The following post is an honest review of Rotimatic — the smart cooking device that automates the flatbread making process. Save $268 by using discount code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout.
Rotis (aka flatbreads) have to be eaten fresh and making them at home is tedious and requires skill. With more millennials leading busy Indo-Western lifestyles, we have been forced to resort to frozen, unhealthy alternatives, or by replacing flatbreads with other forms of carbs. Founded in 2008, Rotimatic is the disruptive solution to this unaddressed problem. It combines cutting-edge, AI-driven technology with internet connectivity to create the ultimate smart cooking device that automates the flatbread making process.
Marking this achievement, Rishi Israni, CEO and Co-Founder of Zimplistic said,
“Raising series C, for such a futuristic kitchen robotic product signals the coming of age of this invention. With support from our existing investors such as Robert Bosch Venture Capital and NSI Ventures and with new partners such as Credence and EDBI, we are poised to take the kitchen industry by storm.
To date, we have more than 40,000 customers who have made more than 30 million flatbreads and are using Rotimatic on a daily basis. It has changed their lives and we believe that kitchen robotics will continue to transform our health in more ways than we can imagine in the future.”
Our New York City Brown Girl team organized a mini Friendsgiving dinner to give the much-raved about Rotimatic machine a try. The menu included Pio Pio’s classic rotisserie chicken, and a local South Asian restaurant’s saag paneer, butter chicken, fried cauliflower, salad and rice, mithai and carrot cupcakes for dessert, but of course, in this case, the entree was most certainly the rotis.
Curious, excited and hungry — we gathered around to assemble the appliance. The machine itself is 16×16 and 44lbs so placing it on the dining table (we added a heat resistant cover underneath) was the best bet since New York City kitchen counters are not as spacious.
Once connected to WiFi, and after a quick download of the Rotimatic app, it upgraded itself to the latest software update and provided remote troubleshooting capabilities, which was much-needed. The assembly process was not bad at all, it took a few steps and the manual with photos made it easy to do. The cool part was, exact measurements were not required for the ingredients so we filled the flour, oil and (room temperature) water into the storage containers (which do not need to cleaned after every use) with a healthy amount of each, and the Rotimatic will automatically measure the amount required. We then selected the brand of flour we were using (Pillsbury in our case), the thickness of our roti, the roast level and oil preference along with how many rotis we wanted — we chose 10.
Since the user manual and machine states the “Rotimatic gets smarter over time” and empowers you to do more and get creative — we figured it would take us and the machine both several tries to get the rotis just right.
Expect some noise at times at the beginning of the roti-making cycle, as Rotimatic is trying to detect the placement of the stirrer. For the first few tries, our machine was only producing a ball of dough but even then, we were impressed by its circular shape and consistency, so we knew we were onto something tasty. It also learns and improves the dough quality over time. Rotimatic uses the information from the first few dough balls to adjust its dough formations. Once a freshly-puffed roti appeared almost magically through the machine, the rest took almost no time to make.
Below are testimonials from our Friendsgiving dinner crew — which included CEO and co-founder Trisha Sakhuja-Walia, photographer of the evening and Brown Girl editor, Kamini Ramdeen and her boyfriend, Rafiq Chowdhury, and long-time Brown Girl contributors Ashni Mehta, Christine Varickamackal, Sumona and her husband Binny Seth.
The Rotimatic was an impressive cooking machine with minimal initial steps required. The directions were concise and the images certainly helped instruct the user on how to properly make the roti. I was most impressed by the self-calibration. This feature eliminated the need of precise measurements to be taken which can sometimes be the enemy of the novice cook.
The Rotimatic alleviates the time (and mess) it takes to make roti allowing the family chef or dinner hosts to focus on the primary items of their meal.
By introducing the Rotimatic to your kitchen, not only will you have easy access to a delicious addition to every meal, but you’ll retain roti in it’s position as a staple in Indian cuisine.
Sumona and Binny Seth
When that first roti slid out, we were like two kids back in the day when our moms would whip up our favorite meal, so let’s just say the excitement was real.But in all honestly, the Rotimatic held up to the hype of being an efficiently automated roti-making machine.
As a millennial couple, we’re both faced with working full-time jobs, side hustles (shout out to all the slashies!) and handling the bustle of everyday living in New York City.So, it goes without saying that the Rotimatic fits in quite well with our lifestyle.Also, aside from smooth aesthetics and compact size, which we didn’t expect, the Rotimatic was pretty much a breeze to set up since the instructions were very clear with pictures.
As for the quality of the roti, we loved the light and flakey texture!The both of us were definitely swirling with thoughts of our moms’ cooking, as we were digging into some roti and chicken tikka masala.
