Herb Roti

Herbs are running amok in my backyard, and I couldn’t be happier. But there is something like too much of a good thing. The first year we moved into our home, I planted an innocent looking sprig of mint in a corner of one of my vegetable beds. Little did my green-behind-the-ears gardener self know that by the following year the mint would take over the entire bed and by this summer it was beginning to break out past a brick barrier to take over the rest of the yard.

As much as I love mint, it got to the point where I finally gave in to Desi and let him uproot all of the mint. I saved just a couple of sprigs that I have now planted in a pot, and they’re already flourishing. I am sure I will have all the mint I need in no time, and my vegetable bed will be able to play host to more veggies. Live and learn.

In addition to the mint, I have some perennial herbs that spring back to life each year, thicker and faster than ever before, like some lemon thyme that’s gorgeous in just about anything but particularly so with spuds and eggplant. The sage, a beautiful, hardy perennial gifted by my friend Bess just a couple of years ago. In addition to being super-delicious, it’s also perhaps the most gorgeous herb around with ash-green leaves and purple flowers. Chives, with their mild, addictively onion-y flavor and feathery flowers.

I planted some rosemary in the vegetable garden last year hoping it would return– it is a perennial– but it didn’t for some mysterious reason. So I’ve got some growing in a pot this year because I just long for its intoxicating flavor in a richly vegan “beef” stew. Come winter, I’ll just move the pot indoors and hopefully my rosemary shall live.

Also this year I bought some French tarragon that I’m not sure what to do with, but will find out– and let you know. If you know about good uses for this herb, do share.

As neck-deep in herbs as I am (and I mean it in the best possible way), I try to find new uses for them each time I cook. One recipe I cooked up this week and really loved– and which is very versatile, really– is my Herb Roti.

This is also a high-protein roti, because I mixed up garbanzo bean flour, or besan, and whole-wheat flour to make the roti dough. I also threw in handfuls of mint, sage, and thyme, all finely chopped, along with some spices.

I’m running out of time, and I gotta run. But here’s the recipe, and keep reading to learn a little bit more about me, if you want to.

Enjoy, all!

Herb Roti


1 cup garbanzo bean flour or chickpea flour or besan

1 cup whole-wheat flour or atta

1 cup loosely packed herbs (I used thyme, mint and sage, but coriander, rosemary, chives, garlic greens would all be great in here, together, or by themselves). Chop the herbs really fine.

1 tsp salt

1 tsp red chilli powder, like cayenne

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp garam masala powder

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and add enough water to make a smooth dough. Cover the dough and set aside for about half an hour.

Shape the dough into 12 smooth balls. One by one, roll them out, dusting the surface with enough flour, into circles around 6 inches in diameter.

Heat a cast-iron or nonstick griddle. Spritz with some oil spray and cook each roti on both sides until reddish-brown spots appear.

Serve with a subzi or chutney. Don’t leave these rotis standing too long because the garbanzo bean flour in them will cause them to stiffen up.

Two talented bloggers and friends, Richa of Hobby and More and Mel of Veganize This!, passed on to me some blog awards: the Versatile Blogger Award and the Stylish Blogger Award. Both require I post seven facts about myself, and I thought I’d take up the challenge. It seemed a little difficult in the beginning because I’ve already shared facts about myself thrice before, in this and this and this post. But once I’d started, they kept coming.

Instead of passing on the award to specific bloggers, I am just going to share this award with all of my blogger readers and friends, including Richa and Mel.

And now here you go–seven random facts about me:

I was a Hollywood movie critic for the Times of India for a couple of years after I first moved to the United States. It was a blast to sink my poisoned fangs into gems including Blade, Meet Joe Black, and Practical Magic.

I could never have a direct conversation with my now-deceased mom-in-law, because we did not have a common language. She spoke only Tamil, and everything she said to me, and I to her– except rehearsed lines like “How are you?” “I’m fine,” etc.– had to be translated by Desi or my father-in-law, or someone else who happened to be around. I still miss her, and wish now I’d learned Tamil fast enough to have been able to speak with her.

I am pretty sure I was born to be a couch potato, but I don’t always get to live like one.

I once covered a Civil War reenactment for the newspaper I worked at and I can’t say I’ve seen anything else like it, before or since. When I got back to my car someone, annoyed perhaps by my PFLAG sticker, had scrawled “Gay” on the dust-covered bumper. Reminded me that my car needed a wash.

