For this Chapatis
recipe you need
The following ratio
of flour to water will make 3 chapatis, 3 parathas,
or 6 puris. The amount of water can be adjusted
depending on the fineness of the flour being used,
the coarser the flour, the more water is needed.
1 ½ cups
fresh coarsely ground whole wheat flour or chapati
2/3 cup water for chapatis or parathas, or ½
cup water for puris
- Making dough
Sift the flour through
a medium sieve into a deep bowl. Make a hole in
the middle and add the appropriate amount of water;
mix well by hand.
Rub a little oil
or ghee on your hands and knead the dough into
a fairly dry, smooth ball. Add flour or water
as needed to achieve a workable, elastic consistency.
The dough should not stick to the fingers or be
dry or hard.
With your knuckles,
make a few indentations in the dough. Sprinkle
on a few drops of water (more if dough is coarse
). Cover with an inverted bowl or a clean plastic
bag. Allow the dough to stand for 2 to 2 ½
hours for chapatis, 1 ½ to 2 hours for
parathas, and 1 hour for puris.
Ideally, the dough
should be kneaded a second time just before dividing,
but it can be used as it is if time does not permit.
The softer the dough, the easier the bread is
- To roll out the dough
After resting for
2 to 2 ½ hours, knead well. Divide the
dough into peach-size balls.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten one ball
of dough with your hand. Using a rolling pin,
roll out the dough into a thin, round patty, about
5 inches in diameter. Roll from the center, turning
patty several times to prevent sticking. Try to
make the edges slightly thinner than the center.
Rather than shaping
all of the chapatis at one time, cook each one
as soon as it is shaped. ( If you do shape them
all at once, be sure to cover with a damp cloth
to prevent drying.)
- Cooking the dough
Preheat a cast-iron
skillet over medium heat. Remove any excess flour
from the chapati by tossing it quickly from one
hand to the other. Flip the "stretched"
and aerated patty directly into the skillet. When
the color changes on the top and bubbles appear,
turn it over.
When both sides are done, use kitchen tongs (
chimta ) to remove the chapati from the skillet.
If you have a gas stove, hold the cooked chapati
over a medium flame and it will puff up immediately.
Turn quickly to flame-bake the other side. Do
this several times, taking care that the edges
are well cooked. If you have an electric stove,
chapatis can be encouraged to puff by pressing
them with a clean kitchen towel after the first
turn on each side.
Repeat the shaping
and cooking process until all chapatis are cooked.
To keep chapatis warm as they are cooked, place
them in a towel-lined bowl and fold over the sides
of the towel. Serve hot, either completely dry
or topped with a small amount of ghee or butter.