We’re grateful that Rotimatic allows us to hold onto parts of our culture that we once took for granted.
As someone who loves to eat roti but doesn’t have the time to make it, this machine was perfect to use. The instructions were clear and it’s mentioned a couple of times in the manual that this was a learning machine. There were some kinks that we worked out in the beginning but in the end, we had 10 rotis that were hot and ready for us to eat.
The machine figures out the flour, water, and oil measurements for you. I wasn’t expecting that at all and it took the stress out of figuring it out. I thought this feature was great to have because it allows more focus on other items in your meal or gives you some downtime after cooking. The touch screen options on the machine were self explanatory and easy to use.
Watching the rotis being made, it reminded me of watching my mother go through the process of making rotis from scratch. It gave me more appreciation of how much time and energy my mother put into her meals. This machine cuts the prepping and cooking time for rotis in half and is a step towards keeping the culture alive within the home. For the busy adult who misses freshly made rotis, this machine would be a great fit in your home.
The Rotimatic truly takes all the fuss and mess out of making fresh round rotis! As someone that has a full time career and pursues multiple side hustles, knowing that I can quickly throw ingredients into the rotimatic, catch up on some work, and have hot rotis in less than 10 minutes is a total game changer.
The Rotimatic learns as it goes and even allows you to customize your roti consistency to just the way you like it. After a few kinks during the initial set up, the Rotimatic was churning out hot, delicious rotis in no time. And there’s even an app that connects with your phone to allow you to troubleshoot while making your roti. Add some ghee for a final touch, and you’ll have a roti almost as good as the ones your mom makes!
As a young professional, I truly believed that cooking and having the traditional Gujarati meals I grew up eating (RDBS, amirite?) were just something I’d never be able to fit into my fast-paced lifestyle. Thanks to rotimatic, cooking some of my favorite Gujju meals finally seems within reach — aka I’ll be eating bhindi for DAYS.
Its IoT and AI capabilities make it a one-of-a-kind investment for households that aim to lead a healthier lifestyle at a touch of a button. Rotimatic ($999) is now available in the USA, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the Middle East and Canada via rotimatic.com.
Passion is something many claim to have, but few truly possess. Whether it’s hobbies, professions or romances, it’s the secret ingredient we all crave but is quite difficult to come by. But on meeting Chef Devan Rajkumar — aka Chef Dev — it takes just a few moments to understand true passion. For the Indo Guyanese chef from Toronto, passion has always been food and its power to connect, nourish, excite and represent.
Whatever the outlet, Rajkumar feeds his mission to bean ambassador for modern, West and East Indian cuisine. I recently sat down with him to talk about this and the experience of bringing Indo Caribbean flavors to South Asia and beyond.
Feeding a passion for food
“The sights, the sounds, the aromatics. The excitement of the kitchen has just always appealed to me,” he began. “Food moves me in a certain way. I want to nurture and nourish. I’ve just always wanted to do for others.”
As he sat back in a ‘Guyana vs. the world’ tank top, Rajkumar’s energy was palpable.
“I’ve always lived and breathed food, all day, all night. Like I’m talking about food right now. I’m constantly talking about food.”
To Rajkumar, food is education — one of the best (and most enjoyable) ways to learn, teach and explore the world — and he credits his older brother Jai for inspiring this mindset. Jai was the first to introduce him to different cuisines, teach him to be curious about the world and show him how to challenge the norms of a “typical brown kid.”
Despite this encouragement, however, a culinary career wasn’t Rajkumar’s first instinct. The son of a businessman, he initially jumped around universities and career paths. He also struggled with substance abuse and grief after Jai’s passing. Through all the challenges, food remained a constant, and the sense of community it created was a powerful draw.
“At a very young age, I recognized how food made me feel if I was in a bad mood and how it made others feel,” he shared.
He’s always looked forward to sitting around a table with friends and family, enjoying a nice meal, and how everybody could share their stories or just forget their troubles.
“Food is a very powerful vehicle for transporting someone.”
In 2009, Rajkumar finally followed his passion and joined a culinary school. He realized he had a knack for creating this experience for others.
“I realized I had the power and the gift to nourish and nurture someone else in this way,” and it became irresistible.
A cook with no boundaries, Rajkumar didn’t want to limit the number of people he reached to just those in Canada.
For many, success in the culinary world is having a thriving restaurant, but after spending six months opening one with The Food Dudes in 2015, Rajkumar realized this route wasn’t for him.
“I wanted more culture,” he explained. “I wanted to learn and not so much get my ass kicked, but to be a sponge. I knew I needed to travel to broaden my horizons.”
