Many of us have had those 'tearful' yeterdays when Chappathis had turned out to be miserable hard disks or inedible aliens!I remember still those days when my husband waged a war between his teeth and my Chappathi!It was very embarassing for me that I could not make a decent Chappathi....It was very upsetting for me in those early days of my marriage...when I had to literally struggle with my chappathis,idlis,appams, and why not even my rice....Though I had done a little bit of cooking during my college days when my mom was not well and was bed ridden for some time.....but then, I had my father to help me in the kitchen.So often it was a joint effort and was more a basic essential cooking....and that too my father cooked the rice and I prepared the curry....After that..... career,hostel days...never really had a chance to explore the kitchen....So I was like a cook who could do Classy Chicken curry but no ordinary rice!!....I was frantically looking for tips and clues to make my Chappathi softer.I envied the TV ad aunty whose Chappathi puffed up on the tawa while I panted with my unending trials of getting it right!But now I am a proud Chappathi maker, my Chappathi too puffs up.... and she is so soft that she yields easily between my fingers and I am bold enough to serve anybody my Chappathis!!
Recently one of my students asked me,Maa'm why dont you tell us how to cook rice first before giving us all those hifi recipes....(I'm happy and proud to see yet another batch of my students come out into the world of independence and responsibility as engineers...and some of them are out into the new world of bachelor cooking too...with the student days...just over!)....So I thought, I shall include some of the basic recipes once in a while so that someone who has just ventured into the kitchen space might find it useful....So here goes my tips n clues :
Maida/All purpose flour-100g(Softness Tip-1)(optional)
(If you are avoiding Maida, you could use 400g wheat flour)
Oil- 2tbsp(Softness Tip-2)(optional)
Maida/wheat flour-for dusting the flour board
Warm Water(preferably)-200ml/As required(Softness Tip-3)
Mix wheat flour,(maida,oil) and salt.Now add warm water gradually and knead it into a semi soft, pliant dough.Now heat the Tawa(griddle) very hot (Tip-4).Once the Tawa is really hot you may reduce the flame slightly. Take a bread board.Dust it with Maida(It allows you to make really thin chappathis).Now take a small portion of the dough(a medium lemon size) and make it into a ball between your hands.Keep the ball on the board.Press slightly with your hand and then roll it out into thin rounds,alternately dusting the board and turning sides.Now place it on the griddle and as soon as bubbles appear,flip it to the other end.Cook till bubbles appear on this side as well.(Press the chappathi and rotate it on the tawa for cooking it uniformly-if the dough consistency is right usually within no time the chappathi will puff up).As
(You dont really need to add maida or oil if you have strong knuckles to knead the flour thoroughly to a not so hard-not so soft dough. The softness of the chappathi lies in the consistency of the dough. Well, those who have the breadmaker may use the breadmaker's kneading cycle for 15-20mts. But dont forget to check whether you have added the required quantity of water or you may end up with either a lumpy/runny dough. Beginners may start by adding water little by little until they get hold of the right proportions. It is a bit difficult to give absolute ratios as often it depends on the flour that you are using,many a times I have noticed that the ratio changes slightly with different brands...so it all depends on your cooking sense!!)
Madakku Roti/Malabar Roti
A traditional Malabar style of making 'roti'/chappathi, the difference being in the generous use of ghee for roasting it and the dough is made slightly harder than that of chappathi.Madakku roti is all about making folds(as shown in the picture) in the roti and roasting it.