The oldest memory I having of cooking is learning how to make chapatis from my mom. Homemade chapatis is one of the first foods that comes to my mind when I think of comfort food.
Typically when we think of making any type of bread, we think of oven, yeast, mixer and a lot of experience needed. But South Asian flatbreads are some of the simplest and delicious breads to make. No use of any fancy kitchen tool, not worrying about dough rising times, but just a little practice is needed. Once you master the skill of chapati making you will truly feel like an artisan bread maker.
Chapatis and rotis are the same can be used interchangeably . Phulka is similar as well, but usually can be finished of on an open flame. All 3 are whole wheat South Asian flatbread. It is traditionally made from atta, which is a wholemeal wheat flour. This can come in varieties of 100% whole wheat, refined options and multigrain. You can try different types of flour to see which flour you prefer.
Chapati is a staple in South Asian households. These thin and soft breads can be eaten with vegetable or meat curries, lentils and as wraps.
To make chapatis you really need 2 ingredients, the wheat flour atta and water. Now some people do add salt and oil but it’s not required. I have noticed depending on the variety of the flour I am using I will add some oil. For instance if I got the 100% whole wheat flour which gives you a little more tougher chapatis, I will use some oil.
Depending on the region and the style, the thickness and size of the chapatis will be varied. If you are new to learning this I would recommend you make them smaller and just a little thicker, they will be much easier to handle. But eventually you want to roll them out thin that usually ensures the chapatis will be soft and fluffy.
The goal is to make the dough soft, pliable with no lumps. If the dough is hard you will have a hard time rolling it out and the chapati will not be soft and fluffy.
Kneading the dough by hand is the easiest way to controlling the consistency of the dough. If you are new to learning this I highly recommend making/kneading dough by hand. When you have mastered the chapati dough by hand you can use the a stand mixer with the hook attachment.
I prefer to use lukewarm water so the dough will not be to soft, that can be hard to work with. When I use lukewarm water I end up using 1 1/2 cups water. Depending on the temperature of water you may use a little more or less.
Traditionally a concave griddle called a tawa is used to cook the chapatis on. You can find these at international grocery stores. I use a non-stick flat griddle that works perfectly.
With this recipe I can end up making 10-15 chapatis depending on how thick or thin you roll them.
I store the dough covered in the refrigerator and use it within 2-3days.
Please watch the full detailed video on you tube.
- 2 cups atta (whole wheat chapati flour)
- 1½ cups water, lukewarm
- Extra water in separate bowl for kneading
- FOR MAKING CHAPATIS
- Extra dry flour in a wide/flat bowl
- Flat griddle
- rolling pin
- tongs to flip the chapati with
- small clean kitchen towel. to press the chapatis with
- Plate lined with paper towel or kitchen towel
- Butter or ghee (optional)
- FOR DOUGH
- Add four to a bowl. Make sure bowl is wide enough to be able to knead.
- Start adding water. I add 1 cup, using finger tips in circular motion bring dough together.
- Add rest of ½ cup water to dry flour slowly forming one ball of dough.
- At this point dough will be dry/course. If dough is very sticky add few more tablespoons of dry flour. If too dry than add little more water.
- Knead in bowl or clean counter top.
- Knead with knuckles, stretch and fold, Keep repeating wetting your hands in lukewarm water each time. Knead for about 5-7 minutes.
- Place dough in bowl cover with damp paper towel/kitchen towel. Let it rest for about 15 minutes.
- Once dough is rested knead for few more minutes and it's ready.
- Store the dough covered in refrigerator till ready to use.
- FOR CHAPTIS
- Assemble all tools
- You can divide the dough into 10-15 equal-sized balls before hand if using all dough at once.
- How many chapatis you get will depend on how thick or think you are making them.
- Drench you finger tips in dry flour. Take piece of dough, start bringing the sides into the middle to create a seam and it will start to take round shape.
- Place seam side down on same nondominant palm. With opposite hand keeping light pressure roll in circular motion closing the seam.
- Place in dry flour press down and form a disk by flattening between thumbs/fingers tips of both hands. Or just flatten with palm it will be easier to roll once in a flat disk shape.
- Place disk in dry flour again. Place on flat surface and roll with rolling pin. Roll until it's even. Doesn't have to be round in the beginning but make sure it's rolled out evenly. Thin like a tortilla.
- Roll out however many you are making. Keep aside.
- Heat griddle on med-high.
- Place chapati on griddle, once it starts to change color and slight bubbles appear. Flip
- Once flipped it will start to fill with air.
- Gently press with flat spatula or kitchen towel to cook the sides. You can flip again to cook the other sides.
- If chapatis are not forming brown spots/blistering heat may be too low.
- Brush with butter or ghee.
- Place on paper towel or kitchen towel to prevent chapatis from being soggy.