So he did. Rajkumar spent months cooking in India, London, Peru and Dubai. He shared his experiences on social media and people back home took note.
“When I returned to Toronto,” he continued, “that trip had established me as a cook who had no boundaries. As someone who wasn’t afraid to explore and get out of their comfort zone.”
And get out of his comfort zone he did.
“From catering to a pop-up abroad to filming ‘Cityline’ and speaking engagements, every day is different,” he explained. “I’ve had my bouts with imposter syndrome, but ultimately, I’ve gotten to make more of an impact than just opening a restaurant.”
That impact has especially been prominent in South Asia.
Rajkumar embraces not only his Caribbean culture, but his South Asian roots as well.
The temple he grew up in was a blend of Guyanese and East Indians, so he knew foods from a typical Guyanese household like alu curry and saijan but also East Indian favorites like dhokla and malai kofta.
“Ultimately, we came from India,” he declared. “I embrace the culture and I am very comfortable leaning back and forth into it. It’s in me. It’s who I am.”
In fact, Rajkumar noted his career became much more defined and successful when he really began to identify as not just a chef, but as an Indo Guyanese Canadian chef.
Hearing this, it was no surprise that Guyana, India and Pakistan stand out as some of his favorite destinations.
“Guyana is hugely impactful for me,” he shared, having visited his parents’ homeland frequently. “As soon as that door opens [at the airport], you smell Guyana. You smell the sugarcane burning from rum factories. I have all these wonderful sights, sounds, smells and flavors from those trips.”
His sentiments for India are similar.
“Incredible India is incredible India,” he referred to the country’s tourism slogan. “Every 100-200 kilometers, the menus can change completely. I can live in India for the rest of my life and never see it all.”
Rajkumar’s first trip in 2020 was only nine days long, but its impact stayed with him.
He couldn’t have been more excited to return for a month, earlier this year, and host what his friends there dubbed the “Mad Love Pop-Up,” after one of his signature sayings.
He filled the menu for the 18-day event with global dishes like ceviche and scotch eggs but infused them with West and East Indian flavors like masala, jerk and cassareep — a rich extract of the bitter cassava native to Guyana. Before he left, he even prepared Guyana’s national dish of pepper pot, a hearty meat stew, for the staff meal.
“My whole thought process was ‘let me give these people — my family there — an experience they’ve never had before,” he detailed. “Any time I give someone pepper pot or cassareep, they’re just so shocked. It’s so unique.”
Rajkumar is always excited to share the flavors and culture of Guyana with new people, but with his roots in South Asia, bringing them to Pakistan was that much more profound.
“In India, maybe it’s different, but in Lahore, most people don’t know about Guyana or where it is. That’s another reason why I did this. That’s why I do all the things I do. That’s why I’m wearing this tank top — to raise awareness about my culture and how beautiful it is,” he said.
Time in South Asia has also helped Rajkumar gain a deeper appreciation for the origins of many Indo Caribbean dishes and reinforced his love for them.
“Guyanese cuisine doesn’t just have Indian influence, but so many dishes in some way, shape, or form come from there. Like when I’m eating sada roti, I can tie it back to which type of flatbread it came from in India. I feel like a better-equipped chef at the end of the day. I’m more connected to my Guyanese roots and to the culture overall.”
Rajkumar wants to foster a deeper understanding and relationship between both heritages. He wants his food to build connections, not disparity.
Bringing the world back home
Rajkumar has visited over 20 countries, but Pakistan remains one place he’ll cherish his entire life. He is grateful not only for the opportunities he’s had there, but also for the chance to offer a fresh, alternative view of the country from what is often shown by the media.
“When people saw me posting content from Lahore, they were like, ‘Oh my God, this is Pakistan?’ This is not what we expected. This is not what we thought we’d see.’ They were shocked at how beautiful, kind, and welcoming everyone was.”
Reactions like these are Rajkumar’s ultimate goal.
A cookbook is due next year. He has aspirations of launching merchandise and cookware, traveling to South East Asia, and continuing his pop-ups, but ultimately, he concludes,
“I just want to stand for something. I want to continue to learn, remain humble, represent my Western and Eastern cultures and spread mad love. I want to be an ambassador to that world and be someone who’s dedicated to his craft, bettering himself and those around him.”
“I just want to continue to grow as a person,” he added with sincerity as he touched on his sobriety and what it’s taught him about achieving your goals.
“That might sound cliche, but it’s new to me. I’ve spent the last two years learning about myself and being vulnerable about how I feel, my healing journey and what I’m going through. If I excel and continue to invest time and discipline in that arena, everything else around me will flourish. I believe that goes for anyone.”
