The kitchen is where robotics will flourish next, and Zimplistic founders – Rishi Israni and Pranoti Nagarkar – have laid down the path with Rotimatic for further tech evolution in this space.
We have all heard of the more or less ubiquitous rice cooker. Most South Asians have now become accustomed to using the numerous variants of the kitchen appliance for cooking one of the most popular stables of their diet – rice. The other favorite food staple of South Asians, roti, however, is still largely made by hand. And although the process of making this flour-water-oil flatbread may seem simple, it is quite the task. For someone who is not an expert in the art of making rotis, the traditional method of doing it is complex enough for them to choose quickly choose ready-made alternatives. Zimplistic’s Rotimatic – a fully-automatic roti maker perfect for domestic use – has emerged as a game-changer for how we are accustomed to preparing the age-old recipe.
Rotimatic simplifies daily life:
Pranoti Nagarkar, Founder and Co-CEO of Zimplistic, recalls her earliest memories of rotis being that of her mother laboring away in the kitchen to bring fresh rotis right off the pan to the table. Similar to most people who shoulder the responsibility of cooking chapatis, phulkas, or rotis, Pranoti recollects her mother too compromised on the time she could have spent with her family at the dinner table. Sadly, without investing adequate time and attention, the effort put into yielding soft and fluffy rotis goes to naught.
To understand this better, one has to consider the actions that go into making a roti. The dry and wet ingredients are carefully measured out in the correct proportion of the mix. The water added should preferably be of a certain temperature (warm) to facilitate kneading of the dough to the ideal consistency. After a period of rest, this dough is then evenly flattened into thin discs which are then roasted in a pan or directly over a flame. When cooking for an average of four people, the time taken for rotis could be well over half an hour. Rotimatic notably compresses this time down to a few minutes using automation.
The Inception of Rotimatic:
Pranoti experienced the struggle of making rotis daily first-hand and decided it was about time the roti-making process got a technological update. Thus, the combined efforts of Pranoti and Rishi came about Zimplistic’s Rotimatic that recreates all the steps. Beyond the act of pouring flour, water, and oil into their designated compartments in the machine and pushing a few buttons, Rotimatic does not require any further user intervention.
At Zimplistic, we are working towards making healthy eating easier by enabling users to cook healthy roti with Rotimatic with convenience via technology for their families.
With heartfelt appreciation and encouragement from our users, our motivation enhances three folds.
Despite living in a technology-driven world, a lot of us still depend on the conventional ways of cooking.
We thank our user Naeem Qureshi for his touching message and speaking aloud about the age-old chore of making rotis and recognizing our efforts, as an organization to challenge gender stereotypes and simplify lives.
It is true that for generations, it has been the women of the house who have been performing kitchen duties including roti-making without any complaints.
Roti-making is a time-consuming and tedious task, yet this laborious process is often undermined and not much talked about.
We applaud the women who juggle between home and work and balance it out on every front be it professional or personal.
60,000 homes have already adopted a healthy lifestyle with a healthy choice of Rotimatic.
Our vision, as Zimplistic is to bring about this change in every household by bringing Rotimatic to every kitchen, one family at a time to change the roti making technique for everyone.
The advent of automation into the domestic sphere has introduced a new genre of self-sufficient kitchen appliance – automatic roti makers. Machines like Rotimatic keep the authentic taste of traditional cuisines alive.
Automation is not just about our future but also our present. While we are yet to realize our complete potential in robotics and automation, we have come a long way. We have entrusted automated machines with the most crucial of tasks such as bank transactions, health care, and even national defense and security.
The ingress of automation can be understood even more clearly from a prediction made by Professor Henrik Christensen, from the University of California San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute. He says that children born this year would never drive cars as self-driving cars would become commonplace by the time they grow up.
Robotics and Automation have also entered our domestic spheres and into the kitchen setting ground for a smart kitchen revolution. One of such machines gaining popularity is the range of automatic roti making machines that keep traditional food alive among the generation pressed for time.
Automation in Your Home
The prototypes of domestic automated machinery, or, domotics, entered homes in the early 1900s. They were powered by gas or electricity. These include washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, sewing machines, and water heaters. Initially, these could only be afforded by the rich and elite. As electricity became available more widely and prices of electrical appliances decreased, they made their way into the homes of the middle-class families. Today, these have become essential household appliances.
The present generation of appliances includes smart gadgets that are equipped with sensors, AI-enabled to upgrade and autocorrect themselves. Their other defining features has them IOT enabled, connecting them to a web interface, operable via smartphones or voice control devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
You will find a machine available in the market for almost every task you do in the kitchen, there are mixers, grinders, coffee makers, and dishwashers to name a few.
