Rumali roti recipe

 Rumali roti | Roomali roti recipe

Rumali roti recipe with step by step photos and video. Make super thin and soft rumali roti at home.
Traditionally rumali roti are made by flipping and stretching between two hands like hand tossed. Sometimes this rotis are spin in air also to get expanded

Serving plain and palak rumali folded with curry, onion slice, fork and spoon in background

Rumali roti is a popular unleavened Indian flatbread. They are traditionally made in Awadhi, Mughlai and Hyderabadi cuisines. Rumali roti is very thin and soft. This riti is generally cooked over an inverted tawa known as rumali tawa. If you have been looking for such a delectable rumali roti recipe, you have come to the right place. Here I bring you the step by step guide on how to make rumali roti at home. Beside I will show you how to make palak rumali roti as well as a healthy form of this rumali roti.

History and origin

The exact origin of rumali roti is not known, but it is believed to have its roots in the Indian subcontinent, with a particular association with the Mughal cuisine. It is said to have been a favorite of the Mughal emperors and thus has a historical connection to North Indian cuisine. The term "rumali" (handkerchief) is used to describe its thin and delicate nature, suggesting that it was created to be as thin and light as possible Rumali roti is very thin and folded like a handkerchief. The word Rumal means handkerchief in Hindi and it is believed to have originated during the Mughal Era, where it was used to wiped out excess grease from the hands after the end of a rich meal. In Punjab it is known as Lamboo roti and Dosti roti in Caribbean.


Rumali roti is extremely thin, almost translucent and large in size. Often resembling a handkerchief or a thin cloth. Rumali roti has a soft and pliable texture thus making it easy to fold and wrap around some other foods. The traditional rumali roti includes flour, water and small amount of oil or ghee (clarified butter). Salt may also be added for flavour.

Ingredients required

Basically you need only 4 ingredients to make a rumali roti, flour, water, salt and oil. You can add some milk to make it more nutritious while kneading the dough for a rumali roti.

Serving suggestions

Rumali is a versatile roti that can be served with thick curry and gravy. The best side dishes to serve it are seekh kabab and other tandoori delicacies. They are enjoyed best with korma, nihari and rolls. It can be used to scoop up the main course or as a wrap for various fillings and often accompanied by condiments like mint chutney or raita.

Rumali roti Calories

A standard-sized rumali roti made with refined flour, which is about 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter, is still estimated to contain approximately 100-150 calories, depending on factors like thickness and the amount of oil or ghee used during cooking. Again, if you add butter, ghee, or other toppings to your rumali roti, the calorie content will increase, so be mindful of these additions if you're concerned about your calorie intake.


Plain rumali roti is the most popular one. Other variations are 

  • Palak rumali roti ( spinach rumali)
  • Banana rumali roti
  • Egg rumali roti
In palak rumali roti palak paste is used to make the dough. And in banana rumali roti, banana puree is used to knead the dough. Similarly eggs are also added.

Steps to make the recipe

1. Dough making

For a perfect rumali roti the dough need to be smooth and soft. You need to knead the dough little bit more than regular chapati dough.

Take the flour in a mixing bowl. Add salt, oil and milk. Start to knead by pouring water as required. Make a soft and palpable dough. Apply some more oil and knead further. Cover the dough and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes to set.

Rumali roti dough

Don't make the dough very sticky if required add some more flour.

For making palak rumali roti, blanched some fresh spinach and make a fine puree. Mix this puree with flour, salt and oil. Then start to mix and knead. Pour water if required only while kneading. Grease oil and set aside to set.

Palak dough for palak rumali roti

To make the rumali roti more healthy and nutritious you can add egg in the dough. Even banana is also used to make rumali roti called as kelai rumali roti ( banana rumali roti).

2. Rolling the roti

Divide the dough into equal small parts and roll them between the palm of hands dusting with some flour. Make small round shape balls according to the size of the tawa to roast the roti.

Plain and palak rumali dough balls

If you have big inverted tawa or kadai you can make big size dough balls. Cover the dough balls and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes to set. It is very important to set the dough balls first before you start to roll them. Unset dough balls wouldn't expand easily and the resulting rumali roti would be thick. And it may breakdown while hand tossing. Take a dough and dust with some flour. Press lightly over it with finger tips and start to roll with a roller pin.

Roll it around 10 to 12 inch diameter round shape circle. Make sure the roti is very thin.

Rolling rumali roti with a.roller pin

3. Hand tossed rumali /stretching by hand

Hand tossed the rumali roti needs some good practices. You may not succeed at your first try and may break the roti but after some practices you would surely succeed to expand a rumali roti by your hands. Without hand tossed, you wouldn't get that perfect handkerchief like texture.

Expanded and stretched rumali roti between hands

After rolling the roti, lift it with your right hand and place on the left hand. Then start flipping the roti between two hands slowly. While flipping keep the roti rotating anti clockwise and your right hand clockwise. With your left lightly touch the edges of the roti to stretch and help the anti clockwise motion of the roti. 

Hand tossing rumali roti to expand and stretching

Flipping and stretching a rumali roti in air is comparatively quite easy than using hand. What you need to do is after rolling the roti lift it and place over your right hand. Then move your hand upwards rotating the wrist clockwise as far as possible. Now throw and spin the roti gently in air by rotating the wrist of your hand anti clockwise.

