Categorized |Vegetarian

Buss Up Shut Roti Made Easy!

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 30There’s been emails, Facebook wall messages and tons of comments from avid readers who are all interested in learning how to make one of the most popular roti on the islands. As I’ve mentioned in the past, our cuisine is heavily influenced by the many cultures that make up the cosmopolitan islands of the Caribbean, especially Trinidad and Tobago. When most people outside the Caribbean think about roti, they immediately associate it with being Indian, but if you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating any “Indian” influenced food from the Caribbean… you’ll know that we took their idea and perfected it :) Not just Indian food, but the same can be said for Chinese as well. Over the years we’ve taken these wonderful ways of preparing foods and added a unique tropical twist to it and it’s become part of our culinary heritage. Don’t take my word for it… go into any Caribbean restaurant if you live outside the Caribbean and order any of their curry dishes and you’ll ‘taste” what I mean.

Personally this is my all-time favourite roti so when I make it, it’s usually done in batches so I can freeze some for days I don’t feel like cooking.. The recipe below will make 6 fairly large buss up shut roti. You have the option of placing (portion size) in freezer lock bags and freezing any leftovers. They can last up to 2 months and all you have to do is pop them (in the bag) into your microwave and heat on high for 50 seconds, then flip and nuke for another 40 seconds and they’ll be pretty close to the day they were originally made.

You’ll Need…

5 cups of flour (all purpose)
3 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (to work into dough)
mixture of 1 tablespoon margarine and 5 table spoon vegetable oil

You’ll also need (for cooking)
– tawa or non stick skillet (frying pan)
– 2 wooden spatula
– pastry brush (grab a cheap 1 inch paint brush from the dollar store)
– rolling pin

* I’ll try to explain each step as best as I can with pictures, so you may find that this page will take a bit longer than usual to load. It’s due to the number of pics I have to include. Additionally, I’ll update the FaceBook fan page as well as the Youtube Channel  with a video showing how to work the dough properly, so you can log on there to check it out as an added resource.

Start by getting the base dough ready. In a large bowl add the flour, salt and baking powder. Then add the water (add 2 cups first and add as needed) and knead. If you have a good food processor you can use that as well. After you’ve got a solid dough ball (large) add the 1 table spoon of oil and knead again. This entire kneading process should not take more than 5 minutes. Now cover the bowl with the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 1

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 2

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 3

Now that the dough is rested, we’ve got to separate the dough into the size we’ll need for each roti. Break the big dough ball into 6 even-sized balls (keep some flour handy to dust your work surface and hands to prevent sticking). All you’re doing is breaking into 6 pieces, then go back and work into a well rounded ball as in the pictures below.

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 4

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 5

In a small bowl, place the margarine and 5 table spoons of oil and mix together (the margarine must be soft). Now take one of the small balls we just created and get ready to work a bit more. Dust your surface with flour and roll out into a full circle (the size of your tawa … about 10-12 inches in diameter), flip and roll as needed to form a complete circle. The next step is to use a knife and cut from the middle out … a straight cut (see pic below). Then using your fingers or brush, dip into the oil/ margarine mixture and rub onto the rolled out dough (lightly). Then we’ll take up one of the cut ends and start rolling in a clock-wise direction to form a roll (sort of log). As you come to the end of the roll, pinch the edge so it sticks together. Then using your fingers (refer to pic below and video mentioned above) press to tuck in both ends and place back onto the counter surface. Gently tap down onto the ball of dough to flatten a bit and set aside. Do the same for the remaining 5 dough balls.

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 9

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 6

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 7

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 8

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 10

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 11

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 12

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 13

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 14

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 15

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 16

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 17

Again cover with plastic wrap so it’s somewhat air tight and allow to rest for at least 1 hour. Typically, for best results I’d allow it to rest for about 4 hours. The step above will give you layers that buss up shut is so famous for and by adding the oil/margarine layer before we rolled it, it will have that sort of silky pastry-like texture. I’ve tested using butter, but I find that using margarine gives better results. Traditionally, I believe some people use ghee (clarified butter), but I’m quite happy with the results I get from the oil/margarine combo I use.

