Chapatis are whole-grain flatbreads from the Northern parts of south Asia (Nepal, India etc.). Usually a piece of the chapati is torn off and used to pick up meat and vegetables from your plate or to scoop up more liquid dishes like curries.
While traveling through Myanmar (formely Burma), Nepal and India chapatis were common staple and we ate them daily to scoop up and eat our meals. In Asian cultures eating with your hands is a common practice, compared to European and Northern American culture where it might seem strange. But in my experience eating your thick, creamy, full-of-wonderfull-spices, curry dish with a chapati and your hands is just great. I think it’s because, when eating with your hands you’re using more senses, you can feel the warmt and structure before it’s in your mouth and so you experience the food even more.
Making your own chapatis is actually really, really easy. So if you’re planning to eat a curry or other Asian dish where a chapati would fit in, don’t bring the ready-mades from the supermarket but just give it a try yourself. They’ll taste great and you won’t have all the preservatives etc. which the ones from the supermarket contain!
- 2½ (300 gr.)cups of whole-wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¾ cup (180 mL) warm water
- melted butter or ghee
- Place the flour in a bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Slowly add the warm water while stirring, until the dough comes together. Keep adding the water until the dough forms a ball.
- Now take the dough and start kneading it on the counter. The dough should be soft, but not sticky enough to stick to your hands or the counter. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky, add more water if the dough is to dry.
- Now rest the dough for 10 minutes
- Roll out the dough in a large circle and spread out one tablespoon of vegetable oil over the surface of the dough. Now roll up the dough into one long roll.
- Cut the roll into pieces slightly smaller then a golf ball.
- Heat a flat skillet on low to medium heat
- Roll out the first piece of dough as thin as possible (almost see through)
- Add a teaspoon of oil to the skillet and place the first circle of dough in the hot skillet. Cook untill bread puffs up and starts to turn brown. Now flipover the chapati and brown the other side for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool in a bowl or deep plate under a damp cloth.
- Cook the rest of your chapatis
- If desired, brush the chapati with melted butter or ghee just before serving.