How to Make Roti or Chapati - A Healthier Alternative to Naan
If you've ever had Indian food before, then you're probably familiar with naan, the delicious oven or tandoor baked flatbread that's served at most Indian restaurants. What most people don't realize is, most Indians don't eat naan everyday. It's a treat reserved for special occasions. A healthier alternative that is eaten daily in most indian households, is roti (also called chapati or fulka). It's an unleavened flatbread made of just two ingredients - whole wheat flour and water. To make this dish at home you’ll need a rolling pin, a crepe pan and a cooling rack (or any sized rack you have at home) to cook the flatbread on. Sound simple enough? It really is! Here are the steps:
- 1 cup of hard whole wheat flour
- ½ cup of water
Pour the flour and water into a bowl, mix with a spoon until it has a chunky consistency.
Knead the dough until it becomes pliable and soft. Add more water as needed, by dipping your hand in a bowl of water.
Place the kneaded dough in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 mins.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and dust your working area with flour.
Break off a golf ball sized piece of dough and roll it into a sphere. Then flatten the ball of dough into a disk with your hands. If the dough becomes sticky as you do this then just dust it with flour. This step is a bit tricky to explain in words so for the step-by-step visuals, watch our YouTube video.
Preheat your crepe pan on medium-high heat for 5 mins. Also preheat your cooling rack on high over another burner on your stove.
Note: if you have a gas stove then the rack is not needed. See below.*
Use a rolling pin to roll out the flattened disk of dough into a 6 inch circle. Don’t be afraid to add more flour if the dough gets too sticky.
Flip the dough between your hands to get the excess flour off. If you don’t remove the excess flour in the pan, it can burn and make for a not so great roti.
Place the dough on the crepe pan and cook for 30-45 seconds. Flip and cook the other side for the same amount of time.
Now transfer the roti to the heated rack and cook until the dough puffs up. Then flip it and cook for another 10 - 15 seconds.
*Note: If you have a gas stove then the rack is not needed and you can perform this step with one of your gas burners on medium low. Be sure to flip the roti a bit more quickly to ensure if does not burn on the fire.
Serve it warm with a dollop of butter! Getting a roti to be perfectly round takes a bit of practice, but regardless of the shape you make it, it still tastes great!
If you're making many rotis, it's best to butter them immediately and then wrap them in foil to keep them warm before serving.
For a step-by-step video tutorial, watch our Youtube video: How to Make Make Roti
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