How to make Trinidad Paratha Roti or "Buss Up Shut"

Close up of Trinidad Paratha Roti or "Buss Up Shut" on a plate
Delicious Trinidad Paratha Roti or "Buss Up Shut" on a plate
Overview of Trinidad Paratha Roti or "Buss Up Shut"
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Paratha is an East Indian flatbread, and the name means layered cooked dough. Traditionally, Paratha is made with ghee, a nutty-tasting mixture made by rendering the water and milk solids out of unsalted butter. The layered dough is then cooked on a flat surface known as a Roti Tawa to create a fluffy, nutty, buttery, and chewy flatbread. While all these elements of Paratha remain with the Trini version, we make it out by literally kicking it up a notch during the cooking process. We take this Trinidad Paratha between two wooden spatulas, flip it, spin it, toss it, and beat it up. It is ready once it resembles a ripped-up crumpled pile of an old T-Shirt, which is where it gets its local name, 'Buss Up Shut.' By attacking the mostly cooked dough, we bring out and break up the layers of the flatbread, making it the perfect vessel to pick up food and eat with your hands. After you have ripped off a piece, take the shreds to scoop up some curry or dunk into some sauce before devouring and licking your fingers dry.

Author: Rachel Ottier-Hart
Average: 4.4 (9 votes)
Prep Time
60 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
90 mins



In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients mixing with your fingers.
Dry ingredients being mixed in a glass bowl
Slowly add 50 ml of milk at a time using your fingers to knead and mix. Continue until all the milk has been absorbed.
Milk being added to dough kneading in a glass bowl
Slowly add 50 ml of water at a time using your fingers to knead and mix; Stop adding water once the dough is holding the shape of a ball.
Water being added to dough while being kneaded
Gently knead the dough ball with your hands for 8-10 minutes.
Dough being kneaded in a bowl
Rub and coat the ball with a little ghee to prevent it from drying out. Then cover and set aside to rest for 15-20 minutes.
Ball of dough in a glass bowl being rubbed with ghee
Dust your work surface with flour before placing the dough ball onto it and then cut the ball into 6 equal pieces and form them into balls.
six small balls of dough being rolled on a floured countertop
Rub and coat each ball with a little ghee to prevent it from drying out and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Dough being formed into balls on a floured countertop
Returning to your dusted work surface, take one of the balls and begin to press and roll it into a large circle using your hands and a rolling pin. The larger the circle, the more layers you can make. So aim for a dough thickness of around a 1/4 on an inch or slightly less.
Dough being rolled into a circle with a rolling pin
Take a large 1-2 tablespoon-sized dollop of ghee and spread it evenly on top of the dough circle with your hands or the back of a spoon.
Circle of dough being rubbed with ghee using the back of a spoon
Using a knife or bench scraper, cut a line through the dough from the center of the circle straight out to the end of the dough. Think of a radius of a circle.
Circle of dough on a floured countertop being cut with a pairing knife
Holding one side of the cut line, begin to roll the dough, ghee side inside, to create a cone shape with the layers of dough and ghee.
Dough formed into a cone shape on a floured countertop
Take the wide-open end of the cone and close it in on itself sealing all the edges in and place that side down onto a flour-dusted surface. With the cone tip pointing up, gently press the end into the center of the dough to create a ball and allow it to rest.
Cone of dough being folded on a countertop
Repeat Steps 8-13 with each piece of dough and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes.
Arial view of dough resting on a countertop
Prepare your resting station for the cooked paratha with a small cooler or large food container lined with paper towels and a cover.
Overview of a tray lined with paper towel
Prepare and preheat your tawa or cooking surface and coat the top with ghee.
Tawa being heated up and brushed with ghee on the surface
Place one of the balls on the dusted work surface, then using your hands or rolling pin, create a large circle to fit your tawa or cooking surface.
Roti being rolled on a countertop using a rolling pin
Place the dough onto the tawa, brush the top with ghee, and quickly flip using two roti spatulas and coat the other side with ghee.
Roti cooking on one side ontop of a tawa
Cook the paratha for 15-20 seconds until golden brown. Use the spatulas to spin and flip the roti making sure to evenly cook on all sides.
Overview of Paratha Roti cooking on a tawa
Once the roti is completely cooked, it is 'Buss Up Shut' time: Take the spatulas on either side of the roti and slide the outsides into the center and allow it to become a crumpled up T-Shirt in the center of the tawa. Give it a few wacks and spins to break up the layers.
Paratha Roti being formed on a tawa using two spatulas
Remove the roti from the tawa and place it into your resting station to cover and keep warm until ready to eat.
Roti being placed on a tray lined with paper towel using two spatulas
Repeat Steps 16-20 until all the dough has been cooked.
Multiple roti cooling on a paper towel lined tray
Serve alongside any curry dish or local condiment dipping sauces to be eaten with your hands as you pull away pieces of the 'Buss Up Shut.'
Paratha roti being dipped into a ramekin of sauce

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roti, Trini Paratha, Trinidad Buss Up Shut, Trini Buss Up Shut, Trinidad Flatbread

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