chapati trials

I tried making chapatis (rotis/Indian flatbreads) the other day, to go with my matar mushroom. I’ve made them twice before and it seemed pretty simple at the time. Hmmm. I got overly enthusiastic and lugged a huge sack of wheat flour (or atta) home from the shops. Meanwhile my friend searched out a YouTube video with clear instructions of what to do (a video that now seems to have disappeared).


It was a lot like making pastry: work flour and fat (oil) into crumbs, add water to make into a dough, rest and roll out. But I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet…


My chapatis didn’t puff up in the pan like they did in the video. They just sort of stayed hard and flat. You’re meant to press down on the bubbles that form, so forcing the air into other parts of the chapati. When I did this, either the air refused to budge or I popped a hole in the dough so it escaped altogether. Each one got a little easier though, until they were just about decent and half puffed up.




Filed under breads, Indian

7 responses to “chapati trials

  1. Cool! I have made naan but never tried chapatis. I love your pic of rolling it out.

  2. michelle madsen

    MMMMMM! amazing! and v impressive! i want to eat some

  3. michelle madsen

    can you post the recipe?

  4. foodrambler

    Well, I could post the recipe if I could find it again! It was two Indian ladies on YouTube. Will try again though and make sure I keep the link this time…

  5. I usually dry-fry them in a frying pan and then put the chapati briefly on a naked flame (using tongs!) which makes them puff up nicely.

  6. foodrambler

    Thanks for the advice Lizzie – I’ll give that a go.

  7. foodrambler

    And here are some more tips from a friend’s parents (from Pakistan):

    1. Do not use oil.

    2. Make dough with hot water(not boiling – hotter than hand warm)

    3. Leave dough to rest for ½ hour.

    4. Dough should be rolled much thinner than in pictures. A good chapatti maker can actually begin with a small circle and then throw from hand to hand until it’s a large one – tis amazing!!

    5. Tawa (this is the black round thing you can get in most eastern shops, and heats up much better than a frying pan, good ones are made of cast iron) should be quite hot. Cold Tawa – no fluff.

    6. Part cook one side till it changes colour, then turn and finally turn again when the side in contact shows brown spots.

    7. Now is the time to gently press the edges with kitchen towel.

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