Roti pie

Roti is something in our household that is loved by everyone and never lasts. No matter how many dozens I make and freeze, it will not last past the week.

My mother eats roti with everything and if I allowed her she would eat roti with soup. Lately my brother is a roti lover, let him just see me mixing the dough, then he will drop whatever he is doing and sit at the kitchen counter and watch me mix, then watch me fry them and then watch to make sure everyone is getting the same amount of roti and that I am somehow not cheating him out of a roti.

He takes after my Uncle Rags, that one could smell when roti was being made. A week before he passed on, I was making roti when he popped around, but I had made roti on a roti board, so it was thin and small and he kept complaining and he never got to eat the big thick roti he normally ate.

My father is a character; he loves roti, which is shocking. Growing up he would want a pot of rice to be made if we were having roti. Now he eats roti just as hard as everyone else, but he can’t eat with his hands. He eats roti with a knife and fork; actually he eats everything with utensils. Not sure what Indian he was born as, but cutlery is his best friend.

I came across this recipe in Fatima Sydow’s cookbook and although it seemed like an extremely daunting recipe, it was actually really easy. I adapted the recipe and used my own roti recipe. The only thing I found annoying was the crimping of the edges to seal the pastry. I suck at making the fancy braided edge. I have no idea how they do it, it is like when I move to the second braid, my brain refuses to think, like my arms are in the way and I have no idea how to progress further. It looks soo beautiful but I just can’t make it. I eventually gave up and just using a fork to stab the edges together.

When my family saw me mixing the dough, they were jumping up and down for joy, thinking that roti was on the menu. I lost count of the number of times I had to tell them that I was not making roti. My mother kept telling me, that she was right, just watch there would be roti with lunch. Alas, it was heartbreaking when I put rice with her food and the roti was nowhere in sight.

This roti pie recipe makes 6 medium sized pies and the results are delicious and mouth-watering and finger licking good.

My dad didn’t even play with the left overs, he made me wrap them up in foil and pop it into the fridge to take to work the next day for his lunch. Who knew my father would like mince? He normally gets indigestion and has to take an Eno just from looking at mince. Miracles do happen.


  • 6 x rotis.
  • 2 x tbsp. oil.
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 2 x cardamom pods.
  • 1 x cinnamon stick.
  • 500g x mince.
  • 2 x tomatoes, liquidized.
  • 2 x tsp ginger garlic paste.
  • ½ x tsp turmeric powder.
  • 2 x tbsp. masala.
  • 2 x potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes.
  • 1 x cup frozen peas.


  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add the onions, cinnamon stick and cardamom pod.
  • Season with salt and sauté till the onions start to go brown around the edges.
  • Add the tomatoes, give it a good stir, cover and cook till all the water from the tomatoes has cooked away.
  • Add the spices and stir.
  • Add the mince and allow to cook for a few minutes, breaking up any lumps that may form.
  • Add the potatoes and about a cup of water.
  • Cover and cook till potatoes are almost soft, add in the peas and cook till all the water has been cooked off.

To assemble:

  • Fill one side of the roti with the mince filing. Fold over the other side to create a half moon.
  • Press down to seal the edges.
  • Place on a greased baking tray.
  • Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle over some poppy seeds, before popping into a preheated oven to bake at 180 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Tell me what you think of this recipe