How to make Chapati?
In Hindi Chapta or Chapti means something that is “flat”.
Chapatis are Indian, unleavened round flatbreads, traditionally made with stone-ground or stone-milled whole wheat flour.
In India, whole-wheat flour known as “aata” is used as the most basic flour to prepare all sorts of flatbreads.
They don’t need any rising agents, hence unleavened bread.
Also known as 'Roti' regionally, are easy to make, and are delicious and wholesome to enjoy in various vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes with the same ease.
So here is how I make mine and its worth trying. Don't worry about the shape.
Prep time: 10 min(includes the resting time)
Cooking time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Yields: Approximate 6-8
1 cup- whole wheat flour plus extra for dusting and rolling
1/3 cup- tepid water
1/4 tsp salt
Ghee/melted butter/cooking oil for greasing and cooking(optional)
A mixing bowl, preferably non-plastic
A Rolling Pin
A Rolling board/pizza stone/any clean flat surface
A Tawa/griddle/frying pan
A pair of tongs
A damp kitchen cloth
1. Put the flour and the salt into a mixing bowl, gradually add water little- by- little and mix together until all the flour combines into a pliable dough. Knead further for 2-3 mins to make a soft dough.
2. Divide the dough into 6 -8 equal-sized balls.
- This step helps to maintain the similar size of all the chapatis at the end.
Smear a little oil or dust some dry flour onto each ball to avoid them from sticking to each other.
Cover the bowl in a cling film or a damp cloth and allow the dough balls to rest for 5-10 min before making chapatis.
-This step helps the gluten to relax, resulting in soft flatbreads.
3. On a floured pizza stone or a rolling board, take a dough ball and start rolling the dough to form a 5" circle by dusting dry flour as and when needed to avoid the dough from sticking to the rolling surface.
-Beginners, try and roll it slowly to avoid the creases and the folds, and take care not to use too much of dusting flour, as the chapatis go hard with too much of dry flour.
4. Heat a greased cast-iron griddle/ skillet or a tawa and wait till it becomes hot, then bring down the flame to medium-high.
5. Place the rolled chapati on the preheated tawa and cook for about a minute or until you see some raised spots appearing on the underside of the chapati, these are air pockets.
Then carefully flip it over and cook on the other side for about another minute.
-Be careful while handling chapatis while still on the tawa as the air pockets will release steam that swells up or puffs up the chapati, and this steam can burn your fingers while flipping the chapati.
Alternatively, it's safe to use kitchen tongs while flipping the chapati.
6. Now transfer this chapati onto a kitchen towel/dishcloth/napkin to help absorb the steam from the hot chapatis and continue making chapati with the other dough balls.
SERVING- Brush one side of the chapati with melted butter or ghee and serve them with any meal of your choice.
Notes: Usually, chapatis cook very quickly, around a minute or two if using tawa, which is a cast-iron skillet. They can even burn at the same speed if not adequately monitored.
The burnt chapati will leave a char on the tawa leading to burning the next one too. Hence it is safer to scrape off the char with a damp towel, before making the next one.
If you are not immediately serving chapatis, then it is best to stack all the cooked chapatis in a hot case or on a cake tin lined with a kitchen towel. The towel then helps to absorb the steam coming from the air pockets, preventing the chapatis from becoming soggy and cold.
It is optional to use any kind of fat while making chapatis. I usually refrain from using any ghee or butter or even oil if I'm serving chapatis immediately.
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