How to Make the Perfect Chapati

Chapati is now a staple in many households across the globe. With its soft texture, subtle flavors, and versatility, it pairs well with a variety of dishes.

While making chapatis may seem daunting to beginners, with a little practice and the right techniques, you can achieve the perfect chapati every time.

In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making flawless chapatis that are sure to impress.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • Water, as needed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cooking oil
Chapati
Photo by Susansam via Getty Images

Preparing the Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the whole wheat flour and salt. Mix well to evenly distribute the salt.
  2. Gradually add water to the flour while kneading the dough with your hands. The amount of water required may vary, so add it slowly until you achieve a soft, pliable consistency. The dough should be firm but not dry or sticky.
  3. Continue kneading the dough for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to roll out the chapatis.

 Shaping and Rolling the Chapatis

  1. After the resting period, divide the dough into small, lemon-sized balls.
  2. Take one dough ball and flatten it slightly with your palm. Dust it with a little dry flour to prevent sticking.
  3. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough ball into a thin, circular shape. Start from the center and roll outward, applying even pressure. Rotate the chapati as you roll to maintain a round shape.
  4. If the chapati starts sticking, sprinkle a little dry flour on the rolling surface.
  5. Roll each chapati to a thickness of about 6-8 inches in diameter. Thinner chapatis tend to be softer and fluffier.
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 Making the Chapatis

  1. Heat a non-stick pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot, place the rolled chapati on it. Allow it to cook for about 20-30 seconds or until small bubbles start to appear.
  3. Flip the chapati using a spatula and cook the other side for another 20-30 seconds.
  4. Brush a little oil on both sides of the chapati and cook for an additional 10-15 seconds on each side until golden brown spots appear.
  5. Remove the cooked chapati from the pan and place it in a covered container or wrap it in a clean cloth to keep it soft and warm.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls until all the chapatis are cooked.

Chapatis are a delightful addition to any meal, be it with curries, vegetables, or even enjoyed on their own.

Some additional tips to enhance your chapati-making skills:

  1. Use good quality whole wheat flour for the best results. Freshly ground flour tends to yield softer chapatis.
  2. Adjust the water quantity while kneading the dough. Add it gradually to achieve the right consistency. The dough should be soft and pliable but not sticky.
  3. Resting the dough is crucial for achieving softer chapatis. It allows the gluten to relax and the moisture to distribute evenly throughout the dough.
  4. While rolling the chapatis, apply even pressure to ensure uniform thickness. If the chapati starts sticking, use dry flour sparingly to avoid drying out the dough.
  5. Ensure that the pan is adequately preheated before placing the chapati. This helps in proper cooking.
  6. Cooking time can vary depending on the heat intensity. Adjust the flame accordingly to avoid overcooking or undercooking the chapatis.
  7. Brushing  oil on the chapatis while cooking adds flavor and prevents them from drying out. However, if you prefer oil-free chapatis, you can skip this step.
  8. Keep the cooked chapatis covered or wrapped to retain their warmth and softness until you serve them.
  9. Practice makes perfect. Don’t be disheartened if your initial chapatis aren’t flawless. With time, you’ll gain confidence and finesse in shaping and cooking them.
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