Making chappati (Indian flatbread) is the most basic thing in an Indian household, but also it can be the most difficult thing sometimes. It's a blessing that I could make nice, soft, round puffed-up chappatis since the age of 9.. and the credit goes to.. obviously my Nani-ji. She was the one who taught me to make the basic roti dough and chappatis. She always used to tell me: Beta, where ever you live, no matter how much you earn, you MUST know how to feed yourself, because not every time you will find someone who would be willing to cook for you in exchange of money, not every day you will love what someone else can cook for you, and you must NEVER trust on anybody to fill up yourself with nice, healthy food; because anybody can deceive you when you want a nice, simple home-cooked food, but not your own hands. Your hands will always be with you, and if you know how to create simple and basic food, you will be satisfied and happy and independent.
So here's sharing how I make basic chappatis:
Whole wheat flour
Water to knead
Dry wheat flour for dusting
- Make a nice dough with the wheat flour. See here: Making basic roti dough.
- Pinch out a small ball from the dough, it must not be very big, not small. Now, how you roll this into a ball will affect how the chappati will turn out. So this ball needs to be punched a bit with the first two fingers and then rolled in a ball. The smoother the ball, the better the roti.
- Now roll this ball into the dusting flour and press lightly with fingers. Dust off the excess flour and begin rolling, putting mild pressure. Rotis are best flattened when the rolling pin in held not too far from the part from the thicker part.
- Roll in one direction, do not change sides often. Dust it in the flour whenever required, but do not dust more than twice for one chappati, and do not change sides more than twice for one chappati.
- When the roti is rolled, it should neither be thick nor very thin, because the thick roti will not be done properly and very thin roti will dry out and become more like papad. Now dust off all the excess dusting flour from the chappati by carefully lifting up the chappati. The extra dusting flour makes the chappati dry and burns in to leave the red patches in chappti.
- Now heat the tawa/griddle/pan on the maximum heat. When it is hot, carefully put the chappati. After 10 seconds, flip sides. Wait. After 20 seconds flip sides again and then lighly press with a kitchen cloth. The roti will begin to puff up. At this time, turn the flame to low.
- Flip sides quickly and lightly press with the kitchen cloth and by this time the roti will be done. Remove from flame. I do not use anything like a wire mesh and always prepare on my non-stick tawa. Repeat for all the dough. Enjoy soft chappatis with anything.