom, when will you make akki rotti for me?). And as if getting my dose of akki rotti from home was not enough, I will head straight to one of my favourite local restaurants for more. I do prepare akki rotti at home quite frequently but having someone else to painstakingly make it for you is something else, isn't it?

Back home, we prepare two kinds of rottis using rice flour. Both taste distinctly different from each other but are pretty awesome in their own way. The first one has already been featured on my blog and we usually refer to that one by default as akki rotti or masala rotti. The one in this post is what we refer to as ukkarisida rotti or more commonly, bili rotti (bili directly translates to "white" in kannada) and for some peculiar reason, I don't make it at all. I think the main reason is because I like eating this bili rotti with avarekalu usli (avarekalu: hyacinth beans; usli: a dry side dish) and avarekalu is not something I easily get in Singapore. Of course, there are other popular side dishes for bili rotti like badanekayi ennegayi (eggplant curry) or special types of spicy chutney but the avarekalu usli is the only one that cuts it for me. The few times I managed to find avarekalu at the market in Little India in Singapore, I have discovered them to be quite sad looking things and not the plump firm chartreuse green beans that I remember from back home. It so happened that I was in India just as the avarekai season had started to end so I picked up three packets of the peeled variety and brought it back to Singapore. That's the reason why I am as happy as a drunken monkey!

I've been a little cheeky off late. First, I got my MIL to cook rice shavige (semige) for my blog and this time, I decided that it would be my mum's turn. On both occasions, not only did I manage to get two kickass dishes (pardon my language) on my space but I also got to savour my most favourite breakfast dishes ever. Talk about killing two birds with one stone and that too twice 😏

This post is solely dedicated to bili rotti. Amma makes a mean avarekai usli that is packed full of flavour, spicy and goes incredibly well with the soft, fluffy and mild tasting bili rotti. Amma has taught me how to make avarekai usli and as I told you earlier, I have brought back avarekai to Singapore so next month's recipe post on my blog will be that of avarekai usli. If you are a fan of the dish or even curious about it, you know that you've gotta come back here.

Ukkarisida Akki Rotti

Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 2-3 min per rotti
Serves: 6 
Recipe level: Easy but practice makes perfect
Recipe source: Amma 


4 cups rice flour
6 cups water*
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste (~ 2 tsp)

Additional rice flour for dusting

*refer notes


1. From the 6 cups water, remove 1/2 cup of water and keep aside. Place the rest of the water (i.e. 5 and 1/2 cups) in a thick bottomed, slightly deep pot (preferably nonstick) and let it come to a boil.  Once the the water starts boiling, add the salt and oil. 

2. From the 4 cups of rice flour, take out 1/2 cup of rice flour and mix it with the water reserved in the above step from to form a thin paste and add it slowly to the boiling water while stirring constantly. This is for incorporating the water-roux method (tangzhong method) that will make the rottis super duper soft. Keep stirring for a few minutes and you will see the mixture turn from opaque to shiny/glassy. This step is optional but recommended. 

3. Now add the remaining rice flour to the boiling water in one go, immediately lower the heat and simmer for about 5 min. Do NOT mix or disturb the rice flour at this time.

4. After the 5 min is up, with the help of a long wooden spoon, mix the rice flour vigorously into the water so that it comes together in a mixture. It will be lumpy at this stage but don't worry about it. 

5. Switch off the heat and let the mixture stand for 10 min. Keep the pot covered with a lid during this duration.

6. Let the mixture cool enough to handle. Now with slightly wet palms, knead the warm dough well for 5-10 min until it is smooth. The kneading is best done with your hands but take care not to scald your fingers and palms with dough that is too hot.

7. Pinch off a lime sized ball, knead well for a minute and roll it into a circular rotti with a rolling pin, dusting it with rice flour as necessary. You roll them out and cook them one by one or do it in batches like how it is shown below. The rolling has been done by me and as you can see, I'm not very good at it. But with this rotti, the edges do tend to go a little crinkly (unlike chapatis/rotis) so don't get rattled if it doesn't turn out perfectly round. 

8. Heat a flat tawa/pan (preferably cast iron). You can either cook the rotti on the tawa on both sides until brown spots appear or else you can follow this method. 
Put the rotti on the tawa, and let it cook for a minute (until it is just barely cooked). Now flip it on the other side and cook it well until you see brown spots on the surface. Now place the rotti on a direct flame (on the undercooked side) until the rotti puffs up like a balloon. 

9. Place the rottis in a hotbox. You can grease the rottis with a little ghee or butter if desired (recommended). 

10. Serve these mild-tasting rottis while still hot along with a spicy side dish or condiment like pickle, chutney, badanekai ennegayi or avarekalu or batani/shelled peas usli.

  • The ratio of rice flour to water in this recipe is 1 cup rice flour to 1.5 cups water. You can scale down the proportions given in this recipe if you are making the rottis for less number of people
  • The water required for this recipe depends on the rice flour that you use. Keep in mind that rice flour of smooth texture is desirable. You need to do some experimentation to figure out the flour to water ratio. An easy way to gauge the quantity of water to be used is - tightly hold a fistful of flour and release it, if the flour somewhat holds the fist shape, it means it is new flour with a higher moisture content and requires a 1:1 and 1:1.25 flour to water ratio. If the the flour escapes through the gaps of your fingers like free-flow salt, use the ratio that is specified in this recipe
  • Kneading the rice flour dough is important for soft fluffy rottis
  • The only reason I suggested using a non-stick pot in this recipe is for the ease of cleaning. You can use any thick-bottomed deep pot to prepare the dough
  • Although I have suggested using a cast iron pan, a regular non-stick pan will do (that is what I have used)

Acknowledgement: A big thank you to my cousin Ashwini (who is an expert of this dish) for giving me pointers on the kind of flour and flour-water ratio to use and to a friend, Laxmi Sankaran for giving me some pointers on the water-roux method 😊



  1. I love this... I used eat at my friend's place in Bangalore..!! This post is sure making me miss my beautiful days back in BLR. Gald to know you had a wonderful time n welcome back :-)

  2. Eating like a polar bear! Hahaha, I can definitely relate to that :D
    Your mum's Akki roti looks delicious !

  3. That is a delicious looking dish! Glad you had a good time, and understand the joy of "coming home" also:-)

  4. I was running out of recipes bumped into your blog, I have loads of brinjal in the basket maybe I will try these rotis with brinjal curry, sometimes you need to be reminded of a recipe even though you have made them earlier, thank you

  5. Hi
    This is Shalini here...loved your blog...Since I have relocated to Singaore, tried many brands but never got good flavour akki hittu here..Me being a mysoorean, I miss that flavour which we get in mysore..Which brand akki hittu do you buy in Singapore?


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