These chapati are my first attempt at my favourite Indian flatbread. Yes, I do even prefer them to buttery & soft naan.
I am using Indian “Chapati Flour” or atta flour, a coarse whole wheat flour made from hard wheat, that I picked up at my local Indian grocery store. I’ve also seen it lately at my regular grocery store, and you’d be just fine substituting regular whole wheat flour here if you need to.
Chapati are great vehicles for your favourite curries and dals. Why not whip up a batch of Rajma or Kale and Lentil Dal and try your hand at freshly baked flatbread? The flatbreads are much easier than yeasted breads, and I think they are gateway breads, bound to get you into more baking!
Whole Wheat Chapati
Makes 8-12 Chapati, about 3″ diameter, Serves 2-4
- 1 c. whole wheat chapati (atta) flour
- 1/2 c. milk (skim, soy, almond, rice) or water
- 1/2 tsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead well to thoroughly incorporate everything.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel, and let sit for 4-6 hours (this step is optional, but highly recommended to develop flavour).
Tear off chunks of dough, and roll 1″ diameter balls out of each chunk.
Flour your work surface, and roll out each ball of dough into a flat disc, about 3″ in diameter. Stack these discs between sheets of wax paper.
On the stovetop, heat a flat griddle or heavy bottomed pan over medium low heat (I use a cast iron tawa I bought especially in Little India). Lay one disc dough on the griddle. When the dough seems to have dried out completely on one side (after about 30 seconds – 1 minute depending on the intensity of your heat), flip it over. Let the chapati finish cooking – you may get lovely bubbles, which may be small or large. Don’t try to control it, just enjoy the chapati!
To get puffed chapati, you can hold them with tongs over a gas element on your stove. As I have no gas burner, I don’t have puffy chapati. They are still very delicious.
These are best served immediately. As you cook them, you can take them directly to the table. If you want to finish the cooking before serving, pop them in an envelope of aluminum foil. You can also store the chapati in aluminum foil in the freezer, once they have cooled. But really, they’re so easy to make fresh and they are definitely worth the effort.
Serve alongside (and as the vehicle for) your favourite curries and dals, along with a good helping of yogurt, chutney (Rhubarb, perhaps?), and a good lime or carrot pickle. Mmmm.