Chapati/Roti/Phulkas is the Indian flatbread which is made from wheat flour and consumed on almost daily basis in India as it provides nutrition. I know Phulka can be the easiest thing to make for some people. But for me it was the toughest. I struggled a lot to get my phulkas right. I managed to get the shape round but was stuck on the texture and softness. They used to be soft when fresh but after sometime you can’t make out if you are eating phulka or papad:P
Finally I met Urja, my Gujarati friend who taught me the technique behind getting amazingly soft phulkas. Initially I kneaded the flour with less water and made the phulkas immediately. The key to soft phulkas is kneading the flour with appropriate quantity of water and letting it rest for atleast 30 mints before making them.
Now a bit of gyaan for you guys regarding the history phulkas/chapati. The word ‘chapati’ is considered of Dravidian origin, from chappa meaning ‘flattened’ in Tamil and attai or paathi means Husbands Food. Chapati is noted in Ain-i-Akbari , a 16th century document, by Mughal Emperor, Akbar’s vazir, Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak. Phulkas are called so because they swell up with steam while being cooked. No indian meal is complete without Phulka/Chapati/Roti. 2 no of Phulkas has 162.72 calories and it is Low Fat, High Protein and Very High Carb.
2 cups wheat flour
3/4th cup water
1 tbsp. salt
Maida for dusting
In a bowl combine wheat flour and salt well.
Mix the water, wheat flour, salt and knead well until it is soft.
Initially the dough will be little sticky but keep on kneading till it absorbs all the water. This will make softer phulkas.
If required sprinkle some wheat flour and knead it again.
Take a sealing wrap or even slightly wet cotton cloth and wrap the dough in it. Let it rest for minimum 30 minutes.
Break dough up into 10 pieces – about the size of a table-tennis ball.
Take a piece and dust it in the maida. Maida makes it easier to roll the phulka.
Roll out each ball into a 5″ dia circle – sprinkle the maida as needed to ease the rolling.
Once the tava/pan is hot enough place the phulka on it.
Turnover in a few seconds and cook this side till the edges begin to curl slightly and small blisters appear on the surface.Cook the other side for a few more seconds.
Lift the phulka with a pair of flat tongs and roast on both sides over an open flame till it puffs up.
Remove from flame and apply some ghee on top.
If you plan to eat the phulkas later then store them in an air tight container. They will remain moist and soft.