I dug deep into my recipe file and unearthed this long-time favorite recipe for Buss-Up-Shut (roti bread). I hadn’t made it in years. I fact, it took me back to my single days living in Miami when I’d whip this recipe up for a snack, to wrap around some chicken, or dip into a curry sauce. It became a favorite of mine following a business trip to Trinidad, where I enjoyed watching the Trinidadians bake this thin bread on a flat griddle in small shacks on the side of the road – and, of course at the famous Patraj Roti Shop in San Juan. I became an instant fan of Buss-Up-Shut.
Upon returning from my trip the Caribbean, I searched for an easy recipe and unearthed the recipe below from a Caribbean cookbook on the shelves in my office.
When any of the East Indian griddle breads made with a combination of flour, baking powder, salt and water are ripped apart for dipping into curries, they are called buss-up-shut, vernacular for burst-up-shirt, because they resemble torn up cloth. When left whole, the breads are stuffed with curried meat, seafood, or vegetables and rolled up in the manner of a burrito.
I create mine less like a torn cloth, and more like a wrap. If inclined to create the torn-shirt effect, this delicious recipe tutorial from Caribbean Pot shows you how to make it. Typically cooked on a large, flat griddle called a tawa, they cook up nicely on a nonstick pan.
- 3 cups flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- vegetable oil, as needed
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the water and mix to form a dough. Knead, then let stand for 30 minutes. Knead again and divide into 4 balls.
On a floured board roll out each ball as thin as possible – to a diameter of 8 to 10 inches.
In a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, heat sufficient oil to coat the pan. Cook each roti for about 1-1/2 minutes per side, drizzling additional oil onto each side as it cooks. Remove carefully and drain on paper towels. Rotis can be left whole for stuffing or torn up for dipping.