Speaking about bumper stickers, I absolutely love them. My car usually provides lots of reading entertainment for other cars at stop lights. My favorite: “Dog is my copilot.” It works especially well when Opie’s riding shotgun with me, as he usually does when he’s in the car.

I don’t believe in life after death and heaven and hell and all those things, but I often catch myself imagining a  heaven for dogs where my Freddie– miraculously young and free of disease– is playing fetch with his favorite red ball.

I know that last one was a bit sappy, but that’s just another random fact about me. I am a perfectly sappy person, especially when it comes to animals. I cry buckets each time the ASPCA ad airs, or when I see a kitten with big, round eyes. In fact, I think there’s nothing more beautiful in the world than a kitten, don’t you?

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    I love making roti and paratha–if it wasn’t in the mid-90’s in NYC right now, and if I didn’t have an un-airconditioned kitchen, I’d be all about these. Meanwhile, I’ll keep it in the “to make” file. :)

    I’m jealous of your garden; the closest thing I have to a garden is a potted basil plant that I named Audrey II because if its penchant for becoming so big that it threatens to take over my apartment!

  2. says

    awesome.. i like the herb combos.. any kind of herb roti reminds me of all the theplas and parathas stacked and packed for the train rides as kids :)

    great to know some things about u! i am not allowed to tear up(maybe a little is fine) at the sappy ads and other things, coz then hubbs wont let me read, watch, do or write about similar things:). i cried 3 straight days after my first foster went home. it still hurts some days coz i dont know where he is. but then sense prevailed and we could foster and save a couple more of them death row sweeties!.

  3. says

    Natalie, It’s been unbearably hot here in DC too, and I agree that being in the kitchen is absolute torture. Audrey sounds cute– I would love it if my basil grew that fast. It’s one of those herbs I never seem to have much luck with. Maybe this year will be different. :)

    Richa, I feel your pain. Fostering has got to be the hardest but also the most rewarding thing to do. Kudos to you, and keep up the good work.

    Priya, thanks!

  4. says

    Your roti looks divine! It was lovely to find out more about you in this post and I will check out the links to your previous facts as well. I’m a big sappy person too, particularly when animals are involved!

    Tarragon is something I have only used in dried form. This soup from Appetite for Reduction is lovely and I’m sure that fresh tarragon would make it even nicer. http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1380648

  5. Anonymous says

    Hi vaishali,
    These look like the “MISSI ROTIS” except that you have flavoured them with delicious and fresh herbs from your garden. A must try……….

    God Bless.

  6. says

    I am using mint to take over an area of grass around our frog pond. The more it grows there the better!! So far, so good. Roti sounds delicious and thanks for sharing about yourself! Peace, Stephanie

  7. Anonymous says

    Herb Roti is a great idea. I was looking at my herb garden today morning and wondering what do with them, and just happened to read this.

    This is going to be dinner tonight. Thanks a ton !

  8. says

    Vaishali – Coincidentally, I was eating methi-ka-paratha, cooked by my lovely wife, when I saw your post on Facebook. I will buy the other herbal ingredients that you have suggested during this weekend so that we can try them too. Thanks for the superb ideas.

  9. says

    I love herbs and i have to add them in most of my savory dish. They add such beautiful color and life to a dish! This is a great roti recipe you shared..

  10. says

    I love roti! I’ll have to try using chickpea flour next time I make them.

    Also, no shame in being a sappy person! At least that’s what I tell myself. :) And bumper stickers rock! I once saw a car with a bunch of pro-vegan bumper stickers and I just had to give them the thumbs up! It made my day. :)

  11. says

    What a coincidence! My mother’s methi leaves have sprung up all over the garden so we had methi parathas today. The recipe is very similar to yours, with the besan and atta. I had mine with a Moroccan pumpkin-lentil soup I invented recently. They went beautifully together!

  12. Anonymous says

    Love your recipes…especially the Dal Makhini…..I have made it three times….I have not tried your Indian bread recipes but I am sure they’re delicious. I know what you mean about having a big heart for animals. I love the Sandhill Cranes in our area of Florida. They are such beautiful creatures, and when they choose a mate, it is for life, which is so sweet, and also sad when something happens to one of the birds.

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