Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Chappattis at home

This section of the blog wouldn't be complete without a post on chappattis. These are the flat, round breads that go with pretty much any Indian meal. If you're skint, or out of rice, or both, they do quite well instead, provided you cook enough of them. They do, however, take a little practice. I suggest a dry run before seeking to impress your dinner guests, if you have never cooked them before.


Scales with a measuring bowl
A sieve
A mixing bowl
Some free, clean, working surface
A rolling pin
A frying pan (or, in an ideal world, a 'tava')
A cooker (1 ring needed) with a grill.

Ingredients - 8 chappattis

225g chappatti flour, or make your own, 3 parts brown to one part white flour
extra flour for dusting
110ml water, approx.


Measure out the chappatti flour. Sift it, through the sieve, into your mixing bowl. (I don't know why this works, but I always get better results when I do it). Add the water, a few drips or a good splish at a time, and work the flour and water together with your hands. Eventually, you will end up with sticky fingers and a wet, sticky dough. Rejoice! This is what you want.

Dust your working surface with flour, and knead the dough for 4 minutes. At the end of this time, neaten up your dough, and leave to stand for 15 minutes, to rest.

Divide your dough into eight pieces. Flour your hands, and roll into balls. Flour the surface again, if necessary, and flatten, and then roll out into flat discs, approx 15cm in diameter. As each is ready, place to one side, but don't be tempted to stack them. They will stick together, and you will need to start over.

Heat your pan onto a high heat, and turn up your grill to the max.

This is the bit that requires a little hand-eye coordination. Each chappatti gets 30 seconds on one side, and then a further 30 seconds on the other, in the pan, and then 10 - 20 secs under the grill. If you have the temperature right, you will be able to tell when the pan has driven the moisture out of the dough by the change of colour, and they will puff up pretty much immediately under the grill, and turn unevenly brown.

Serve immediately.

You'll never save a fortune cooking your own chappattis. They are readily available in packs of eight for about £1.50. The thing is though, your own chappattis don't need packaging in a 'protective' atmosphere, and don't come stuffed full of chemicals to extend their shelf-life. If you really must have convenience (and there are times when only convenience will do) then make some in advance, wrap them individually in foil, and freeze them. When you want them, they go into the oven, still frozen in their foil, for 20 mins at a medium heat.

Best wishes, 2ndRateMind.

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