Authors: lisa' s kitchen feed
Most cooks and diners with even a rudimentary knowledge of Indian cuisine are familiar with chapatis, a soft whole wheat, slightly puffy unleavened flatbread that is pan fried in a dry skillet or griddle. A staple for many meals served throughout the day in Indian households, chapatis pretty much go with any sort of Indian — or non-traditional Indian for that matter — meal that you can imagine. I adore them … the accompaniment possibilities are endless and they are an ideal way to fill out and dress up your meals. Here I have spiced up the basic batter with some fenugreek and seasoning for some extra flair.
Needless to say, these chapatis go well with any soup or dal curry, may be served much the same way you would a corn or wheat tortilla stuffed with your choice of fillings, are great for scooping up your favorite dips and chutneys, and are an excellent choice as a mini flatbread to showcase a mouthwatering array of toppings.
You may wish to mix in some yogurt to replace some of the water for a slightly softer bread and, if you like, brush the cooked breads with some melted ghee, butter or oil. I recently enjoyed these with some avocado chickpea hummus, then the leftovers with tarka dal. They do keep for a few days if well-sealed and wrapped, so make up a larger batch because they also freeze well if you find yourself with a few too many, though I didn't have that problem. There is a reason that these delightful breads are a staple on so many tables and I'm tempted to make another batch, just now, as I am about to publish this recipe.
|Recipe by Lisa Turner
Published on March 7, 2013
Soft, delicious and seasoned griddle-fried Indian whole wheat flatbreads — a staple in Indian households
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup spelt flour or unbleached soft white flour
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup crumbled dried fenugreek leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- pinch of chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2/3 to 1 cup warm water (or yogurt and warm water)
Makes 10 to 12 chapatis
Begin by sifting the flours into a large bowl. Mix in the fenugreek leaves, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
Pour in the water or yogurt and water, stirring as you add it. Add just enough liquid to get a kneadable dough. Knead for about 5 minutes with lightly floured hands, adding more water or flour as necessary to form a smooth ball. Leave in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 to 3 hours.
When ready to cook the chapatis, knead the dough for another 30 seconds or so. Divide into 12 rounded balls, transfer to a plate, and cover with a damp towel.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat until hot.
At the same time, heat an element over high heat and have a wire cooling rack ready and a towel-lined basket or plate on hand for the cooked breads. (Note: the heated element and wire rack are not necessary, but toasting the breads on the wire rack above the element helps to puff out the breads even further after frying.)
Dust a work surface with some flour, flatten out a ball of dough into a small disc, dust each side with a bit of flour, and roll out into a roughly 6-inch round. If you are rolling them out a few at a time, take care to keep them covered with the damp towel until you are ready to fry them so they don't dry out.
Slap a rolled out disc into the heated skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the bottom begins to lift from the pan and small bubbles begin to form. Flip, and cook for another minute or so.
Transfer to the wire rack and hold about 3 inches above the pre-heated element until the chapati begins to puff out and brown specks appear — this should only take 15 to 30 seconds. Turn the bread, hold over the heat for another 15 seconds, and transfer to the towel-lined basket or plate.
Repeat with the remaining dough. Keep the cooked chapatis covered with the towel so they stay moist and warm.
Serve hot or warm and brushed with melted ghee, butter or oil if desired. They will keep for a few days if well-wrapped. Reheat in foil wrap on a low temperature in the oven to refresh the breads.
More prized Indian flatbreads recommended from Lisa's Kitchen:
Paratha Stuffed with Sweet Potato and Potato
Rice Flour Pancakes
Savory Rice and Urad Dal Pancakes
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