Rajkumar is going far literally and figuratively, but no matter where he lands, you can be sure he’ll bring something back for his supporters, whether it be a new view of the world or a concoction like a ceviche pani puri on one of his menus.
“That’s my travels to India, Pakistan and Peru all in one bite!” he exclaimed.
Chef Dev’s journey has not always been an easy one, but it’s a powerful example of the success one can taste with hard work, embracing authenticity and following true passion.
It is officially that time of year—the holiday season. There’s nothing like Christmas and New Year’s in the West Indies. Between the pepperpot in Guyana and the palm trees decorated in lights in Trinidad, the home food, warm weather and laid-back ambiance makes us wish we could escape the cold and head back to the Caribbean. Most of us, however, cannot “take holiday” and find ourselves hungry for fresh dhal puri and doubles. But, thanks to these Indo-Caribbean food bloggers, we can bring the motherland to our kitchens.
From Diwali mithai specialties to curry chicken, Matthew is creating a name for himself as a young Guyanese food blogger. He makes a great effort to incorporate Hindu holidays and traditions on his Instagram account, in conjunction with the customary foods and sweets associated with these religious events. However, his expertise does not end there, with new and alternative recipes for classic dishes such as curry chicken and bhara, Matthew takes center stage sharing both traditional Guyanese dishes as well as specific religious dishes made for festivals. His most popular YouTube video, with 1.4 million views, features his grandmother and focuses on the best tips to make the softest Guyanese paratha roti. In addition, his YouTube account is home to many videos offering guidance to Indo Caribbean cooking. Find recipes at @mattews.guyanese.cooking
Natasha Laggan of Trini Cooking with Natasha is wildly popular throughout the Caribbean and the U.S. With humble beginnings, Natasha credits her love of food to her family’s business. She speaks of the nostalgia home food provides her as she reminisces memories of her grandmother’s cooking and helping her mother make sandwiches early in the morning. Featured by Forbes, Natasha grew her Facebook following quickly throughout the pandemic by posting old YouTube videos. Today, she has more than 1 million followers on Facebook and over 200K followers on YouTube. She uses her passion for cooking and Trinidadian culture to bring easy-to-follow recipes to viewers. Her following has now reached the West Indian diaspora globally as she has also become a brand ambassador to two well-known food companies. Follow the food expert @trinicookingwithnatasha.
With over 100K followers on YouTube, Ria is quite the expert when it comes to making roti. Her dhal puri, sada roti and paratha roti tutorials have over 1M views! However, her expertise does not stop there. Of the 180 YouTube tutorials, her recipes vary from curry to other Trinidadian favorites like macaroni pie and pigtail soup. Just scrolling through her YouTube page makes your mouth water. From doubles to classic Trinidad bakes like pound cake and sweet bread, she provides precision and anecdotal commentary while guiding you through the familiarity of home food. Check out Ria’s page at @cookingwithria.
Known as Chef Devan, Devan Rajkumar embraces his Guyanese Canadian heritage by creating recipes combining flavors of both the East and West Indies. His love of food has allowed him to expand his role to judge in a popular Canadian cooking show: Food Network Canada’s Fire Masters. His cooking often blends the flavors of multiple cultures but also creates the classic recipes of his motherland. With a multitude of interests, Chef Dev uses his social media platform to connect with followers by sharing various aspects of his life that go beyond cooking. His most recent YouTube video provides a trailer for an upcoming video “Tastes Guyana” which shows him exploring Guyana from the inside, specifically deep parts of the inner country. To learn more about Chef Devan follow @chefdevan.
Reshmi is the chef behind the growing blog, Taste of Trinbago. A Trinidadian native who now resides in Texas, she uses her love of food and Trinidadian culture to share hacks, tips and easy recipes with West Indians throughout the globe. She finds a way to simplify traditional West Indian meals, that we once watched our elders make with curiosity. From holiday specialties like black cake to Diwali delicacies, Reshmi has brought vegetarian and non-veg recipes to followers in an extremely accessible way. She even posts recipe cards on her IG highlights for followers who may need written instructions. Her IG profile is a mix of various West Indian foods while also sharing bits of her life and even her secrets to baby food. Follow her @tasteoftrinbago.
These are just five Indo Caribbean food bloggers sharing their secrets to easy cooking. The once very daunting recipes and food instructions our parents gave have been simplified by most of these bloggers through video, voice over and modernized recipes. We no longer have to estimate a “dash, pinch or tuk” of any masala. We are just days away from Christmas and this is the perfect time to find the best-suited recipe to make that paratha for Santa.