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Recipe for :

Khasta Roti - Oven-baked Wholewheat Bread

This recipe is published with the permission of Manju Malhi from her book 'India with Passion'.

Renowned for her simple, homely approach to Indian cooking, Manju has quickly become one of our favourite home cooks since the publication of her first book, 'Brit Spice', in 2002. Manju beat hundreds of contestants to secure a guest cookery slot on BBC2's Food and Drink, and has since presented her own televison show for Taste called Simply Indian. Manju developed her passion for Indain cooking from watching her parents cook as a child, and refined her skills while studying in Bombay for four years.

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This wholewheat bread is flavoured with ajowan and baked in a tandoor. Ajowan is a close relative of parsley and the seeds have a sharp, thyme-like aroma. It is used in northern India in particular, especially in the Punjab. Known to temper the effects of a legume-based diet, by relieving wind and indigestion, ajowan is used in the preparation of savoury foods, such as snacks, pastries, vegetable dishes, and breads. Use it in moderation, because a small amount gives a strong flavour.


500g (1 lb 2 oz) wholewheat flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp ajowan seeds


  • Sieve the flour into a bowl and mix with the sugar, salt, ajowan seeds and 300 ml (10 1/2 f1 oz) cold water.
  • Knead for 10 minutes into a firm dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4.
  • Divide the dough into 10 equal balls. Dust with flour and roll out into 10cm (4 inch) circles.
  • Prick evenly with a fork, place on a baking tray and bake for 8 - 10 minutes until light brown in colour and slightly bubbly on the surface.

Makes about 10

Manju Malhi
Recipe from India with Passion

©Manju Malhi 2004