I am surely guilty of something – of not including much of flatbreads or eat-alongs. I have posted quite a variety of rice on the blog, but when it comes to flatbreads, the only ones I seem to have posted is the neypathal, battura and the Sheermal. I don’t know whether I need to bow my head down in shame – but then… Being a working woman, I come home quite tired. After a little rest, I get back to the kitchen with a limited charge which hits the red while the curry is done. So the easiest thing I find doing is do order in for khubboos (Lebanese thin flatbread) or chapathis from HD’s restaurant closeby. It saves a lot of headache for me and also gives me some more breathing time before retiring to bed.
But sometimes, the interest does hit and I make my own chapathis. I learned to make chapathis from umma and I follow her technique since it is foolproof and I have not been required to look around anywhere else. My colleague P would always talk about how her chapathis were good enough to eat when they were warm and then they would turn stiff and rusk-like. After I told her how umma makes it, she has been making it this way and vouches for it now. She keeps telling that she tells everybody that it is “Rafee’s umma’s nuska”! 😀 That is why I thought, why not I share it here?
Chapathis are something that every Indian household makes, either for lunch or for dinner. We are not used to making it for lunch, since Keralites are so used to rice for lunch. The best thing about chapathis is that it goes well with any type of gravy – roast style, or runny, vegetarian or otherwise – or if you don’t want to make anything with it, something as simple as an omlette, Nutella, jam or a simple sprinkle of sugar would do! I would even eat them just like that, rolled into a roll! 🙂 This post has no recipe, but just tips as to how I make it. It is so good that you can have it warm, at room temperature or even the next day – it tastes just great. I have attached a little step-by-step just to show how the flour and dough should look like. Hoping that it would be help to all those who struggle with their chapathis… InShaAllah, it will be an end to it! 🙂 Moving on to how I make it…
- Wholewheat flour (aatta), as required
- Water as required
- Salt to taste
- Put sufficient wholewheat flour in a large bowl. I use around 2½ cups to make 15 meduim sized chapathis.
- Combine water and salt, a little more than what is the normal taste, and bring to a rolling boil.
- As the water comes to a rolling boil, switch off.
- Using a wooden spoon, pour water slowly and start combining, till the whole flour is wet. Do not pour too much water, just enough to moist the flour.
- When the flour is at a temperature to handle, bring together the dough and start kneading.
- If you feel the dough is too sticky, sprinkle some more flour. But the dough should be still warm while doing so. Incorporate the flour and keep kneading for 5-8 minutes till you get a smooth and non-sticky dough.
- Divide into lime sized balls and set aside.
- Heat a chapathi tawa.
- Bail a ball with some flour sprinkled. The chapathis must be of uniform thickness all over.
- Hit off the excess flour off the bailed chapathi.
- Once the tawa is nice and hot, keep on meduim flame and put the chapathi bailed part down.
- Leave for 30 seconds and flip. Cook till that side is done.
- Flip and cook the other side. The chapathi may not necessarily puff up but will do so slightly.
- Meanwhile, line your hot pot with kitchen towel. Put the cooked chapathi into it. Keep the lid just slightly closed.
- Cook the remaining chapathis after bailing.
- Once all are done, top with another kitchen towel and keep closed till ready to serve.
Do not add flour to the dough if the dough turns cold after kneading. It will harden the chapathi. Only add additional flour if required when the dough is still warm.
Knead sufficiently till it becomes non-sticky.
Cook the bailed chapathis immediately.
Do not keep the bailed chapathis on top of each other. They will stick.
Make sure to nicely clean the bailed chapathis of any residual flour. This will keep your chapathis without any dark spots. The flour will leave a black residue on the chapathi if not dusted properly.
For this chapathi, there is no need for putting any oil or butter. They are soft in itself.