- serves 3
Chapati is the world's easiest bread to make and one of the best to eat. A dough is made with flour, salt, and water, then balls of dough are rolled out thin and cooked on a griddle or a skillet. Once you get the hang of making chapatis, you can turn out eight breads for dinner in the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee (well...almost).
Chapati, sometimes called roti in the north of India and Pakistan, is quintessential Subcontinent. It's a true staple food (like rice) because it not only feeds and nourishes, but it also tastes good day after day, meal after meal. Some of the best simple meals we have ever had have revolved around chapatis: chapati and dal, chapati and a curry.
If you're making chapati for the first time, try to find "atta" flour in a local South Asian grocery. Atta is a special kind of whole wheat flour, made from hard durum wheat that is very finely ground. It's an attractive pale yellow-brown in colour and it makes the best chapatis.
Serve to accompany any meal, or for breakfast or a snack. Use to scoop up salsa or to lift pieces of kebab, or wrap around sandwich fillings.
Yield: Makes 8 chapatis; for three or four
VARIATIONS: You can include 1 to 2 tablespoons oil or ghee, to make a more tender bread. Add the oil or ghee to the flour and mix it in, before adding warm water; you will need a little less water. You can divide the dough in 12, to make smaller breads which are easier to handle; they'll be about 5 to 6 inches (13 to 15 centimetres) in diameter. You can also cook chapatis in oil or ghee. To do so, place about 1/2 teaspoon oil or ghee on the hot skillet and spread it over the cooking surface, before you lay each bread down to cook.