Chapati (Indian Flatbread)
One of the most famous and versatile of Indian dishes, chapati is a quintessential staple flatbread made daily in most Indian kitchens. It has a distinct flavour and aroma due to the use of whole wheat flour known as atta. It is a staple and made of three simple ingredients – wheat flour, water and salt, and is often served with spiced dishes like curry and dhal. The word chapat means "slap" or "flat" which describes the traditional method of forming rounds of thin dough by slapping the dough between the wetted palms of the hands. With each slap, the round of dough is rotated. However, if you’re like me and just aren’t that good with your hands, fear not. You can make soft, fluffy chapati with the help of a rolling pin and this simple, easy recipe!
Soft, healthy, fluffy chapatis
Just 3 ingredients - whole wheat flour, water and salt
All puffed up
Chapati (Indian Flatbread)
- Whole wheat flour / drum-wheat "Atta": 2 cups (plus 2 tablespoons for rolling and dusting)
- Water: 1 cup
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and add 3/4 cup of the water. Stir gently with fingers in a circular motion until the flour and water are just combined.
- Knead the dough until it becomes soft and pliable and doesn't stick to your fingers. Add 1 - 2 tablespoons more flour if the dough looks too sticky. Add the remaining water it it looks too dry and firm. Wrap the dough tightly in a plastic wrap and let the dough rest for at least 1 hour, at room temperate.
- Divide the dough into 10 - 12 equal sized dough balls. On a lightly floured work surface, working on one dough ball at a time, place a dough ball in the flour and flatten it a bit with your hands, and roll it with a rolling pin into a 6 - 7 inch, flat disc. If the dough sticks to the surface, dust the surface with more flour.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it is smoking. Pat the chapati between your hands to remove any excess flour, and then place it onto the skillet and cook for 30 seconds or until tiny golden dots appear on the surface. Then, flip it over and cook the other side. Flip it over again and soon the chapati will start to puff up. Use your spatula to press gently on the puffy chapati to push the air to the flattened part of the chapati. The whole chapati should puff up into a round ball.
- Transfer the cooked chapatis to a serving plate and baste with a little butter if preferred. Serve warm.
- You can refrigerate the dough for up to 1 week. Simply thaw to room temperature before using it.
- The dough is supposed to be soft, pliable and not stick to your fingers. You can coat your fingers with some oil to make it easier for you to knead the dough. Also, the amount of water or flour to use really depends on your own judgment and the texture of the dough. If it is too dry, add more water. Too wet or sticky, add more flour. The trick is to add more water or flour in small amounts, bit by bit.