Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Chappathi for Beginners

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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 :


Ingredients

Wheat Flour(Aatta)-300g
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
salt-as required
Warm Water(preferably)-200ml/As required(Softness Tip-3)

Method

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
  • Sumitha
  • said, people try different tips like adding some cold milk, or some curds to the dough to add softness to the chappathi.Well, everything comes with experience and experiments...So all those pals who are out there struggling with the unyielding Chappathi need not worry...she will yield soon... just 'manana padta hey'...you need to woo her around....a bath in the milk/curd, an oil 'massage' and you will be amazed to see her spirits raised on the 'hot' tawa!! ; ) and yours too!!Enjoy!!

    (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
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    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.

    15 comments:

    Bindu Vijayakumar said...

    Hi,

    As per your blog you say "Inspired by two great mothers who are excellent cooks..".

    So i have tagged you to write about the 10 things you miss abt your mom's cooking.

    KrishnaArjuna said...

    good write up about chapati making!
    I did have my share of bad-chapati days :-)

    archana said...

    Shynee,
    Now that i know your name, i thought i will pay u a visit. Liked this post, thank you for doing it.
    Archana

    Sumitha said...

    Hey doc,i shall give u another tip for chapathi softness I do add a little cold milk to make the dough

    Inji Pennu said...

    haha. i can imagine your husband waging a war between his teeth and chapathi..!

    good write up!esp for people like me who have chaapthiphobias

    Maya Cassis said...

    this is awesome thanks for the step by step instructions...

    indianadoc said...

    >thanx Bindu for tagging me...
    >ka,archana,sumitha,lg,maya, thanx indeed for stopping by and leaving all those sweet comments.

    sherin said...

    I enjoyed reading your blog.I can see your chappathi smiling.

    Anonymous said...

    I always have trouble with chappathies ....I recently asked annita for her tips and tricks in making soft chappathies...just now I came across your step by step tips and instructions too....thanks a lot....will try and see if this works for me...will get back to u with results.
    thanks again.
    Rg.

    indianadoc said...

    >thanx sherin for u'r comments
    >thanx Rg for dropping in.Pl do try and let me know if it worked well.If you can get good quality flour like pilsbury, half the job is done...

    Anonymous said...

    Here are some links that I believe will be interested

    Anonymous said...

    Hi this is Rg again....I tried your chappathi recipe and it turned out really really soft....Got appreciation from my hubby also. thanks to you. I also tried without maida, the hot water itself did the trick, I guess. it turned out good....so thanks again for helping out.

    indianadoc said...

    >Rg, happy to know that u got u'r chappathis soft...Maida is not really required if the flour is of good quality. I added the maida tip for those very unyielding flour...If u r using pilsbury atta u dont need any maida at all...I use pilsbury for making all the Indian breads and chappathis.

    jincy said...

    hi there ....
    i was wondering whether i can leave the remaining dough(chappathi) in the refregerator and use it later.

    indianadoc said...

    Yes, you can,but then be careful to make the dough still softer...usually the refrigerated dough will be slightly firm.