Are you on the fence about buying a Rotimatic? Or even wondering what is the Rotimatic? Then this Rotimatic Review is for you. For starters, Rotimatic is a robotic Indian flat bread maker. It makes whole wheat rotis – which is essentially a very soft, thin version on the Naan that you find in Indian restaurants. It can also make pizza bases, naans, gluten free rotis, and more.
It comes with a hefty price tag of over $1000, which makes buyers apprehensive. If you are reading this, you are mostly of Indian origin and wondering if you should make the investment. Well, in this in-depth review I have answered all of your questions and tried to provide a detailed, useful review of the Rotimatic.
I am now using the Rotimatic since almost 3 years now and have had many readers, friends, relatives, and colleagues ask me about my experience with the Rotimatic over email, facebook, whatsapp and in person. As one of the earliest users of the Rotimatic, I am more than qualified and here’s my insight into the Rotimatic.
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Here’s something you should know: This is an honest review by a paying customer.
I did not receive a free Rotimatic to write this review. In fact, I pre-ordered the Rotimatic in 2014, way before it hit the markets. Post product launch, I was among the first users in the US to receive the Rotimatic. I am using it consistently since March 2017 and the review is based on several years of experience.
As a consumer, I like reading real reviews before making buying decisions. The lack of real, honest reviews of the Rotimatic by paying customers has irked me for quite some time and that’s why I chose to write this review.
What Is a Roti, anyway?
If you are an Indian origin reader, you can skip this section. However, did you know that the Rotimatic is being adopted by many non-Indians as well and being used to create tortillas, gluten free flatbreads, and more?
Roti is a type of Indian flatbread. It is made from whole wheat flour. The roti is eaten alongside Indian curries and can also be used to create wraps. The roti is unleavened which makes it healthier than the traditional bread. Don’t believe me? Go read this now!
Roti is the staple diet of millions of people in the Indian subcontinent and the subcontinental diaspora settled overseas. It is made by kneading the flour, making balls of the dough, rolling it into a thin flatbread and cooking it just right so that the roti puffs and has separate flour layers.
While the loaf, tortilla, pita, and other bread making processes have been largely industrialized and commercialized, the roti making process mostly remains a make from scratch, at home process that happens daily in a million households.
The only real alternatives to home-cooked rotis have been store bought, uncooked, frozen rotis. Prior to the Rotimatic, there have been no machines that fully automate the roti making process. The Rotimatic was designed to fill this void and has been commercially available for sale since 2017.
Enter the Rotimatic
History says that the roti, phulka, chapati or poli existed in Indian subcontinent even before the Harappan times. Why it took someone more than 4000 years to automate the production of this staple Indian food is anybody’s guess! (In case you are interested in the roti’s history, go read this!)
Kudos to Zimplistic for realizing that many women sweating and toiling in the kitchen to make dough balls and puff them manually is not acceptable, for recognizing that a fully automatic roti maker is a genuine need, and for manufacturing the desired product.
No one can argue with the need of a Rotimatic. But the question remains, is the Rotimatic worth the price tag and does it live up to its hype?
Rotimatic Product Design & Packaging
Women who have been searching automation options for rotis have usually relied on food processors to knead the dough, then manually make dough balls, and finally use a flat bread press to roll them before cooking them on the griddle.
This is more complicated than it sounds. Not all food processors can handle the dough making correctly. Usually, you need to invest in expensive Kitchenaid processors to knead it well. The manually making dough balls takes time and you have to be present in the kitchen the entire time. Tortilla presses are not ideally designed for rotis and there’s a learning curve before you can make it effortlessly. In case, you are looking for a press, try the Norpro 6” cast aluminum press or the Victoria 8” one.
Zimplistic has taken all these processes, added ingredient containers, and a set of hot plates in one convenient package to create the Rotimatic. The Rotimatic fits an impressive assembly line in a shell that is sleek, futuristic and minimalist. The design is contemporary while the cloud-based software makes trouble-shooting and upgrades simple.
If the design is attractive, the packaging is not to be left far behind. My Rotimatic came in an attractive box with lots of insulation. There is an exciting ‘I am here’ statement on the box. Packaging is not frustration free – I have become used to it due to Amazon – but it works.
The Rotimatic weighs about 20 kgs and is heavy. You need two people to lift it out of the box and carry it to the designated place. Here’s my tip – pre decide the place before you open the box. Moving the machine around the room is not easy.
The Rotimatic base is about 12 x 16 x 16 inches so it does take significant space. The cooling vents have to be about 4 to 6 inches from the walls, so add that into the footprint. It roughly takes up the space of a mid-size Danby microwave. That said, I had imagined it to be a lot bigger and was relieved by how well it fitted into my kitchen.
Rotimatic’s Roti-Making Process In Detail
Add flour, oil, and water. Tell the machine how many Rotis you want. Eat the Rotis. TADA!!
