Making Roti at B&M Market
Photographs by Jeremy Sachs-Michaels
One hot, sweaty summer afternoon we happened to stumble into B&M Market – a West Indian grocery store and two-table counter restaurant run by Nafeeza Ali and her husband Sheir. Since 1990 they have been selling an array of authentic Caribbean products and cooking up take-out orders from a small cantina-style kitchen.
Though the place has been listed as one of Anthony Bourdain’s go-to spots in Miami, it is still largely considered a hidden gem and a long-standing local business serving up delicious homestyle food. In her kitchen, Nafeeza serves up oxtail, stew beef, jerk chicken, and her specialty, roti - the West Indian equivalent of a burrito.
While she prepared our order, she showed us what it takes to make roti - from preparing the base mixture to stuffing and cooking. Prominently featured in the West Indian diet, West Indian-style roti is primarily made from wheat flour, baking powder, salt and water and cooked on tawa, a flat plate-like pan. It is bigger than a sandwich, lighter than a typical sit down meal and very spicy if you use too much of B&M Market’s house made hot sauce. Nafeeza is famous for her goat roti, a recipe that includes a few unknown special ingredients and plenty of fresh herbs and spices. If goat is too adventurous for you, she also makes a roti stuffed with jerk chicken or vegetables for vegetarians.
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