Thursday, 9 April 2009


I've not tried dehydrating these - yet! But there may be way. When I've tested a reliable way of doing so I'll update

Making chapattis is easy and good fun, it's quite therapeutic and they taste much, much better than any you can buy in a packet

You'll need:

  • Chapatti flour (available from any Indian grocer / supermarket)
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Sunflower oil
Mix a quantity of flour (say 300 gm) with 1.5 tsp of salt and place on a flat surface. Have more flour standing by in a bowl or packet. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Pour a little oil and some water into the well. Gently mix from the outside towards the centre, adding more water if required until you've made a stiff ball of dough. If it's too sticky add more flour, too dry add a bit more water.

When you have a 'handful' size ball knead it on a floured surface for a minute or two. You can be quite brutal with it but you need to ensure it's well-mixed, with no floury bits.

Let it 'rest', covered with a damp cloth, for 15-20 minutes

Divide the ball into smaller balls - about tangerine-golf ball size.

Choose a heavy frying pan and take note of the size of the base.

On a floured surface roll out each little ball thinly and evenly until it's roughly the size of your frying pan base (certainly no bigger, if it is trim and use the offcuts to make another small ball). Flour well and stack them.

Take your frying pan and put it (dry) on a medium heat. Get a dry clean tea towel and fold it into quarters.

If you cook on gas you're in luck, turn on a spare gas ring on a low heat.

Have a dish nearby lined with another clean tea towel and, if you can, an assistant with some soft or melted butter handy.

When the pan is hot place your first chapatti in the pan. After 20 seconds or so flip it over and press down with the cloth. The chapatti will start to 'bubble', the more you press the more it'll bubble, after a further 30 seconds flip back over and pressing down cook the first side for another 10 seconds.

Remove from pan and place it on the spare, lit, gas ring. Being very careful of your fingers flip it over after 5 seconds and after a further 5 seconds chuck it at your assistant. This gives the authentic 'burnt bubble' effect all good chapattis should have. This is how they do it in good Indian kitchens - honestly! This only works with gas, don't try with electric rings, ceramic etc etc

The assistant should brush it once, lightly, with a little butter, place it in the dish and cover with the flaps of the tea towel.

Repeat until all chapattis are done and then serve. They will keep warm in a very low oven, covered with the cloth, for 20 minutes or so. Be careful to not let them dry out.

If you do it this way you will burn your fingers (only a bit) but they taste fantastic and you can have the satisfaction of saying 'Oh I made them myself, it's quite easy when you've got the knack'.

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