Chapatis are made of whole-wheat flour known as atta, mixed into the dough with water, oil, and optional salt in a mixing utensil called a part, and are cooked on a Tava
Preparation time: 1 1/4 hours; makes 8 (serves 4 of my family)
|350 g||Wheat flour|
|175 – 250 ml||Warm water|
|1/4 – 1/2 cup||Flour for coating|
For this recipe do not be tempted to use all-purpose flour. I’ve tried using it and the chapati didn’t turn out very nice at all. In fact, it was just by chance that I made them again when we were in Germany. In Germany, the most common flour is pure wheat flour. In the USA you can either buy pure wheat flour or use cake flour. Place the flour in a large bowl and rub in the butter or ghee. Make sure that the fat is cold. This is especially important if you are using ghee, which is liquid at room temperature (depending on where you live of course!).
Add the warm water and knead into a soft dough. You can now knead it by hand until it is smooth, which will take about 10 minutes, or you can put it in a kitchen machine with a dough hook (6 minutes). I’m terrible at kneading so I use the dough hook.
Then cover your dough with a damp cloth and place it in a warm place. I don’t usually have a warm place so I just put it next to the cooker with the hope that when I start cooking things will warm up! Let it sit like this for at least 30 minutes. Now comes the time-consuming part… frying the chapati! Don’t try to do this in parallel with anything else. It’s best to do it once you are done with all the other things so that it gets to the table warm. You need a cast iron frying pan for the best results. You could use a non-stick pan, but it won’t come out as well. Put your pan on the cooker and heat it to medium-high. You’ll have to adjust the heat according to your pan and your cooker. You’ll know if it’s too hot because the chapati will start to burn! Take a piece of dough and roll it into a ball about the size of a golf ball. You can, of course, make smaller or larger chapati depending on the size of your pan or the amount of time you have (smaller ones taking way longer of course).
Dip the ball in flour and roll out to form a thin chapati about 22 cm in diameter. Put it in the hot pan and fry on both sides. The chapati will bubble in some places and, because the dough is so thin, burn-in those places. Try to make sure this does not happen too much, but a little is necessary. If this burnt stuff sticks to your pan wipe it out with a paper towel before putting the next chapati in. Once you have put one pancake into the pan start forming the next one. If you have nothing else to do you should be able to have a chapati ready for the pan as soon as one is done. This will speed up the process a little bit.