In comparison, there aren’t automatic roti making appliances available as widely in the market. Roti or chapati is the key ingredient in the meals for about five billion people, and the demand for equipment to make these flatbreads quicker and easier is gradually rising.
One of the major reasons for this could be the fact that roti making isn’t a generic and mechanical process as chopping, grinding or wiping. It is a highly complex task and requires significant human labor. It requires estimating the correct quantity of ingredients for mixing and kneading the dough, and skill to roll it into a perfectly round shape. It continues to know the optimum temperature to roast the rolled out dough to get puffed steaming golden brown rotis.
Making rotis is a skill that is acquired with practice and patience. This makes designing an efficient roti-making machine that is able to perform all of the above processes quite a challenge. There has been some manually operable and semi-automatic roti making devices in the market but that has been sufficiently successful. Recently there have been some attempts at making commercially available automatic roti makers for a household kitchen let us take a look at them:
Priced at a whopping $4000, this one is suited for making chapatis on a large scale such as in a restaurant. Also, it makes semi-cooked chapatis at the speed of about 800 chapatis or rotis per hour. All you are required to do is make dough balls and put them into the hopper machine. It requires a warm-up time of about twenty minutes.
2. Doughbot by Mukunda Foods:
This one is also suitable for making rotis on a large scale. It is designed to knead the dough, make dough balls, and flatten them into evenly round rotis. However, it doesn’t bake the rotis. That essential and final step in the strenuous roti making process in left out in doughbot.
This automatic roti maker is designed for a domestic household kitchen. It performs all the steps in the process of roti making from kneading the dough to making dough balls, rolling them into round discs, and baking them under a record time of 90 seconds. Moreover, it allows you to customize your roti as it lets you choose the levels of thickness, the degree of roasting your roti, flour type, and oil content. Branded as a roti making robot, Rotimatic is AI and IoT-enabled.
Advantages of an Automatic Roti Making Machine
Preparing roti in an average household requires about an hour every day. An automatic roti making machine saves you time, and since time is money, it saves you both
Making rotis implies standing in front of a heat source which can be harrowing, especially during summers. An automatic chapati maker saves you from that ordeal
All the rotis made would be of consistent quality, from the first to the last one. Unlike a human, a roti making machine is not influenced by fatigue, irritation or boredom
If you are not skilled enough to make perfect round rotis, or living away from home and do not like to store-bought food, an automatic roti maker can make you fresh healthy wholesome rotis
It is easy and safe to operate and can be operated by children above a certain age bracket
A smart roti maker which is IOT enabled, such as Rotimatic, enabled can be operated via your smartphones. They can follow received instructions to make rotis when you are nowhere in its proximity. This automatic roti maker can upgrade and autocorrect itself. In fact, the rotimatic smartphone application makes rectifying software-related errors possible with the click of a few buttons. The appliance is the size of a microwave and can easily fit into one’s kitchen
Disadvantages of an Automatic Roti Making Machine:
Although the advantages of these machines greatly outnumber its disadvantages, here are a couple of them that can’t be ignored:
They are expensive with prices above $900
The rotis prepared using these could feel slightly different from individuals who are accustomed to eating hand-made rotis regularly
To Buy or Not to Buy?
Automatic roti makers are expensive but they are an investment for a better lifestyle, similar to investments that we make in other electric appliances in the house. Moreover, a smart roti maker such as Rotimatic is enabled with sensors, software, AI, and IoT which enhance its performance manifold and makes it worth your money.
The rotis made by automatic roti makers are not the exact replicas of handmade rotis but are just as healthy and fresh. The difference in taste is not as much of a disadvantage and is just a matter of getting used to.
For women who are always grappling with domestic responsibilities as well as career-related pressures, these automatic roti makers can prove to be empowering assistants. For people living away from home or who do not know how to make rotis, these roti makers can bring them a taste of home. For future generations, who will not have to learn to make rotis this could mean a revolution. So is it wise to invest in the new generation of smart automatic roti makers? If you depend on rotis for a good meal, the answer is a definite yes. You can purchase yours from Amazon or the official website.
The time-consuming and laborious task of preparing handmade rotis get a high-tech makeover with automatic roti-making machines
A major chunk of the world population is familiar with the concept of flattened carbs, and to them, nothing compares to the gastronomic satisfaction it brings! However, measuring out ingredients in the perfect proportion, hand-kneading the dough, and finally roasting it on a heat source makes it a daunting task. Given the popularity of the flatbread, it was only a matter of time till a self-sufficient roti making machine came into being. Before we delve into the revolutionary potential of such kitchen equipment, let’s take a look at what makes a typical flatbread.
