20 March 2008

How many calories is your roti?

A phulka puffing up on the flame

While calorific values of general food stuffs is readily found on the internet, roti or Indian bread is a tough one to estimate, because no two people make rotis of the same size or thickness. Some may add oil to bind the dough, some like to coat fresh rotis with a layer of melted ghee to keep them soft and fragrant.

Since a lot of friends ask me about how many calories does a roti add to your diet, I decided to do some basic calculations and came up with this method, where each one of you can calculate the calories in your roti.

This is how I make rotis in everyday cooking -

1 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
water to make dough
1 tsp oil in the end to knead dough till smooth and non-sticky

I make 8 rotis from 1 cup flour.

1 cup whole wheat flour is roughly 400 calories
1 tsp oil is 40 calories

440/8 gives 55 calories per each roti that I make at home.

How can you calculate for your roti?

1. If you are not sure if yours is whole wheat flour - check for the calories provided by 100 g of your wheat flour brand (will be given on the packing in Nutriton information)

100 g of whole wheat flour is roughly 3/4 cup

To get the calories per one cup of your brand of whole wheat flour : Multiply the calories in 100 gram by 4/3.

This gives you the calories per cup of flour (a)If the pack does not mention nutritional info (as would be the case where the atta is ground in the mills in many homes in India) - you can take a rough figure of 400 calories per cup of whole wheat flour.

For eg: If your package says that 100 grams provides 330 calories, then 1 cup will give 330 X 4/3 which is 440 calories.

While making rotis, measure out exactly one cup of flour and use water as necessary to make dough.

2. Note the number of teaspoons of oil you use while making dough.
Add 40 calories per teaspoon of oil. (b)

3. If you use ghee in the end, add 120 calories per tablespoon of ghee. (c)

4. Count the number of rotis that you made from 1 cup of flour (d)

5. Calories per roti will be (a+b+c) divided by d

Eg: If I made 8 rotis from 1 cup flour using 1 tsp of oil and 1 tbsp of ghee, it will be

(440 + 40 + 120) / 8 = 75 calories per roti

The same calculation applies to parathas or naan, where the number obtained from one cup of flour will be much less, also more fat used in their preparation making them high calorie.


Srivalli said...

Thats a good calculation...thanks for the details..

jayasree said...

Thanks for the detailed explanation on calorie calculation. Good presentation.

arundati said...

i totally agree that not every one makes rotis differently...and in my case, it all depends on my mood!! thanks for the detailed explanation...

Raaga said...

1 tbsp of ghee per roti??? :-)

We consume about a kilo of ghee in about 14 months :-)

Nice calculation :-)

Nandita said...

Raaga - Absolutely not a tbsp per roti, sorry if it sounded misleading, i meant it for all of them put together...
I rarely buy ghee at all! I meant to give as an example, for those who do use it, for it is conveniently forgotten while calculating the calories :)

Namratha said...

Wow, that's a good calculation Nandita, I had no idea that one roti could me so many calories...hmmmmmmm

A-kay said...

This is really good to know. When making parathas, I guess you need to take into a/c the calorie values of the stuffing too I guess. I wonder how many cals my rotis are!

Cynthia said...

This is very useful, Nandita, thank you.

Anonymous said...

thank u nandita very much . i was so confused about the calories in my rotis . now i m clear and think each roti of mine is around 60 calories.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for this wonderful explanation.
Just one query, when u say 1 cup, can we get some measurable quantity as people may use different cups at home in different countries.

Nishant said...

hey gr8 job.....luv the way u ve explained, even i was clueless thnx fr showing the way!

hema said...

Hey Hiiii !!!.... Its really gud to knw on how calculate the cal intake ... Gud info n useful for evry1 whoz diet concious ....

kuhu said...

ragga i consume a kilo of ghee in 1o days :)

mycitydoctor said...

Hey Nandita, your way of explaining is so good and attractive . I read your all post you have done a great job.

Keep it up
src:- http://www.mycitydoctor.in

Meenakshi Nilakantan said...

wow....if your roti doesnt come with calories, u can atleast indulge in some light sweets....i sometimes order sweets from this site called Dealtz which ensures that they are tasty and healthy...and ofcors very fresh too...


Meera said...

In Trinidad we make a very similar looking roti. We don't use oil though, but we do add a bit of salt and baking powder. I love the pic......getting a roti to swell like this is a triumph!

sushil paul said...

It is simple, I gm. wheat flour is 3.3 calories,.8 gms. water used to knead it hence 1.8gms of kneaded wheat flour is 3.3 calories or a chapatti made from 30 gms. of kneaded flour is 100 calories.


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