Malayalam is an extremely complex language and offers a wide array of expletives, many of which I have been a victim to (my fault, people would say). Even though the language offers a different swear word for each degree of animosity you feel, the most commonly used and loved one is the “Patti”. Patti _for dog. Why would you call your enemy a _patti, isn’t that kind of a compliment? You are inadvertently implying that he is a gentle, loyal and loving fellow (so loving that he drools all over you) and better than most humans you will probably meet in this lifetime. Patti is no insult unless you aim to insult the patti. Paavam.
Orotti is similarly a misplaced insult that people (read, my family) use to describe bread that is tough and cracks a tooth or two. “What is this, some kind of orotti?”, you would say as you flex your muscles to tear apart that bread. I think it has something to do with the name; OROTTI does sound tough. Whereas in reality, it is a delicious, flat bread from Kerala made of rice flour. Different parts of the state offer different versions. They can be steamed in banana leaves like Ada or they can be deep fried in coconut oil; you can make it sweet by adding banana and jaggery or it can be savory with coconut and spices.
I have the recipe of Thiroor Orotti from Vanitha for you. This is a savory rice bread which is flavored with grated coconut, shallots and fennel seeds and deep fried. Hot crispy orotti with a curry like this one make a great, festive breakfast or first course at a party.
Cooking Time: 60 mins
1 cup Rice flour
1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
2 cups Water
1 cup Grated coconut
10 Shallots (kunjulli)
1 tablespoon Fennel seeds (perumjeerakam)
1 teaspoon Sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon Black cumin seeds (karimjeerakam)
4. Oil , preferably coconut oil to deep fry
Oil , preferably coconut oil to deep fry
Bring water to boil and add salt. Add rice flour to the boiling water and mix well so the rice flour is partially cooked. Take off heat and mix again.
Pulse all ingredients labeled 2 in a food processor. It should not get mushy. Mix with rice flour. Mix in sesame seeds and black cumin seeds.
Wet your palms and flatten a small portion of the flour mix using fingers into a slightly thick circular shape about 7 cm in diameter.
Heat oil in a wok. Deep fry each orotti on both side till golden brown. Serve hot with spicy curry of your choice.