These flat discs of unleavened bread have a delightful flavour and chewy texture. They can be served simply with (veg) butter, alongside dry curries or vegetable dishes.
- 375 g (2 1/2 cups) wholemeal,, atta or roti flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegan ghee or coconut oil (optional)
- To make the chapati dough, put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and rub in the ghee (if using).
- Add 250 ml (1 cup) water and mix to a firm but not stiff dough.
- Continue to knead for at least 10 minutes (the more it is kneaded, the lighter the bread will be).
- Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and stand for at least 1 hour or longer (if left overnight the chapatis will be very light and tender).
- Shape the dough into balls with a 5 cm diameter.
- Roll out each ball on a lightly floured work surface to make a thin circle – you should have about 20 rounds.
- Heat a griddle plate or a large heavy-based frying pan over high heat.
Start cooking the chapatis with those that were rolled first (the resting between rolling and cooking also seems to make for lighter chapatis).
- Cook for about 1 minute, then turn and cook for a further 1 minute, pressing lightly around the edges of the chapati with a folded tea towel – this encourages bubbles to form and makes the chapatis light.
- As each one is cooked, wrap in a clean tea towel until all are cooked. Serve immediately.
In India, chapatis are cooked on the tawa or griddle plate and are held for a moment or two right over the fire – this makes them puff up light balloons. You can do this over a gas flame, holding them with kitchen tongs. I used the barbecue hot plate which is pretty similar to the griddle plate – it worked well.