Cooking Rotis On Direct Gas Flame Can Be Dangerous; Know Why

Rotis or chapatis are an Indian staple food eaten at literally every meal. Made from wheat flour, and water – they are cooked on a hot griddle or tawa. However, many people put them on direct gas flame which experts say produces carcinogenic compounds that can cause cancer. These chemical compounds arise when the flatbread is subjected to high temperatures and undergoes a process known as pyrolysis. Read on to know more.
cooking rotis on gas

Rotis are generally first cooked on the tawa and then transferred on direct fire to let them rise

Rotis or chapatis are a great addition to your diet for wholesome nutrition. Whenever you are trying to lose weight or gain muscles, this Indian flatbread provides lots of dietary fibre, calcium, and protein - all of which help keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Made in a pan after rolling the dough, rotis – usually made with wheat flour and eaten with vegetables, curries, meat, or dals – are cooked in a pan. However, many people also like the baked, fluffy version for which you need to transfer it to the gas flame directly.
However, according to health experts, the process is extremely dangerous for your health.

Why should you avoid putting rotis on direct flame?

Rotis are generally first cooked on the tawa and then transferred on direct fire to let them rise.
According to the medical journal Environmental Science and Technology, fire from gas stoves releases harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter, all of which are deadly for human bodies.
These harmful pollutants can cause various health issues like respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer.
A recent study published in the Nutrition and Cancer Journal says that cooking at extremely high temperatures, akin to directly putting food on flame leads to the production of carcinogenic compounds that increase the risk of cancer. 1
These chemical compounds arise when the roti undergoes a process known as pyrolysis - a chemical reaction that occurs when organic substances are heated in the absence of oxygen. During this process, the organic compounds are broken down into smaller molecules, some of which may be carcinogenic.
Also, apart from rotis, those who love charred burgers or grilled veggies and meat are at a high risk of getting cancer.
Grilling or charring meat on open flame develops polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs and heterocyclic amines or HCAs as the fat and juice from meat drip into the grill’s drip pan below, causing flames and smoke that contain PAHs. This then, in turn, coats the meat with PAHs.
Also, while roasting potatoes, a chemical acrylamide develops naturally when sugars in the vegetable react with amino acids.

Why should you cook rotis on a tawa?

Experts say you must always cook rotis in a pan and thereafter press them with a kitchen towel so that they do not come in direct contact with the flame.
Cooking roti on a tawa is also a traditional and popular method and a few reasons why you should do it include:

Even heat distribution

A tawa or pan flat and round heat-conductive griddle and so, when you heat it, the pan properly distributes heat throughout the surface, ensuring that the roti is evenly cooked.

Retains nutrients

Cooking rotis on a tawa helps retain nutrients like fibre, protein, and carbohydrates. Since the roti is not cooked at a very high temperature, these nutrients are not altered.

Low-fat cooking

Cooking roti on a tawa uses little oil or ghee, making it a low-fat cooking technique. Because the tawa holds heat efficiently, the roti cooks quickly without sticking or burning.
End of Article
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