The easiest of the Indian breads, chapatis are a simple unleavened flatbread. They are cooked on a medium-hot tawa or griddle, with no oil.
Atta is a whole wheat flour made from hard wheat. Hard wheats have a high protein and gluten content, so dough made of atta is strong and can be rolled out very thin. Atta is readily available from good supermarkets or Indian grocers. If unavailable, a durum wheat flour will substitute.
The dough is used as the base for a number of breads.
The secret to a good chapati is to knead the dough well and roll it to be very thin. I have seen them almost transparent from some street vendor stalls.
They taste best straight from the griddle.
- 1 tbsp jaggery
- 200 ml water
- 500 g whole wheat flour (atta)
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp ghee softened
Warm the water and dissolve the jaggery. Set aside.
Mix the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the ghee. Start adding the warm water and jaggery and knead in the bowl to form a soft, smooth dough. The longer you knead the dough the softer the chapatis will be. Divide the dough into eight equal balls. Cover, and set aside to rest for half an hour.
Roll each ball into a thin disc. Heat a flat griddle over a medium heat, cook the chapati for about one minute each side, until it has golden patches. Serve immediately.
- For entertaining you can brush the chapati with melted ghee as it comes off the griddle.