Anchor Feeling of Home: Mella Chand's piping hot roti

  • 25/11/2021
  • Sponsored by - Anchor
Mella Chand.
Mella Chand. Photo credit: Supplied

There's no better accompaniment to a dhal, korma or biryani than piping hot roti: The delicious, mouth-watering unleavened Indian flatbread that can be dipped or even used to scoop curry.

But for Palmerston North woman Mella Chand, the smell of roti cooking quickly on the stove means more than just dinner time - it brings back memories of waiting hungrily by her mother's side in their family kitchen.  

Chand is one of five Kiwis getting the chance to share recipes from their family kitchens with the nation, thanks to Anchor's Feeling of Home competition, which saw entrants share the recipes and dishes that most connect them to a sense of home. 

Mike Boness, Fonterra Brands’ Marketing Director, says all the entries proved the kitchen is "the heart of the home for so many Kiwis". 

"Home is more than a physical place, it’s a feeling, and it connects us to what is most important," he says. 

"We wanted to champion that feeling of home and celebrate these moments, big or small." 

Despite a range of entries, all the competition winners were connected by a sense of family, he says. 

"So many Kiwis said the feeling of home came from recipes that have memories connected to their whanau. 

"It was really heartwarming to hear these stories. We also saw a range of diverse cultural recipes from Kiwis, including those who have migrated to New Zealand and shared with us the recipes that remind them of that home."

Winner Mella Chand's parents moved to Aotearoa in 1950, from a village in Gujarat State on India's West Coast. 

They lived in Auckland, before moving to Palmerston North where Chand has lived her whole life. 

In Chand's entry for Anchor's Feeling of Home, she described memories of her mother standing by the stove cooking roti breads and handing them to her children "hot off the pan".

Mella Chand making her mother's rotis.
Mella Chand making her mother's rotis. Photo credit: Supplied

"My mother always made these at home when we were kids," she told Newshub. "She would roll them all out, have them laid out on the bench and then would cook them, one by one, on a tempered steel flat plate, called a Tava, on the old gas stove."

Lashings of Anchor Butter played a key part in the preparation process. 

"She would smother them in butter, then cook the next one, buttering that and stacking on a plate, covering with foil as she went," Chand reflects. 

"When us kids came in, as they came off the stove she would butter one, put one each on our plates, and as we stood there with it, she would give it another swipe of butter on top again.

Anchor Butter smeared on Roti.
Anchor Butter smeared on Roti. Photo credit: Supplied

"To me they were amazing to eat, and a real memory of home never to be forgotten!" 

Chand says all the children in her neighbourhood would line up to get their roti. 

"To this day we still meet up with two of those neighbourhood kids, now in their 70's, who still remember coming over to eat mum's roti," she says. 

"You always knew when she was cooking them, as the kitchen would fill with smoke and the smell wafted out the door – I can't remember any range hood back then!" 

The rotis would be served at dinner time, with vegetable curry dishes, some chutney or raita and some pickles. 

"A simple but delicious meal, always made special," says Chand. 

Chand's roti recipe she is sharing with readers is the one originally used by her mother, which was passed on to her, and the one she still uses to this day. 

"A lot of the recipes for Indian roti have been changed or tweaked over time, but I have stuck to the tried and tested, original recipe that I was taught," she says. 

Roti recipe (makes 15 rotis)

Roti. Photo credit: Supplied


  • 2 cups of sifted plain white flour

  • 1 cup of wholemeal flour

  • 60 grams of Anchor Butter (Softened)

  • Boiling water – to mix the dough (use water that has been boiled and left for 2-3 minutes in the jug)

  • More Anchor Butter to smother the rotis with, at the end after they are cooked


  1. Mix sifted white flour and wholemeal flour together, add softened Anchor Butter.

  2. Mix Anchor Butter in until it looks like breadcrumbs.

  3. Add boiled water, little at a time until a soft dough is formed.

  4. Knead the dough well for several minutes until it is pliable.

  5. Break the dough into 25cm balls, then flatten the balls with your hands and roll out into 15cm rounds.

  6. Cook in a non-stick roti pan or non-stick fry pan on medium heat, for five seconds each side then flip again and repeat until cooked.

  7. Cover the rotis very generously with softened Anchor Butter while they are hot.

This article was created for Anchor.