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This is THE most basic recipe for Indian rotis or chappatis (sometimes called phulkas). While it is a 2-ingredient recipe, mastering the art of making the 'perfect roti' takes some practice, but the results are well worth your while! Rotis are so versatile that they can used as 'bread'... use them with just about anything! For the uninitiated, they are sort of like Mexican fat-free tortillas! (Prep. time includes resting time for the dough)
- In a large bowl, add the flour, making a small depression in the centre.
- Pour 1/4 cup water into the flour and start mixing with the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Add remaining water as required, until the flour comes together to form a dough.
- If the mixture is too dry and falls apart, add some more water; if it is too sticky and sticks to your fingers, dust it with some more flour.
- Now knead the dough well for about 5 to 10 minutes; the more you knead it, the softer your rotis will be.
- Cover and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Heat a heavy skillet on a low flame.
- Meanwhile, divide the dough into 6 lemon-sized balls and roll into 7-inch circles on a generously floured board using a rolling pin, adding sprinklings of flour to keep the roti from sticking to the rolling pin.
- Once the skillet is sufficiently hot, place one roti on it and increase the flame to medium-high.
- After about 20 seconds, turn the roti and cook on the other side.
- When small-medium bubbles start to appear on the surface of the roti (about 1 minute), remove it from the skillet, remove the skillet from the flame and turn the roti over directly on the flame.
- It should puff up completely; you might need some practice with it.
- Once it puffs up, remove it from the flame and serve hot with any vegetable side!
- Oh, and repeat the cooking procedure for all 6 balls.
We also add 1/2 a tsp. of salt and 1 tbsp. of oil in the dough while kneading. These meausrements are for the quantities of wheat flour and water you've given.
i don't have a gas stove, so to get them to puff up using just my skillet, after i flipped the chappatis over i pressed on them lightly with an oven mitt... the didn't puff up completely, but did form some air bubbles.
I like to add few changes for those who are interested in trying out Indian chappatis.
I usually buy the 'whole' wheat flour from Indian grocery stores. Obviously, you need salt to taste while mixing the flour. Also, you can add (2-3 tablespoons) of (canola/vegetable/melted butter) oil along with water. You can follow the steps as given in the recipe. The dough should not be sticky or too hard. At step 8, I usually make the small rolls with little bit of oil. The skillet at first needs to be hot - the only problem with the electric stove is it takes more time to heat up.
You can add just a couple of drops of oil or butter and lightly spread it on the skillet. I make my chappatis around 5 - 9 inches diameter. I use a pizza/party roller to make it even and thin (not too thin - but you can experiment). I put my chappati on the pan/skillet for a minute or two and when it is about to puff, I turn it over to other side and add just a spoon of oil/butter along the diameter and also spread it on top without breaking the puff. (If you think it is too much oil, you don't need it!). When it puffs up nicely, I turn it over again and cook it for a minute until it starts puffing. That's all! My first chappati never comes correctly because I use a non-stick pan and it is still not at the right temperature.
If you made it too thin, it will become too crisp - but if you like it that way its all good. I usually make it soft so I can use it with a side dish. If you leave it too long, it will be burned. There's also variations to regular chappatis, you can stuff some cooked veggies (smashed potato/cauliflower) while rolling out the chappatis. In this case, it will be thicker. If you have left over dough, you can store it in the refrigerator in a ziplock/plastic wrapper and if you want to use your refrigerated dough, you need to let it warm down to room temperature (usually takes 15-20 min). Wheat is a good option to the regular flour based-tortillas.