Friday, 18 May 2012

Mastering Chapati





This is an unleavened flat bread that is an absolute daily essential part to any home made curry! They go with EVERYTHING and can even make a nice healthy snack if you spice them up a little.

In India, chapati's replace the need of knives and forks. To eat with these, all you do is rip of a small part of the chapati, scoop up the delicious curry and shove it all in!! HEAVEN!!!

The say that it takes years and years to perfect the art of chapati making and I can certainly believe that tale! It has taken me years of practice to get to where I am now, but I am far from perfect. I think that the problem I have is that I don't have a gas cooker, so the puffing up can be a little inconsistent. If you have an electric cooker like myself, it is easier to make these puff up with a "dabba" which is in one of my pictures, or if you don't have one of these, you can use a damp cloth or a spatula, but a dabba works the best.

Ingredients:- for 3-4 people

1/2 a cup of Chapati flour ( I use the fine gold variety)
a pinch of salt
1 tbs oil
Enough warm water to make a soft but not sticky dough

Directions:-

1) Boil the kettle and let it cool slightly

2) While this is happening, sieve the flour into a large bowl and mix the salt and the oil in completely using your fingers to feel for any lumps.

3) Then slowly start to work in the water until it is a smooth dough. I always say the wetter, the better but not sticky!

4) Leave in a warm place covered with another bowl, or cling film for at least 1/2 hour. I usually make my dough before dinner and then make them all up at the end. This will just save your time but do what works best for you.

5)When the dough is ready it should have softened up, but if it is cold weather, i think it helps to just wizz the dough up in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds helps to soften up.

6) Pre heat a tawa, or a thick bottomed frying pan an a medium to hot heat while you are rolling the dough out. When you roll the dough out, don't worry to much about the shape, you just need to concentrate on getting the chapati dough absolutely level! no creases or slight uneven parts otherwise you bread will not puff up properly. so when I have finished rolling the dough out I always just go back over it with a regular rolling pin. This is only if you are using an Indian rolling pin. A good trick to see if it is completely level is to hold it up against the light quick.

7) When your bread is rolled out to be about 2mm thick and you are happy with the shape, ( traditionally circular ) slap it onto the heat and wait until it changes colour slightly and little bubbles start to appear.

8) Flip the chapati over and do the same thing but maybe just a few more second on this side than the other, so wait until you see larger bubbles forming.

9) Flip it over again and with your dabba, damp cloth or whatever you are using, kind of try and spread the air pockets around so that the whole thing puff's up like a balloon.

10) Place the chapati onto a piece of foil and spread lightly with butter.

11) Repeat the process with the rest of the dough, keeping the dough and the chapati's covered to prevent them from drying out.

Enjoy with your favourite curry.

Please comment and your advice is greatly appreciated. :-) :-)

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