What are Flatbreads?
Flatbreads are a wholesome form of bread staple that is an integral part of different cuisines and consumed across geographies. These are generally accompanied by various preparations of curries, vegetables, and more, depending on the different cultures and traditions.
Consequently, there is no singular way of making flatbreads. It has several variants that are prepared suiting the taste of the demography it caters to. However, the key ingredients that remain constant to all the varieties of this wholesome bread are dry flour and water. In certain cases, optional ingredients such as vegetables, spices, coconut, oil, and seeds are also added to spice things up.
The preparation time varies as well – while some need a resting time, others don’t. Although the common process requires the dough to be baked or cooked without oil on a flat pan, some are preferred fried to a crunch. Whether it is prepared manually or using a roti making machine, the process of making flatbreads essentially remains the same.
Origin of Flatbread
Numerous studies and excavations have proven the existence of flatbread and flatbread-making mechanisms in prehistoric times. These are deemed to be the ‘original bread’ since it was made on fire-heated rocks by people of nomadic tribes. Neither ovens had been devised by then, nor was yeast used.
Throughout the ages other processes were added in the making of a flatbread – refining of grains, a mixture of contents, and shaping the bread – while roasting and heating may have not altered.
Flatbread and its Global Consumption
Flatbread complements several dishes and is rich in fiber, vitamins, protein, and certain microelements. This explains why it has been part of the staple diet of people for eons.
Today, flatbread is the most commonly consumed bread as billions of people eat it regularly, and often in more than one meal a day. Be it rotis, other forms of flatbread such as puris, pizza bases, and tortillas, homemade meals frequently utilize them to fix a quick wrap, open sandwich, or wholesome tacos. Although the market is rife with factory-made flabreads, these are rarely as nutritious or fresh as the homemade variety. Additionally, readymade rotis are abundant in preservatives that are known to be detrimental to health. This has made the health conscious generation resort to high-tech automatic flatbread-makers that can provide freshly cooked flatbreads in their own kitchens, that too with minimal effort.
But what is a Roti?
The preparation of flatbread consumed in major parts of the Indian subcontinent is called roti, chapati, or phulka.
Roti is not just a flatbread but an essential part of meals across the Indian subcontinent and an integral component of the Indian culture and tradition. It is not only what Indians eat before they start their day, but in many ways is a representation of generations of family values passed down from mothers and grandmothers. Frequently one hears heart-touching stories of how they learned to roll out the perfectly circular roti following the example of the best cook in the house, and the first time they prepared the flatbread without burning a hole in it!
Making a Roti, or, Indian Flatbread
Making a roti out of dry flour, water, and other ingredients requires skill as well as practice and is no less than an art form.
The ingredients have to be mixed and kneaded into the dough of appropriate consistency. Small balls pulled out of the kneaded dough are then flattened into the required shape which could be round, square or triangular.
The dough then has to be rolled evenly to the desired thickness before it is ready for roasting, ideally on a skillet. The roti is considered done when it attains a delightful golden brown hue and puffs up.
So why go against tradition to use an automatic roti maker?
Simply because preparing a roti is not easy! Unfortunately, the seemingly simplistic food requiring just two ingredients is quite a task to create. Considering the standard gender roles, on an average, an Indian woman spends an hour of her every day to prepare fresh rotis at home. It is not just a time-consuming process but also quite a painstaking and tedious chore. Add to that the discomfort of staying put in front of a heat source to ensure you don’t burn the bread altogether!
An automatic roti maker would revolutionize how much time a person spends time in the kitchen, the labor invested in the roti making process, and the overall energy saved in terms of fuel/electricity consumption. These roti making machines ensure hygiene, efficiency, and is in sync with the digitized world we are steadily moving toward inhabiting. Dig in a little more and you’ll be amazed by the tech behind a single roti maker – think Artificial Intelligence and IoT.
The point remains, in a time when our schedules are getting tighter and every other task is being done through automation, preparing flatbreads such as rotis using manual labor is quite ridiculous. Kitchen robotics such as roti making machines are the future of traditional cooking.
Rotimatic is one such automatic roti maker which uses machine learning so each machine takes some time to make good bread; they are also connected to the internet for software upgrades. It takes about a minute to make one roti after the machine has been fully heated up which takes more than five minutes.