India’s unfermented flatbread, chapati, is a staple diet and is eaten in several parts of South Asia. If you wonder how it tastes like, then let us tell you-it is quiet bland, this being the reason it’s never devoured alone. But that should not discourage you from trying it; get a kick out of it by nibbling it with cooked vegetables and pulses.
It is called ‘roti’ or ‘poli’ commonly, and ‘phulka’ when it swells (to the utter pleasure of who makes it!) . Wheat flour is kneaded with water, rolled down, and cooked over a hot skillet-it is as easy as that! Yet you need to know the step-by-procedure if you are trying it for the very first time.
2 cups wheat flour
A cup of water (lukewarm for better results)
Well … That’s all you need to make a simple chapati. But, generally, all purpose flour and cooking oil are also added to the wheat flour to make the dough more smooth and pliable.
A cup all purpose flour
A pinch of salt
2 tsp olive or mustard oil
Initiate the Process of Chapati Making
Sieve the wheat flour and all purpose flour. Place them in a bowl big enough to allow kneading by hands. Also add two tablespoonfuls of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix with a ladle. Start pouring water over the flours, slowly and gradually. Refrain from putting water all at once. Initiate kneading with hands to make dough. Pour some more water and knead more. Do it until all the flour is gathered in the form of a mass. If the dough is sticking too much to your hands or the container, firm it by dusting more flour over it.
Remove the dough from the container and place to over a floured flat surface. Knead for another 5-6 minutes and stop only when the dough becomes soft and stretchable. Place back the dough into the bowl. If you intend to make chapatis after a while, keep the dough covered with moist muslin cloth. Heat the skillet. Take a small portion of the dough and make a small ball like shape out of it.
Place the ball over a flat surface or use a chakla (as they say in India). Press the ball a bit and start rolling it with a rolling pin. Roll to make a circular shape. If the dough gets stick to the pin, flour the chapati a bit. Roll as long as the circle is 6-7 inches in diameter (1/2 inches thick).
The skillet will be hot enough by this time. Carefully lift the chapati and place it over it. After about 8-10 seconds, flip the chapati. (Yes, for the first time, you have to turn it very quickly). Let the other side cook properly until brown spots are formed all over. Use a piece of napkin cloth to swell it. Then turn it again. Cook from this side too.
Place the cooked chapati in a casserole and smear it with ghee. Make other chapatis in the similar fashion. Do not keep them in open for long as they will become too dry to be eaten. Relish hot with cooked vegetables, dals, pickle, and curd.