Okay, it’s not that simple but pretty close. Here is my efficient, original workflow based on my 3+ years experience of using the Rotimatic. (Be prepared, things are about to get noisy.)
Before 1st Use
Step By Step Instructions for the lazy cook
Step 1: Switch on the machine and specify the number of rotis and other information.
This really is as simple as it sounds. Open the front tray. Press the power button, wait 10-12 seconds, specify the number of rotis, thickness level, roast level, oil level and press play. The machine starts warming up which takes about 6 mins.
(Warning: the machine will perform a series of alarming noises while it warms up. Don’t worry, it’s all good)
Step 2: Fill up the ingredients
While some users fill ingredients before starting the machine, I always do it during warm-up time. Because ‘we need the rotis NOW’, you know? I would recommend filling all the ingredients prior to every use. If something falls short in quantity, the Rotimatic pauses and warns you with beeps but it’s not a very efficient use of time.
Step 3: Do chores till first few rotis are ready
Don’t hover around the machine, you are making it nervous. Kidding. But this is a perfect time to heat up the curry or veggies, eat some cake, feed your kids (as in my case) or just put up your feet and watch some TV!
Step 4: Come back to collect rotis every 3-4 minutes
The tray and opening get jammed if too many rotis pile up. They can also fall down on the floor if you don’t collect them.
How do I know? Because I occasionally sit nearby reading a gripping book and am brought back to this world by the noise of falling rotis. Don’t let that happen to you!
Rotis are made 60-80 seconds apart, so collect them at frequent intervals and place them in your roti basket / tokri.
Step 5: Place the rotis in a container with lid and show it some love
When I say love, I mean ghee. Because you know – we Indians, we ghee!
I have seen people complain that Rotimatic rotis are hard. I have news – it’s not Rotimatic, it’s you. Any roti is slightly crispy to begin with and will go hard if left out to dry. So place them in a closed container (this Nordic Ware Tortilla Warmer is the best or you can go for this super pretty cloth one by Sunburst) and let the trapped steam and the ghee soften them. I use Trader Joe’s Ghee.
The alternative is to eat them right away – but don’t do that unless you are eating by yourself. Your husband and children will survive even if they don’t get a super hot roti served directly by your burning hand. Wait till all the rotis are done and then sit down to a nice family meal!
Step 6: Vent to the machine and then cut its power
When all rotis are cooked, the Rotimatic asks whether you want to make more rotis. It’s basically robo-speak for “Ek aur roti khaoge beta?”. It’s hard to resist, but press no.
Then the Rotimatic will ask you for feedback.
While I give an honest feedback, my husband vents to the machine by selecting the smiley he relates to. (I love that guy, isn’t he funny?) So if my husband has a bad day at work, Zimplistic thinks something went wrong with our rotis. Lol!! Finally, tell the Rotimatic to shut off.
Step 7: Don’t look at the Rotimatic for half an hour
Seriously. It makes all kinds of cooling noises until it completely shuts off. Just ignore it, forget the cleaning part, and enjoy your meal.
Step 8: Wash the parts and clean Rotimatic
Take out the processor, the tray under the processor as well as the rubber ring and wash it. Keep it out to dry and reinsert before next use.
Here are some washing tips – I find it easier to first hold the processor and parts over my trash can and wipe it clean with a paper towel. That means less flour goo on my scrubbers and less flour goo in the sink.
An old toothbrush is useful to clean the small notches in the processor and the tray. That’s it. Sometimes I skip washing if I’m going to reuse in a couple of hours (or overnight, if I’m feeling particularly lazy). No issues yet.
Occasionally clean all the other movable parts from the main menu. The flour, water, and oil containers are dishwasher safe.
Rotimatic Errors And Issues
As I said before, the Rotimatic is an automated multi-step assembly line. An issue at any step is going to have a domino effect and that means a less than perfect Roti for you. Yes, it does happen occasionally – I have got uncooked rotis, intact dough balls, half-cooked rotis, and imperfectly rolled rotis come out on occasion.
The error messages have been varied; ‘Flour tunnel blocked’, ‘imperfect dough’, ‘stuck dough’. The best part about the errors is that the Rotimatic describes the exact issue and guides you to the solution – clean the tray or remove dough and so on.
I have found that the errors can be minimized by starting with a squeaky clean machine and full ingredients. Don’t give the assembly line a chance to pause in between.
How often do the errors occur? About 1 in 10 uses or 2 to 3 imperfect rotis in every 100 rotis. Not bad at all.
There’s only one time I faced an issue that couldn’t be sorted on my end. Every 4th roti used to stick to the hot plate and remained uncooked. I contacted the Rotimatic Customer Care and their engineer trouble-shooted it remotely. My experience with the customer service has been prompt and professional. The problem disappeared within 4 days of registering the complaint. That was way back in April 2017 and my Rotimatic is still going strong.
Quality Of Rotis Made By Rotimatic
Let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?
Whenever someone has asked me about the Rotimatic, it has never been about the machine. The real wistful, probing question has always been “Will I really never have to make rotis again?”
