09.05.2017

Daily bread

Roomali Roti

A fine haze of microscopic dust hangs in the air around him as he works. It delicately lands on his skin. Having chosen wheat or pulses from one of the sellers on the same street, you can leave it with him with instructions to mill into fine, medium or course flour. The aroma of deliciously sweet wheat grain being milled comforts me. ‘The fresher the milled flour, the sweeter the bread’ explains the miller. I’m dreaming of hot buttery roomali roti.

The city Miller work’s at an artisan scale, his customers purchase enough to keep stocked for a week at a time.

The Millers contemporary in the village offers the same service, however on an even smaller scale. The Sugarcane harvester who is paid daily and lives hand to mouth, buys his grain on a daily basis, he does not have the time to pick through it to make sure its clear of debris or grit, he has it milled whilst he waits.

The ‘Gunti’, grindstone is not cleaned in-between milling different grains for customers so there may be a little of the previous grind in the flour adding to the flavour of the flour.

At his temporary itinerant home his wife and children wait for the freshly milled flour. They will be eating a sweeter, more ‘rustic’ chapatti tonight.

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