Flying or spining rumali roti in air

When the roti start to fall downwards gently place your right hand behind the fallen roti. 

Spining palak rumali roti in air, a hand to catch it

 Similarly spin it again in air for further expansion.

4. Roasting the roti

When the roti expanded place it over a preheated inverted tawa or kadai.

Roasting rumali roti on rumali tawa or inverted tawa

 Within few seconds small bubbles start to appear on the roti. Immediately flip the roti to another side and roast further.

Roasting rumali roti with brown spot over rumali tawa

 Roast the roti from all sides. Fold it and remove from the tawa. Keep the heat flame to medium to medium high for a soft rumali roti.

Roasted rumali roti folded over rumali tawa

You may have seen or heard that salt water is applied on a tawa before roasting a rumali roti. It is used but not everytime, when a rumali roti start to slip from a tawa, salt water is applied to hold the roti over the tawa. Continue roasting rumali roti at high heat flame makes the tawa non sticky and then the roti start to slip. So salt water is used at a certain time over the tawa to hold the roti on it.

Generally rumali roti is roast on a iron tawa or rumali tawa. If you are using stainless tawa or kadai then apply some salt water. In hotels, rumali roti is roasted over a rumali tawa and it comes  between 14 to 18 inches diameter in size. 

Rumali tawa used in hotels with stand

Tips to make best rumali roti

  • The dough should be kneaded very well. It should be smooth.
  • Keep the dough balls rested for 10 to 15 minutes to set.
  • While rolling the roti dust with flour so that it won't stick to tawa or hands.
  • Roast the roti in medium high heat flame. It would be crisp if gas flame is low.
Frequently Asked Questions

1.Rumali roti is made of which flour?
Generally a traditional rumali roti is made with refined flour aka Maida. Sometimes whole wheat flour can be used in small amount while making the dough. 
2. Is rumali roti good for health?
Rumali Roti, like most foods, can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced meal.  You can mix whole wheat flour in the dough and use very less amount of oil.
3.Is rumali roti made of egg?
No, not all rumali roti is made of egg. Traditional rumali roti is not made of egg, only flour, water, oil and salt are used to make a rumali roti.

Difference between rumali roti and roti?

The key differences in terms of preparation, texture and appearance between rumali and rori is as follow
  • Roti is round and thicker flatbread, smaller in size compare with rumali roti. On the other hand, rumali roti is extremely thin and larger in size and often reffered as handkerchief roti. The average diameter for roti is about 6-8 inches whereas that of rumali roti is 10-12 inche.
  • Roti is generally made with whole wheat flour (atta) but rumali roti is made with refined flour (maida).
  • Roti is cooked on a hot griddle or tava. And usually flipped once or twice during cooking and puffs up as it cooks. On the other hand, Rumali roti is prepared by stretching the dough extremely thin and then cooking it on an inverted, convex-shaped griddle (similar to an upside-down wok).

If you love this rumali roti recipe I am sure you would also love the following recipes as well.

Rumali roti recipe

Serving folded rumali roti with curry, onion slice in background

Rumali roti is a thin and soft unleavened bread, can be folded like a handkerchief. Best to serve with thick gravy and tandoori delicacies. Inverted tawa or kadai are used to roast them.

Prep time 20 min Cook time 10 min Serve 5

Author Mobasir hassan


  • 200 gm refined flour (maida)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup milk ( optional)
  • Water as required
For palak rumali roti
  • 1 cup palak paste 
  • 200 gm maida
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • Water as required
  1. Take the flour in a mixing bowl. Add salt, one tablespoon cooking oil and milk. Mix and start to knead by pouring water as required.
  2. Make a soft palpable chapati like dough. Apply one tablespoon oil and futher knead for 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure the dough is soft, smooth and uniform. Cover the dough and rest for 10 minutes to set.
  3. For palak rumali roti, add the palak paste, salt and oil with the maida and start to knead. Add water if required only otherwise don't add. Make the soft and palpable. Apply some more oil and knead again. Cover and rest for 10 minutes to set.
  4. Now divide the dough into small equal parts and roll them between the palm of hands to make round shape dough balls. Dust with some flour while making the balls.
  5. Make the size of the dough balls according to the size of the rumali roti, you are cooking over the utensil using. Large tawa or kadai then make Little bit big dough balls.
  6. After making the dough balls, cover them and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes to set. 
  7. Now heat a inverted tawa or kadai on medium heat flame. 
  8. Take a dough ball and dust with some flour and star to roll with a roller pin. Roll it in a circular shape as thin as possible.
  9. You can expand it more by hand tossed as well.
  10. Place the roti over the tawa and roast. When small bubbles start to appear flip it to another side and roast further.
  11. When both sides are cooked fold the rumali and remove. Make more rumali with the rest of the dough balls. 

Rumali roti recipe video

                                   Nutritional value
                                 (serving size 165 g)
  • Calorie : 495
  • Fats : 4 g
  • Protein : 15 g
  • Carbohydrate : 100 g
More popular gravy recipes you can make  to enjoy with rumali roti
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