the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

My chapati was less than perfect.


This was featured recently in [culture is good].  I got very excited about it, since Princess Thunderstorm absolutely loves the leavened version that is naan.  (Chapati/roti is not leavened.)  Although I doubt I have easy access to Indian wheat, I most certainly have stone ground red wheat and all-purpose flour, which were atuls' substitution.  The former I can get freshly ground, even, as my parents own a stone grinder mill.

But my chapati/roti was not perfect at all.  I won't post pictures, because… I'm embarrassed.  They were consistently doughy in the middle.  Winding back a few steps to how I started:

  • I made triple the amount he did, so 2 cups each of the whole wheat and the all-purpose, with about 2 1/4 cups (a full liquid measure cup) of water.
  • I added too much oil– maybe 3 tablespoons by accident when greasing my hands.
  • I let the dough sit about 30 mins, as it was a larger amount.
  • The consistency was very, very, very sticky, and so I added maybe a 1/2 cup flour, as well as flour to my hands and to the outside of each little dough ball.
  • For this reason I also patted and stretched it by hand, because I tired of how badly the dough stuck to a rolling pin.
  • I used a cast iron griddle.  It was then that I realized this was much too big for the vegetable sizzler Purplesque had made, because it covers two stove burners.  It's also a bit warped from the last time we used it some years back.  (It stains the stove so we went back to non-stick skillet/griddle pans for other cooking uses.)
  • I realized that I was probably rushing the process… I thought I was not going to get bubbles in the dough, but waiting longer helped some.  I used a spatula for turning and flipping the dough as atuls did.  But even when I waited longer, it still turned out doughy, even when it became crispy in spots.
  • I had the burners set to medium high, as suggested in the second video of the post.  At first, this set off the fire alarms and left my daughter crying, because of the smoke.  So I turned on the hood fan and Cimmy cracked open the door.  *sigh*  Even at medium heat I still got smoke when I applied butter to the griddle between batches.

Of course, it's 23:22 now; I got started maybe 1.5-2 hours ago.  (My sleeping and waking states are flip-flopped right now.)

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Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me- the username is still unique as of the current year. Be aware that the facet you see, is only a small part of the me that is me.

3 thoughts on “My chapati was less than perfect.

  1. Oh, Jak. Chapati making is one of those things..kudos to you for trying!A few things I can tell-You may have used too much water. The dough shouldn't be sticky at all, but smooth and soft. (I don't measure my water, but will do so next time and post results for you. I've made chapatis both from Indian flour and American wheat flour- Indian flour is tastier, but you can make chapatis out of all fine-ground American flour. Don't use all-purpose.) You don't really need oil, but its not a bad thing.To keep it from sticking to the rolling pin, dust the dough lightly with flour several times while rolling. A rolled chapati should be less thick than a naan- slightly less thick than a corn tortilla.If you're getting smoke, your griddle was probably too hot. One way to tell the dough is fully cooked is that instead of the dull bown-grey of uncooked dough, it turns white.I'll make naan one day and post the recipe- they are actually easier than roti, because they don't rely on the temperamental griddle, rather the oven. I use Manjula's recipe for naan- its perfect.


  2. Yes, I know there was probably too much water… I kept adding dough but it remained sticky. I also dusted the rolling pin several times, but… the dough was too sticky.


  3. Absolutely! You can mix the dough in the machine.


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