I completely believe that making the perfect Roti's, Chapati , or Phulkas, is an art!! It isnt easy as much as our mothers make it seem! Its their years of experience and practice ,coupled with expertise that makes it seem such a casual task.
I was indeed under this very misconception , until I got married and decided to make a full course meal for my husband (just to please him and show him how "Sarva Gun Sampanna" or Allrounder I was)...
I managed with the subjis and the gravies and dal chawal....but when it came it making chapati's, I had to accept my defeat to the challenge!
Its not just about rolling the dough round...it just simply starts with getting the dough right...
And this I learnt later from my Mother In Law! ( In case you wondering what happened to my glorious first dinner, well , thankfully , my neighbour aunty came to my rescue...thank God!!)
Its true , that your mother is your first teacher, but when it comes to modern educated women , who normally are too busy to enter their home kitchens, their Mother In Law's become their first Cooking Teachers! I m sure most of you all shall agree with me!!
So finally , when I let the secret out , my mom in law wasnt surprised....
And , she pariently began with the basics....
Kneading the Dough:
She always said, if you get your dough right , half of your task is done.
So how much of water you add?? Ohh come on, we are not the British or English cooks ,who measure and weigh their ingredients.
We use our hands, our sense of touch!!
So start with your atta and add salt ( just very little , say 1/2 tsp per heaped cup) and drizzle some oil.
Now slowly add some water and start mixing the flour with all the ingredients. Keep kneading the flour with force to make it stick together.
Continue till you feel , now the dough is not sticky not too dry.
At this stage your dough might not be plain.
So now keep kneading the dough with all your force for about 1-2 mins till its smooth and plain.
You can use some oil if you want to.
Keep the dough covered for 10 mins before making rotis.
Neatly knead dough..this is pink due to ragi , but yours will be light brown is you have got your dough right!!
Things to remember:
If you are using a regular whole wheat atta, you might need a moderate amount of water
However, if you decide to go with a Multi Grain Atta ,(Like I have used today) you will need some more water , since the atta does absorb more water.
You can add flours like Ragi (Nachni) when kneading the flour to make yout rotis more nutritious!
I have used Multi Grain Atta with some Ragi flour for my rotis, but you can use regular whole wheat flour.(process remains the same)
Rolling the Roti's:
Pinch a small amount of the dough ,of the size of a small peda. Knead and make it plain.
Dip it in dry flour and start rolling using a rolling pin.
Do not apply too much pressure and try rolling out the edges ,rather than the center.
Keep rotating the roti when rolling for even thickness.
On the tawa ,ready to be a hot phulka!
Roasting the perfect Phulka Roti's:
Heat the tawa 5 mins before you begin rolling roti's,on a low flame.It ensures your tawa is hot enough to start roasting.
Now make the flame medium and place the rolled roti over the tawa and let it roast till small bubbles form.
Flip your roti when you see these tiny bubbles underneath
Now flip the roti on the tawa (this side might me very light brown,and half cooked , but dont worry , it shall be cooked when you place it on flame or you can re-roast it again after this side cooks completely)
The above step is necessary to make the rotis inflate.
Once this side is roasted well, place the half cooked side on direct flame. Let the roti inflate.
Glorious inflated roti on gas
Transfer in caserole and apply ghee is desired.
If you do not desire to cook the roti on direct flame, you can now roast the half cooked side on the tawa , using a roll of clean cloth to press the roti from above.
This will also ensure your roti inflates on tawa!
Hot hot phulka roti's just for you!!