How To Make Soft Chapatis
Soft chapatis, also known as roti or Indian flatbread, are a staple food in the Indian subcontinent and East Africa. You can make them with wheat flour, water, and a pinch of salt easily at home. Indians serve chapatis with a variety of accompaniments, such as curry, dal, chutneys, or vegetables. Making soft chapatis requires a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking techniques. The result is a delicious and satisfying bread to enjoy as part of a meal or as a snack.
What Are Soft Chapatis?
Chapatis are traditionally made by mixing flour and water to form a dough. The dough is then divided into small balls and rolled out into thin circles using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. The rolled dough is then cooked on a hot griddle or pan until it is lightly browned and puffs up. You can make soft chapatis with whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour. The key to making good chapatis is to find the right balance of water and flour to make a soft and pliable dough. With a little practice, you can easily make soft and delicious chapatis at home using this simple recipe.
Chapatis have been a staple in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years and are mentioned in ancient Hindu scriptures.
In North India, people often cook chapatis over an open flame to get a softer, fluffier texture. You can eat chapatis plain or with a variety of dishes, such as paneer butter masala, or any other curry. They are a staple in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, and you can often see them at special occasions.
In modern times, chapatis are widely available at restaurants, and people of all ages love them. They are now popular around the world, including in East Africa, where they have different names, like chapos in Kenya. Today, chapatis are an important part of the culinary culture of the Indian subcontinent and the globe.
Ingredients for Soft Chapati Recipe
Whole wheat flour
A type of flour made from grinding whole wheat grains. It is a common ingredient used to make chapatis, rotis, and other Indian flatbreads.
A common seasoning used to add flavor to food.
You need slightly hot water, around 110-120°F to soften the dough and make it easier to work with.
Vegetable oil or olive oil
You need oil to add moisture and flavor to the dough. It can also help prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and surface.
Rolling pin: A long, cylindrical tool used for rolling out dough.
Rolling board or flat surface: A flat surface, such as a countertop or table, used for rolling out dough.
Hot tawa or iron pan: A flat, circular cooking surface used to cook chapatis and other Indian flatbreads.
Airtight container: A container with a seal or lid that helps keep food fresh and prevents it from drying out. You can also use it to store the dough.
Soft Chapati Recipe
Now that we know the ingredients to make this delicious flatbread, let’s move on to the recipe with step-by-step pictures.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour, salt (if using), and 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix together.
Slowly add the warm water to the flour mixture, stirring as you go.
You may not need all of the water, so add it a little bit at a time until the dough comes together in a soft and pliable ball.
Knead the dough for 5–10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth or a lid and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into equal-sized balls.
Roll each ball between your hands to form a smooth round ball.
Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan or griddle over medium heat.
Roll out one of the dough balls into a thin circle, using a rolling pin and dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. The circle should be about 6–8 inches in diameter.
Place the rolled-out dough on the preheated pan and cook for about 30 seconds, until bubbles start to form on the surface.
Flip the chapati and cook the other side for an additional 30 seconds, or until it starts to brown.
Now you need to fluff the chapati. Fluffing the roti involves gently pressing down on the chapati with a towel or cloth while it is cooking on a hot griddle or pan. This helps to create pockets of air and steam inside the chapati, which can cause it to puff up and become more fluffy and soft.
Once you’ve fluffed the chapati, flip it back over and watch the magic happen. It will inflate like a balloon if you’ve done it right.
Remove the chapati from the pan and place it on a plate. Cover with a damp cloth to keep it soft and pliable.
Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls.
Serve the chapatis warm with your choice of accompaniments, such as curry, dal, chutney, or vegetables. Enjoy!
Soft Chapati Tips
If you want to make phulka (a type of soft chapati that puffs up when cooked), you can cook the chapatis over an open flame or on a hot tawa (griddle) for a few seconds on each side until they puff up. This technique works best with chapatis made from whole-wheat flour. You can also try cooking the chapatis on a frying pan over medium-high heat for a couple of times on each side until they puff up.
Remember to use a rolling board and rolling pin to roll out the dough into a round shape, and use a little oil or dry flour to prevent the dough from sticking. If you find that the dough is too dry and not coming together, you can add a little more water. On the other hand, you can add a little more flour if the dough is too wet and sticky. The key is to find the right balance of water and flour to make a soft and pliable dough.
It’s important to let the dough rest for a while before rolling and cooking the chapatis, as this helps to relax the gluten and make the chapatis softer and more pliable.
You can also store the dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day and use it the next day. This can be a convenient way to make chapatis if you don’t have time to prepare the dough from scratch on a daily basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chapatis are a type of unleavened flatbread that are popular in the Indian subcontinent and East Africa. They are made from whole wheat flour, water, and a pinch of salt, and are traditionally cooked on a hot tawa or iron pan.
To make chapatis, a dough is first prepared by mixing together flour, salt, and warm water. The dough is then kneaded and left to rest for a while before it is divided into small balls and rolled out into thin, round shapes using a rolling pin and a rolling board or flat surface. The chapatis are then cooked on a hot tawa or iron pan over medium heat until they develop brown spots on both sides. In North India, chapatis are often cooked over an open flame to get a softer, fluffier texture.
Chapatis can be eaten plain or with a variety of dishes, such as paneer butter masala, aloo paratha, or any other curry. They are a staple food in many parts of the Indian subcontinent and are often served with curry dishes or used as daily bread.
Chapatis can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen and reheated when needed.
To make soft chapatis, it’s important to use the right amount of water and flour and to apply the right amount of pressure when rolling out the dough. It’s also helpful to let the dough rest for a while before rolling it out, as this allows the gluten to relax and makes the chapatis softer. Additionally, cooking the chapatis over an open flame or on a hot tawa can help create a softer texture.
Yes, chapatis can be made with other types of flour, such as atta flour, which is a type of whole wheat flour that is commonly used for chapatis in the Indian subcontinent. Chapatis can also be made with other types of flour, such as all-purpose flour or even with a mixture of flours. It’s important to note that using different types of flour may affect the texture and taste of the chapatis.
Chapatis can be made without a rolling pin by using other household objects to roll out the dough, such as a wine bottle, a rolling pin, or even a small saucepan. However, using a rolling pin may be easier and more efficient, as it allows for more precise control and helps create evenly-sized chapatis.
Chapatis can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen and reheated when needed. To reheat chapatis, place them on a hot tawa or iron pan over medium heat until they are warm and slightly puffed up.
Yes, chapatis can be made in a frying pan. To make chapatis in a frying pan, heat the pan over medium-high heat and lightly coat it with oil. Roll out the chapati dough into a thin, round shape and place it in the pan. Cook the chapati until it develops brown spots on both sides, flipping it over a couple of times.
Chapatis can be made with cold water, although using warm water may help the dough come together more easily and result in softer chapatis. It’s important to adjust the amount of water as needed, as the amount of water needed may vary depending on the type of flour used and the humidity level in the kitchen.