The ridiculous $1300 gadget that you didn't know you needed
SOMETIMES the world gives you gadgets you didn't know you needed until you use them.
Enter the Rotimatic - a countertop machine that automates roti making.
Normally roti bread is made by combining flour, water and oil to create flat discs of dough that are briefly cooked over direct heat.
However, if you have ever tried to make the unleavened bread, you will understand that cooking it isn't as simple as you'd hope.
Which is where this "Nespresso of flatbreads machines" steps in - able to pump out a roti in around 2.5 minutes.
While the product does exactly what's on the tin, there are some things you need to consider before rushing out to buy this $1300 gadget.
As the Rotimatic has to measure, knead and cook the bread, it was always going to be a struggle for the creators to deliver a compact design.
It is a bulky machine that will take up a lot of bench space. I say it takes up bench space because given the price, you would want to be using the product with some frequency to get value for money, and given its size and weight (20kg), it would be a hassle to keep lugging it out of your cupboard - if it will even fit inside to begin with.
Sadly keeping it on the bench will create a bit of an eyesore as the large product resembles a printer you would have in your office.
The appliance is predominantly white, with orange trim around the door handle and clear containers which are home to the flour, oil and water. If the rest of your kitchen gadgets are white, the design might not be too much of an issue, but if you are someone with stainless steel, it will only stand out more.
OK, the Rotimatic might not have the sexiest design, but chances are you're buying it for what it does, because, who doesn't love roti?
Equipped with a 32-bit microprocessor running 10 motors, 15 sensors and 300 parts working in roti-making harmony, the product is the result of nine years of research and development.
All you have to do is fill the water, oil and flour containers and the machine will automatically measure, dispense, mix and knead the ingredients creating one dough ball at a time.
The Rotimatic has the capacity to create up to 20 rotis before needing a refill, while also giving you full control over how thick or how soft the bread comes out - all these tweaks can be made with a small, easy-to-use screen on the front of the unit.
One of the best aspects is the ease of cleaning. While making roti is usually a messy process, the device has been designed to ensure only two small parts come in contact with the wet dough and need cleaning.
Even better is these parts are dishwasher-safe and easily accessible via the side door.
The gadget is also an IoT-connected device, which means Rotimatic will automatically upgrade itself with the latest software updates and offers remote troubleshooting capabilities.
A Rotimatic app can also be downloaded with video tutorials on how to use or clean the product.
I love roti and I love something that can help me streamline, so of course the Rotimatic was always going get my interest.
And with the product designed as a platform to make any type of flatbread - tortilla, pizza base or poori - I have to admit I find the concept very appealing.
Apart from the bulky design, the only real problem I have with the Rotimatic is the $1300 price tag.
The roti tasted fantastic (after a few failed attempts), was easy to cook and cleaning the machine was a breeze, but I find it difficult to see myself getting my money's worth from the appliance.
If you were a family addicted to flatbreads this might be different, as it also would be if you owned a restaurant - although if you were the later, I imagine your in-house chef could likely do a better job than this machine.
If you have the money to spare, go for it. But if your pennies are tight, you might be better to stick to with the pre-packaged roti breads for now.