Achromatic food rarely beckons my attention. It's not as fun to photograph, which is big considering the space here is screaming for attention. Likewise, as opposed to brightly decorated ensembles, the desire to grab a few pieces, in shoot, is clearly not as strong.
There's also the uninspirational element that comes from attempting an iconic recipe repeated on the web countless times.. How could I chat with you on how exciting heated griddles and blistering doughs are when the contents of the matter has been discussed in the matrix of Google searches over 13000 times?
Moreover, my experiments with Indian flatbread are limited. At one point of my life, when I had the luxury to take a few fails, the work seemed to result in little dividend. Not counting the times I painted it though.
Today's story could end on a similar spiel. But, I urge you, read on to check if it resolves the above and turns out to be the exception.
The bread on topic is chappati. In greater parts of India, it is known as roti, slight, puffy middled, griddle toasted and often the commoner's answer to gratifying sustenance. The couple of rolls dunked in a tiffin gravy provides a satisfying lunch. However, in a paramount desi meal, it occupies a grand spot, folded and tucked to the corner of a myriad of sides.
As a result, taking a look at these flattened pieces of durum most of a subcontinent passes off as dinner, you tread lightly on amending such an heirloom blueprint.
But, what if I tell you I made an adjustment that purists and flatbread theorists would nod their heads to? What if I said I found a way to create an on par to the curry it's meant to be soaked up with?
What sets apart the thing I have for you from the original is the addition of two extra ingredients Broken wheat and garlic powder are not ideally a part of chapati infrastructure, but they pave the way from ho hum to high praise.
Subsequently, I need a moment to extol on the virtues of cracked wheat. It makes a solid difference, literally and figuratively. Fragments are nutty, lend chew, and give roti an artisanal look/feel/ flavor.
The dashes of garlic make it sufficient to eat, unpaired. But a saucy masala flanking it could do no wrong.
As simple as one, two, three, but as five star as you can imagine nourishment to be.
I believe that once you've tried what I've told you today, it will be impossible to make it any other way.
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour ( I use King Arthur's white whole wheat flour)
- ¼ cup cracked wheat
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp( for covering dough) olive oil
- ¾ -1 cup water, more if needed
- Whisk the together flour, cracked wheat, garlic powder, salt and sugar. Alternatively, you could use the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed.
- Stir in the oil and water, slowly incorporating and kneading, either by hand or using the dough hook and mixing on medium, until dough is soft and pliant.
- Roll into a ball and smear oil to cover it. Set aside tented with a tea towel, about 10 minutes.
- When ready, divide the dough into 8-10 equal pieces, depending how large you want your breads to be.
- Lightly flour the surface and press down a dough ball until lightly flattened.
- Roll out each small disk using a rolling pin, to a diameter of 6-8 inches. Dough should have an even thickness. Repeat with each ball.
- Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat.
- Place one chapati on the skillet. Move it around and press edges with a spatula until heat bubbles form and puffs the middle. Quickly flip it over and brown the other side. It should not take more than 30-35 seconds per side.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Spread pats of butter between and over warm chapatis.
- Place them warm in a clean tea towel, covered in foil.
- Serve with curry.
I lightly spritz the tops of the dough with a bit of water while cooking. Helps in making chapatis soft and puffy.
Spread the rolled dough discs out onto a a lightly greased or floured surface- you would need to clear some counter space for this. Do not stack them between parchment or any other paper- they will stick together.
Atta, milled whole wheat flour is found in Indian grocery stores and is what's preferred. However, King Arthur's white wheat flour is a good alternative.
Chapati comes together in no time and with a little extra effort you could whip up one of these to plate it with:
2020: carrot and bunny cake
2017: carrot cake
2015: bunny buns
2012: sesame chikki
"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." Isaiah 61:3