I am so glad that my friend Simply Reem is back to share a very popular Indian flat bread or “chapati” recipe with us. I came to know Reem last year and since then we have become good friends. In one of our many meetings, Reem made me some homemade chapati and I was instantly hooked on the soft, fluffy wheat bread. Reem promised to share her chapati recipe, and I can’t be happier. By the way, if you haven’t visited Simply Reem recently, do check it out as it’s refreshed with a brand new design with new contents.
Anyway, chapati is a staple in India and it’s made of really simple ingredients: wheat flour and water. The difference between a great piece of chapati and regular tasting chapati lies in techniques, and in the chapati recipe below, Reem outlined the exact techniques to make your homemade chapati soft, light, airy, and fluffy. She even took some step-by-step photos to share with us.
You can eat these chapati as is, with some butter (my favorite), or with chutney, daal, curry, etc. I will have to ask Reem to share her chutney and daal recipes with us one day. Enjoy!
2 cups whole wheat flour (or stone ground drum-wheat also known as “Atta”)
1 cup water (approximately)
1 teaspoon salt
Little extra flour in a shallow plate or pie dish to help with coating and dusting while rolling the chapattis
Sieve the flour, add salt to it and mix well. Place the flour in a large bowl and add ¾ cup of water. Stir lightly with fingers in a circular motion till the flour start to gather. Add 1-2 tablespoons of more flour if the dough looks too sticky or add little more water if it looks too dry and firm.
Knead the flour until you have soft and pliable dough that does not stick to your fingers. You can put little oil on your hand while kneading the dough to help with kneading. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for minimum 1 hour at room temperature. If keeping for longer period store the dough in refrigerator and make sure to bring it back to room temperature before using it.
Once ready to make chapatis, heat the griddle over medium-high heat. Divide the dough into 10-12 equal-sized balls and start working with each ball separately. Place the bowl in dry flour and flatten it a bit with help of finger tips. Transfer the flatten ball to any clean flat surface and with help of rolling pin, roll it into approx. 6-7 inch circle of uniform thickness. While rolling the chapati if the dough sticks to the rolling surface, dust it and the surface lightly with little flour.
Place the rolled chapati on the hot griddle and cook for 30 seconds or until tiny golden dots appear on the bottom, flip over to the other side. Once the other side is also covered with larger brown dots, turn it over again. Soon the chapati will start to puff up. With the help of a folded kitchen towel press gently on the puffed part, gently pushing the air to the flatten part of chapati until the whole chapati puffs up into a round ball (don’t get disheartened if your chapati doesn’t puff up like a ball, it will still taste as delicious as the puffed on. It may take a little practice to get perfectly puffed chapatis). You can puff up the chapati on direct flame too.
Transfer the cooked chapatis to the plate, if you want to baste it with little butter or ghee and serve hot.
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