Rumali roti is a thin flatbread originating from the Indian subcontinent; popular in India and in Punjab, Pakistan. It is enjoyed with Tandoori dishes. It is a part of the Punjabi cuisine as well. The word rumal means handkerchief in many north Indian languages, and the name rumali roti means handkerchief bread. The name is derived because of its structure like that. In Punjab Pakistan it is also known as lamboo roti. Lamboo simply means long in the Punjabi language. It is also known as Dosti Roti in the Caribbean.
This bread is extremely thin and supple, and the fact that it is usually served folded like a handkerchief are the probable sources of the name. During the Mughal period, the roti was used like a cloth to wipe off the excess oil off the hands after the completion of an oil-rich food laden with meat and fat.
A spin on Rumāli Roti is a much larger version called Paasti or Paosti Chappatai, which means Soft Chappati. Bannu and the surrounding Waziristan area is famous for these oversized Rumāli style rotis. They are part of a meal known as Penda. Penda (Pashto: پینډه) is usually prepared for a large gathering, like a Walima. Paosti is prepared over a Batt, which is a large 55 gallon drum split in half length-wise and inverted over coal or wood fire to create a large curved surface. See reference.
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