Watching the professionals make chapatis is really something to behold. The good new is, even if you never achieve professional chapati chef status, you can still make outstanding chapatis at home that are a hundred times better than anything available in a shop.
With a little practice, you will be able to make these in no time. It is a good idea to source a good quality rotito rolling pin and board. When cooking, excess flour will burn so be sure to slap your chapatis a few times before cooking them if you are using a floured surface to stop them sticking when rolling out.
This basic recipe is for ten small chapatis which are great served with curries. They can be used as wraps for your favourite fillings too. If you would like to do this, I recommend doubling the recipe and making your chapatis larger.
Here are some of my recipes for different types of Indian bread and dosas:
- 250g chapati flour
- 1/2 cup (approximately) water
- Vegetable oil
- Pour the flour into a bowl and then add the water a little at a time. Stir with a wooden spoon and your hands until you have a soft dough.
- Kneed the dough for about three minutes and then set aside covered while you heat up your pan over medium heat.
- Dust the work surface with a little flour and divide your dough into about eight to ten smaller balls.
- Flatten each ball between your hands and then flatten them more with a rolling pin until they are about six inches in diameter and one millimeter thick.
- Dust off any excess flour.
- Now oil the pan with just enough oil to create a film - 1/2 teaspoon should do the job - and dry fry your first chapati for 30 seconds on one side.
- Then flip it over and fry for another 30 seconds. Brown spots should appear on both sides.
- If you are cooking on an electric stove, turn the chapati over one last time and apply pressure to the surface with a spatula or kitchen towel. It should puff up.
- If you are cooking over gas flame, lift the chapati out of the pan and place it carefully directly on the flame. This will cause it to puff right up into a nice light chapati bread.
- Store in a kitchen towel lined bowl to keep warm while you make all the chapatis.
- For best results serve immediately. Chapati breads can also be warmed up in the microwave if necessary.