Chapattis (whole wheat flat breads)
Chapattis are the most popular of the Indian breads. Authentic chapatti flour is available in Indian grocery stores, but you can substitute whole-wheat flour (supermarket brands) for very satisfying results.
2 cups Indian whole wheat flour (Atta)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
About ¾ cup warm water (enough for a kneadable dough)
Knead the dough, cover, and leave aside for at least ½ hour or, ideally, up to 2 hours. After about 1 hour (or right before rolling out), punch the dough and knead again without any more water.
Make 10-12 1 ½ balls; dip each one into dry whole-wheat flour, and roll out into thin 6 circles. Place a flat, ungreased griddle on the stove at medium-high heat. When hot, place a rolled-out chapatti “right-side” down on the griddle. (The “right side” is the one facing you when you roll it). When bubbles are visible, turn over and cook until tiny brown spots appear on the side facing the griddle. If you have a gas stove, hold the chapatti with a pair of tongs, and place it directly over the burner flame for a few seconds, until the chapatti puffs up. Turn and repeat on the other side.
If you have an electric stove, keep the chapatti on the griddle. With a wadded up paper towel to protect your finger, press gently all around the chapatti. Flip the chapatti and press gently around the other side. This procedure should make the chapatti puff up. (If you press too hard, the chapatti will become too crunchy). Remove the chapatti from the heat, and butter with ghee on the “right side”).
Chapattis can be prepared several hours in advance and then warmed before serving. Wrap them in foil and heat them at 300 degrees in a preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Chapattis go well with any vegetable dish.