Steps in making roti /Chappati
There was a request from one of the reader about roti making. Well I will try to be as basic as I can be, so some of you may think this is way too much in detail then please pardon me.
I have been making roti daily, but it never occurs to my mind to post about it until Shahlin asked me about it in this post of Hyderabadi Lukmi . So, Shahlin this is for you and others who are very much interested in making things from scratch and don’t want to make comprises when the quality of fresh ingredients and home cooking is concerned.
We are a now family of three, but when we were living with my parent-in-laws I would generally double the contents.
Knead approx 1 and half large tea cup of Atta/whole wheat flour with approx 5-6 tbs of water. I always like to add pinch of salt to the flour before I start kneading the flour. Knead dough to semi-soft or pliable consistency. If you think you require more water then add more but make sure it DOES NOT turn out sticky. And if it turns out sticky then add more Atta to the dough and knead well.
And according to the Atta packet that I have –it should be for 100gms at least 75 ml of water. Now I don’t really care to measure that much accurately.i go with my instinct now.
Now before I go further I must add, every brand of Atta , has its gluten content and the rotis turn out different too. Check which brand suits your taste.
I generally don’t like to prepare rotis from maida or all purpose flour as they are heavily milled or refined. Whole wheat flour is far better for making rotis as they provide the essential fiber content as well.
Knead the dough for rotis at least ½ hr to 1 hr before you make rotis and keep it covered.
If you are making from the dough which was kept in refridgerator, make sure to take it out at least 2 hr before you start rolling the rotis.
You may add little oil or butter milk for extra soft rotis, but generally when I am making rotis on a regular basis I don’t add any of them. Kneading with lukewarm water also helps in making soft rotis.
Now, divide the dough into two portions. Roll the half dough into long slabs. Keep the rest iof the dough in refrigerator, to be used another day.
Cut the slabs in equal portions. This slab turns out in 3 equal parts, so that means total 6 rotis from approx 1 and half cup of whole wheat flour.
Turn the electric hob (stovetop in case you are living in US) on at mark 4 or medium high but not at high. Put the iron skillet on it. OR if you are using gas put the iron skillet on medium flame. It takes at least 2-4 mints to heat up the heavy cast iron skillet/tava well for making the rotis.
Now with the palm of your hand roll each into rounds of at least 2 inch discs.
I was told by my mother and my ma-in-law the less you dust the rounds with flour` while rolling to make large discs, the rotis will turn out soft. I tried to use minimal flour while rolling the dough. How ever I would leave this up to you to your comfort level of rolling the rounds.
At the start coat small discs generously with whole wheat flour, dust off extra flour by shaking the round.
Use your other side of wooden/plastic cutting board for rolling the dough if you don not get traditional board and rolling pin Belna –chakla in Bengali . See this post for the traditional Belna Chakla in Bengali or Belna -Chakli in Hindi -which I have back home.
You can use your kitchen counter also for rolling the rotis.If you think about hygiene etc ..Then may be before you start rolling the dough, clean it with a kitchen cleaning spray and then wipe it clean with tissue paper.Dust the surface with some extra flour.
This is a very neat idea to place the wooden cutting board over a kitchen towel, this way the working area remains clean and also this supports the wooden board while rolling the rotis.
Now start rolling the disc in a circular motion. Remember you are not wrestling with the atta discs/round, so be gentle with the dough and using less pressure on the whole wheat rounds. Few initial trials and I am sure you will be able to roll the rounds to perfect circle.
Now, place this over the hot skillet/tava.
Cook the roti for 2-3 mints at medium high but never on high. You will notice some areas getting small puffs; it’s time to flip to other side. Turn over.
Now with the help of other kitchen towel, start pressing the rotis and try to rotate the rotis while pressing it with kitchen towel. How, ever if you cant do this , then just press the rotis well and then turn the other side and repeat with kitchen towel. It may take another 2-3 mints to properly make rotis.
Take off from the heavy cast iron skillet/tava and transfer it into a hot pot or an oven proof dish and cover it.
If you like you may spread half a tsp of butter/ghee to the rotis.Serve hot and enjoy.
Now those of you who have gas hob or gas burners.
Put the rotis over medium high flame for just 1 mint or till they puff making delicious phulkas.
I do hope this may help those who are very much interested in Indian cooking and like to make things from scratch. There is absolutely no comparison of frozen rotis over home-made fresh rotis.Just one bite of fresh home-made rotis and the flavour burst in your mouth.