Monday, June 6, 2016

A Gluten-Free Accident

ছিটা রুটি
Splattered Flatbread 

An approximation of Bangladeshi "chita-ruti",
roughly translating to splattered flatbread

This one isn't too much of a recipe. My partner was planning to make gluten-free crumble for a potluck picnic last week, but turns out gluten-free flour doesn't behave in the same way as traditional flour. As his flour and butter crumble turned into more of a slab, we realised we'd have to do something other than dessert. Hence this "chita-ruti", translating roughly to splattered flatbread, the quickest thing that came to mind. It was a gamble, but gluten-free flour seems to have the right stickiness vs springiness ratio needed to imitate the original chita-ruti. Traditionally served with beef curry, the amounts below make enough for 10 flatbreads. Given how quickly they went at the picnic, we should have made more!  


  • 100.00 g of gluten free flour
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lukewarm water

  • Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, and add enough lukewarm water to make a thin, pourable batter
  • Put a large frying pan on low heat, and use a kitchen towel to smear with vegetable oil. Leave for 30 seconds to allow the pan to heat
  • Using a spoon (or hands if preferred), mix the batter again before adding it the pan
  • Again, using a spoon or your hand, take a small amount of batter and scatter it over the pan to make a flatbread as in the image at the top of this post
  • Make sure the layer of batter is as thin as possible for quick cooking
  • Ensure all the different parts of the bread connect, as this makes it easier to manage
  • Cook until the edges of the bread start to just lift off the pan, which can take around a minute
  • Flip, taking caring not to damage the splattered pattern, and cook on the reverse side for another minute
  • Serve immediately, or stack on a dry towel so the bread doesn't steam up and serve when it is cooler

Additional Info:
Funnily enough, the traditional chita-ruti is also gluten-free, being rice flour based. But processed rice flour from UK supermarkets doesn't seem to be glutinous enough to make a proper batter. Any flatbreads I've made with it have gone crunchy-crumbly as opposed to crunchy-elastic, so a word of warning if you're going to give it a go.

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