Let’s get to finally cooking now. (after the dough is full rested)

- place the tawa on medium/high heat and brush a layer of the same oil/margarine mixture we made earlier onto it

- dust your work surface with flour and roll out one of the dough balls we had resting

- make a complete circle to fit the size of the tawa or pan that you’re using., then place onto the now hot tawa

- brush the top (uncooked surface) with some of the oil mixture

- cook for about 25 seconds, then flip and brush this side with the oil now .. cook for another 25 seconds or so.

- flip one more time and cook until you get a sort of light golden colour happening on both sides (about 1 minute or so)

- take the 2 wooden spatulas and crush the now cooked roti (see the action in the pics below)

- repeat the process for the remaining 5. Brush tawa with oil, place rolled out dough, brush with oil, flip, brush with oil..flip a couple times more .. then beat with spatula.

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 18

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 19

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 20

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 21

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 22

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 23

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 24

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Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 26

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Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 28

Trinidad Buss Up Shut roti step 29

That’s it! You’re done. Place onto a paper towel and wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm. If you leave it open for too long, it may go a bit stiff and loose it wonderful “silky” texture.

Some of you may be asking what’s with the name “Buss Up Shut”. It’s due to the  finished texture of the roti. Basically we’re comparing it to a torn or ripped shirt. So buss up shut is our island dialect or accent at work.

So what is a tawa? It’s basically a flat steel  round pan that’s used to cook roti on the stove top. You can also search online for chapati tawa if you’re looking to purchase one. A stove top skillet or large non-stick frying pan works just as well.

TIP! If you find that “beating” the roti on the stove is difficult, simply place a kitchen towel into a large bowl and drop the cooked roti into it and with tongs (it will be hot) repeat. By dropping it, it will get to the right finished texture as if you “beat” it on the stove with the 2 spatulas. You don;t have to be gentle.. beat that roti!

I really hope you give this a try as not only is it very simple to make, it’s one of the best roti you’ll ever eat. Growing up I was intimidated by the prospect of making this, but Ive learn that it’s very simple to make, as long as you follow the stops I outlined above.

Please leave me you comments below.happy cooking


Recipe Name
How To Make Buss Up Shut (paratha) Roti.
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4.5 Based on 8 Review(s)
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151 Responses to “Buss Up Shut Roti Made Easy!”

  1. Kamla--Ena--Rampersad says:

    Well Chris on saturday we had a carnival party over here in ROME and I made buss up shut and EDITH made curry potatoe with chana, blackeye peas rice and jerk chicken stew beef and rum punch, we had a ball.

  2. wendy says:

    I made this roti to go with your curry chicken. The chicken was fabulous and exactly like roti chicken bought from the trini restaurant. The roti was a failure and came out really hard. I was not able to eat it as it was too tough. I made it after about 5.5 hours of letting it rest. Could that have been the mistake? I had to pick someone up at the airport and was delayed in a snow storm.

    Help Chris…. I need roti bread to go with the perfect chicken which you have already taught me how to create.

    Thanks for doing an awesome job.

    Btw – I was able to find Chadon Beni and Pimemto in Munich…lol. The Masala seasoning for the chicken I made myself using a Recipe from Trinidad found on the web.

  3. Connie says:

    Where can we buy that pan to cook the bussupshutup roti

    Thank you

    • admin says:

      where are you based? Try and local West India store. A non stick frying pan can also work along with a griddle pan.

  4. debs lopez says:

    paratha tip roll out dough as thin as possible and sprinkle a light dusting of flour before makeing the cut in dough before rolling and making cone for a flaky roti . also you can use cow brand ghee or clarified butterin place of margarine in chris’s recipes.

