Who could resist this light and fluffy flatbread? Not Malaysian—the number of Mamak stores serving Chapati being a dead giveaway to Malaysians’ penchant for this flatbread. Bearing a humble appearance with a slight semblance to Roti Canai; people often pair Chapati with a side of Indian curry or Tandoori chicken. Having no distinct flavour on its own; all would agree that the taste of spice on chewy flatbread makes for the perfect combination.
Origin of Chapati
Although the exact origin of this dish is still under debate; some claimed that it hailed from the Egyptian Indus Valley civilisation. The most common evidence points towards Southern India. With agriculture being a dominant occupation back in the old days, the dish was as a result of the people of India’s pursuit for a satisfying way to eat the crops they’ve grown.
From there, the prominence of Chapati has grown—its popularity even stretching to America and parts of Europe. Over time, various ways of eating the dish has also come about. The humble nature of this flatbread allowing for experimentation, where some other ways it is consumed includes pairing it with sweet syrup, and even stuffing it with spicy fillings.
Chapati Recipe: How to Make Authentic Chapati at HomeDifficulty: Easy
Consisting of only basic and minimal ingredients, Chapati, is an easy to make dish. Once you’ve gotten the technique down to recreate the airy texture of the flatbread, making Chapatis at home will be a breeze!
2 cups of whole wheat flour or drum-wheat “Atta”
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of wheat flour (for rolling and dusting)
- Start by sieving the flour. Then transfer the flour to a large bowl, and add salt. Pour ¾ of the cup of water and stir gently using your fingers in a circular motion until the flour starts to gather. (Tip: Add 1-2 tablespoons of flour if the dough looks too sticky; add more water if the flour seems too dry).
- Knead the dough until it becomes soft to the touch and doesn’t stick to your fingers (putting oil on your hands while kneading will help). Next, using a plastic wrap, cover the dough and let it rest for at least an hour at room temperature.
- When that is done, divide the dough into 10-12 equal-sized balls, and heat the skillet over medium-high heat while doing so. With your hands, roll the dough ball in flour and flatten it. Then transfer the flattened dough to a flat surface and roll it out into a 6-7 inch disc with a rolling pin.
- Transfer the flattened dough onto the hot skillet, and cook for 30 seconds until tiny golden spots appear on the surface. Then flip it over to cook the other side. When both sides have been toasted, flip the dough over again until the dough starts to puff up. Then use a kitchen towel and press the dough gently to let out the air—flattening parts of the dough.
- Once the dough has puffed into a round ball, transfer it to a serving platter. With that, your Chapatis are ready to be served!
Ways to Enjoy Chapati
Being a versatile dish, you can eat Chapati in numerous ways. You could dip it in some chutney or curry with a side of chicken biryani. On the other hand, you could also dribble some condensed milk or syrup on the Chapati for a sugary delight!
Explore other popular Malaysian delights with Lokataste Recipe and more!