After all, the Rotimatic sells a dream – ‘real, soft, hot rotis at the touch of a button.’
It seeks to liberate generations of women from being judged by the unblemished nature of their dough balls and the perfect shapes of their rotis.
It promises to take us back to our childhood when we just had to sit at the table and were showered with fresh rotis.
So does the Rotimatic deliver? A thousand times YES!
The rotis are soft, not chewy, and perfectly round. They are cooked well, even the edges, and are easy to pull apart. They remain soft when stored properly and taste equally well after several hours.
The size is small, more like a fulka – approx 6 inches in diameter. The thinnest setting may not be as thin as hand-made rotis but it’s thin enough to satisfy most people.
Ah, the elephant in the room! There is no way to get around it, the Rotimatic is expensive.
You may think, who would buy that expensive a kitchen gadget? Well, how many do you think enjoy kneading the dough, making dough balls, rolling out roti after roti every day for the foreseeable future? Not as many people as you think.
Currently, the Rotimatic retails at $1199 excluding shipping and taxes. Yes, that’s not always affordable. However, to put it in perspective, it is equal to the newest iPhone or 2 budget laptops or 10 meals at a fine restaurant. And it provides you with healthy food.
Also, you can always chalk up investing in the Rotimatic to sentimental value. We are programmed to eat the food of our ancestors; we are conditioned to crave staple foods because we have an emotional bonding with their smell and taste. Rotis are my comfort food, my nostalgia. And I feel good when I eat them. Reason enough.
And that reminds me – when the Rotimatic makes rotis, the home smells delicious.
While the Rotimatic was designed to make rotis, it now makes several other types of flatbreads including pooris, naans, pizza bases, bhakris, and more.
In the poori update – unroasted flattened rotis come out which you can fry to make pooris. The pooris get pressed evenly and so fluff out well during cooking. Add yeast, and you can make pizzas and naans.
I have seen Rotimatic owners make aloo parathas with potato powder mixed flour, methi parathas with kasuri methi mixed flour, spinach parathas with spinach powder mixed flours, onion parathas, masala parathas, gluten-free flour parathas, multigrain parathas with multigrain atta, bhakris with jowar (sorghum) / bajra (millet) flours and makke di roti with corn flour mix.
The cooked rotis can substitute tortillas, tacos, pita, flatbread, and pizza bases to make a variety of recipes like tacos, burritos, pizza, burgers, wraps, and more.
With poori update, things have gone to the next level. What you get is basically rolled, uncooked dough which can be fashioned in a dozen ways to create samosas, pastries, savory pooris, spring rolls, papdi chats and more.
For an overview of the incredible recipes you can make with Rotimatic, check the Rotimatic Owners Community where the creative members make delicious recipes using their Rotimatic.
Rotimatic Review Verdict
The Rotimatic may not be for you if:
- You love making rotis, making rotis is your stress buster, and you do not see it as a chore. You are my hero but so is the Rotimatic.
- You have hired help coming in to make amazing rotis for you. Thank those angels and give them some raise.
- You consume rotis too infrequently to justify making the investment in Rotimatic.
- You live in an apartment with non-existent kitchen platforms and space is a big issue. I once lived in such a studio apartment in Chicago. The kitchen platform could barely fit a cutting board.
- You don’t eat rotis. Pretty self-explanatory.
Rotimatic Review Summary
Basic user manuals – The user manuals need to be far better. The current language is ambiguous and not easy to understand. I say this with more than 5 years of experience in creating technical documentation.
Noisy and large footprint – As I said before, the Rotimatic is noisy and bulky. The noise level is equal to that of a cheap blender, grinder or processor.
Larger upfront cost – Rotimatic costs $1198 excluding taxes and shipping. Alternatively, you can buy a cheaper remanufactured unit which still comes with a 1 year warranty for 799. I don’t remember my taxes but shipping to USA was $80 standard and $130 expedited. (I opted for expedited shipping).
Cloud Technology – Easy troubleshooting and upgrades. I have experienced the quick troubleshooting when my Rotimatic didn’t perform up to par in the first week. Turns out, it just needed to be re-calibrated.
Ease of Use – My preschooler can press the ON button, set up the number of rotis, and press play. It’s that easy. If everything is set up in advance, even the elderly can easily press play and eat fresh rotis. Cleaning the machine is easy and takes about 5 minutes.
Delivers on its promise to make fresh, soft rotis – No more bread substitutes. No more cooking frozen rotis. No more tortillas. I never made rotis, but if you did then no more kneading and rolling. That outweighs most cons in my opinion.
Buy Your Rotimatic Now & Get $50 Off!
Don’t forget to use my referral link when you buy your Rotimatic to get $50 off for a limited time.
What’s more, you won’t even have to wait in line and will soon enough have your machine to try the delicious recipes for yourself.
That’s it for now! Keep the questions coming and I will answer it whenever possible.