  5. Tom says:

    I’ve aways admired your love and sharing of our delicious cuisines.I am a true Trini, one who always cook and eat my native cuisines. Yesterday I ventured to try my hand at making “buss-up’shot,” I followed your recipe in detail,even allowing the dough to rest for 4hrs. But was very disappointed. The texture was good, but the real melting savory flavor buss-of-shot was not even close. These days it’s very rare to be able to buy a buss-up-shot roti and get that nice melting savory taste that I grew up knowing. I’m from central Trinidad and I miss the delicate delicious flavor of buss-up-shot roti that I knew. I can never forget that soft, melting flavor of buss-up-shot roti that was served at Indian weddings. Nowadays everybody says they can make buss-up-shot roti, and they only succeed in making some sort of well beaten fry bake.And that was the flavor of what I got, even though I followed the recipe in detail. Gonna try once more, but will use gee butter instead, to see what the flavor will be. Thank you for your great work of sharing with the world the numerous varieties of our delicious cuisine.But that is not the true flavor of a real Trini buss-up-shot roti.

  6. Lynn says:

    Do you eat this all “bunched/scrunched” up?

    • Asif Muzaffarr says:

      Lynn, this is a buttery flat bread like a flour tortilla or Indian naan in appearance – but 100 times (or more) better. Is flaky and torn up as shown in the picture. Int eh same manner that you would use Arab pita bread to eat babaganoush or humus, you would typically tear a piece off and use it to pick up gravy laden meat or vegetarian dishes (because it soaks up gravy with each mouthful). My wife and children have even warmed up left over paratha the next morning and eaten it with maple syrup like a pancake (because it is flaky and pastry like).

      Although I was taught by my mother and Aunt, I always check online for a refresher before making (as I am today). Without a doubt, this is by far the best demonstration of how to cook paratha that I have seen online.

      Excellent job!

      Thanks you.

  7. Emma says:

    made bus up shots for the 1st today using your instructions Chris you explain it to detail Thank you made it with curry goat with curry potato and curry pumpkin tastes lovely will make again

  8. LeRoy Smelie says:

    Well documented and illustrated, the best roti recipe,I have tried.

  9. Layla says:

    I will definitely try this one too. Tuesday I tried your dahlpuri roti and this recipee was sooooooo good. I still have 2 unbaked in the freezer for next week. It was a little difficult to put 4 spoons of dahl, i put 3 spoons. My hands are not big, so I still have to try to put 4 tablespoons of the dahl. It makes the roti more delicious.

    Looking alone at this buss up shut roti makes me hungry again. So next weekend I know what to do. Thanks Chris for sharing…….

    I have a tawa for years and now I am using it thanks to you. I made the roti with both pumpkin massala and cabbage massala. In Suriname we mostly make the roti with more than one vegetable. I also prepared the massala chicken with potatoes. It was sooo good….

    Thank you for sharing the right recipee. Reading your recipees and tips made me a better cook!!!!!!!!!

  10. kevin says:

    The name buss up shot comes from the torn shirt look texture, trinis dont pronounce a strong r so bust up shirt becomes buss up shirt.

  11. Jean Gordon says:

    Hi, Chris:
    I am glued to the computer reading your wonderful recipes! I tried making roti years ago, but I had never seen a recipe like this one. I was married to a Guyanese in 1982 when I lived in New York; he past away in 2001, so I had a lot of Guyanese friends then, but their recipe was nothing like this one. I will most naturally try this, but since I am the only one who will be eating it, I will take my time. I really enjoy your recipes! Thank you for sharing! I enjoy you a lot! Another thing that I miss a lot is turkey wings and necks! We do not get them here in Costa Rica! That is so weird! These are the parts of the turkey that I enjoy the most! My mother always baked a turkey every Christmas when we were growing up. But I was introduced to wings in New York, and love, love, love them, and miss them terribly. When I bake a trukey, before it is ready, I take out the neck and the wings and start eaeting! So does my daughter! It tastes so good that way! Chris, keep up the good work with God’s blessings! Wish I could cook all your recipes!

  12. June says:

    Love roti going to try this recipe looks fab .Will have it with curry chicken ,channa and potato and hot pepper sauce yum!

  13. Kez says:

    I’m married to a Trini guy who took me to have roti which I loved when we were visiting there.Have wanted to make it for ages and found this recipe and you tube video clip …..trued it and must say although I made mine a little thick I think its going in the right direction…..maybe I will try smaller amounts of dough as I just couldn’t seem to get mine thin enough but liked the ease of the recipe

  14. yagtap says:

    Chris, do you know where the name came from. #Buss Up Shot


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