Recipe for Chapati or Roti or Pulka

I cannot go for many days without my roti.  Once you taste these unleavened, unsalted simple breads – a person is hooked.  This is simple, unpretentious home cooking but very satisfying, healthy and easy on the pocket book.   There are also excellent for those with a yeast allergy.  Rotis are made from small balls of dough that are rolled out and then partially cooked on a hot griddle and then finished directly over high heat.   The high heat makes the rotis puff up into a ball.  They are then lightly coated with ghee to keep them pliable until serving time.  Line a tortilla basket with a napkin and keep the rotis in it.  Allow 2-3 chapatis or rotis per person.  This is everyday Indian bread made in most Indian homes daily.

Ingredients to make about 6:
2.5 cups chappati flour with 1 cup water at room temperature made into a dough
1 cup chappati flour in a large plate for dusting the dough while rolling it out
ghee for brushing the bread

Method to roll out the dough:
Prepare the desired amount of dough from the Basic Dough recipe. After resting for 2-2 1/2 hours, knead well. Divide the dough into peach-size balls. On a lightly floured surface, flatten one ball of dough with your hand. Using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into a thin,round patty, about 5 inches in diameter. Roll from the center, turning patty several times to prevent sticking. Try to make the edges slightly thinner than the center. As you cook the chappati/roti, one could be rolling out the next, rather than shaping all of the chapatis at one time.

Method of cooking the chappati or roti:
Preheat a cast-iron tawa over medium heat. Place the rolled dough on the palm of one hand and flip it over on to the tawa. When the color changes on the top and bubbles appear, turn it over. When both sides are done, use kitchen tongs (chimta) to remove the chapati from the skillet.
Gas Stove: If you have a gas stove, hold the cooked chapati over a medium flame and it will puff up immediately. Turn quickly to flame-bake the other side. Do this several times, taking care that the edges are well cooked.
Electric Stove: If you have an electric stove, chapatis can be encouraged to puff by pressing them with a clean kitchen towel after the first turn on each side. Repeat the shaping and cooking  process until all chapatis are cooked.

To keep the chapatis warm as they are cooked, place them in a towel-lined bowl and fold over the sides of the towel. Serve hot, either completely dry or topped with a small amount of ghee or butter.


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