As the humble chapatti features more prominently you need to brush up your home recipe
Chapatti, phulka and roti are all names for the same basic flatbreads that many eat everyday with their meals. Because they are so easy to make, and lend a beautifully textured side addition to so many meals, mopping up delicious sauces and curries, many celebrity chefs are getting in on the act with their own take on the traditional chapatti.
Jamie Oliver is a massive fan of chapatti recommending that people, “load up your warm chapattis with rice, daal and a scattering of roasted veggies, drizzle over the sauce, roll up and tuck in.”
In his signature chapatti recipe he recommends adding olive oil to aid the mixture and he cooks them in a frying pan, for a bit of a British angle rather than over the flame, like most traditional cooks do. Jamie’s recipe incorporate whole-wheat flour and water, mixing and then needing until smooth. It’s a simple and straight-forward approach that you takes very little time. You can read the whole recipe here, and of course substitute the whole wheat flour with Gluten Free Chapati flour if you have intolerances. Jamie also recommends stacking them in foil as you cook to keep them warm until you need them, which we agree is a great idea.
Although we like Jamie’s simple approach we really love Ajum Anand’s slightly more sophisticated advice for home chapatti. Anjum says, “Chapatti adds a chewy, nutty element and are also a perfect way of enveloping your curry and vegetables. They really do add to the meal and are quick and easy to make.”
Anjum recommends using a specialist chapatti flour (atta), as we do. If you can’t get hold of atta then she recommends using half and half – half whole-wheat flour and half plain flour. (However, we tried her recipe with 100% gluten free Chapatti atta and it worked perfectly).
One thing Anjum insists on is NO SALT in the recipe. She points out that chapatti’s sole purpose is to mop up those richly flavoured and highly spiced sauces, so there is just no need to add additional salt into the recipe.
Anjum says; “At home we like to cook them so they puff up and one side crisps up – as in the method below (click link) – but if that seems a bit too much, just cook them on both sides until they have some little brown spots on them.”
Anjum advises that you may not need all the water, as flour absorbs different amounts of water depending on its age and the moisture content in the air. The dough should be just slightly sticky and almost squeak as you knead it, but it will firm up.
After kneading, leaving for thirty minutes and then cutting and rolling out to size Anjum recommends tossing the chapatti from one hand to the other to remove any excess flour. She uses a special traditional chapatti pan called a Tawa. But she advises the best way to puff up a roti is to place it directly over an open flame (with the brown spotted side on the top), using tongs. It will puff immediately; leave it there for 10 seconds until dark spots appear. Anjum moves hers around the flame with tongs and advises that you can still do this on an electric hob pressing the cooked roti down gently on the heat source; as you press one area the rest should puff up.
We’d love to know which recipe you prefer; Jamie or Anjum? Let us know!
Or please send us your own?