Indian Breads: Chapati

Madhur Jaffrey

Lesson time 14:17 min

There are hundreds of Indian breads and pancakes. To get started, Madhur shows you how to make a classic chapati to eat with other dishes in her class. Madhur also speaks to the variety of Indian breads—from lentil pancakes to stuffed paratha.

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Topics include: The Many Breads of India · Leavened Breads and Western Breads


[MUSIC PLAYING] - In India, in the North, you meet someone and you say, have you had your daal roti. Daal is legumes, and roti is bread. India has 100 breads. You can go there and eat a different bread every day. Now we are on our bread chapter. We are showing the basic Indian bread first, and that is a chapati, or a roti. You can call them both things, roti or chapati. The word chapati is actually quite interesting. Chapat. Chapat means to slap, and in the making of this, you find that you will use your hands. You'll do that very often. You can actually make the whole chapati this way, or you can roll it out. And there's a little slapping or a lot of slapping in the making of a chapati. So this is what I'm going to start here. So this is whole wheat flour. We have to use finely ground flour, and you can only find that in Indian shop. So when you go into an Indian shop, you ask for ata, A-T-A. That's what you would call it, ata, and that is the whole wheat flour that is used. And into this ata, I will put water, enough to get a soft dough. Now, every kind of bread that you make requires a different dough. The softest dough that you can handle is what you want for a chapati, because you want it pliable. You want it soft. You want it pliable. You want to be able to break it with your hands. So I'm going to slowly add this, and of course my hands will get dirty, because that's what happens. And you start putting it together like this. I'm using lukewarm water. So I've learned it from my niece, and she always uses a little warm water. All right. So you keep going until you bring it all together. It gives it a stickier texture, the warm water, and I think that really helps when you're rolling it out. Sometimes, depending on the day, you might need more, you might need less water, but just remember that you're aiming for a soft dough. Once you get it all together, you have to knead it for 10 minutes, and you can take it out from the bowl and knead it outside. I'm going to put a little flour. I had made it too sticky. So you just correct, but this is good now. Now I'm going to knead it, and it has to be soft, but it has to be kneadable. And in India, you tend to knead like this, but you use whatever method you have of kneading and getting your dough together. Chapatis are what we ate every day. So I've given a recipe that makes six chapatis, and I'll tell you why it's six, because usually I eat three chapatis. My brother eats three chapatis. We eat three chapatis a person. So texture seems, to me, quite good, but I have to knead it for 10 more minutes. It's the perfect texture, but I need the kneading. So I covered the chapati with a damp cloth. The dough for the chapati is right here, covered with a damp cloth, and it had to rest for at least three hours. It's good to let the gluten just do its work. Now I'm going to take it out, and I can give it another knead. You see how pliable and soft it is. All right. N...

About the Instructor

With more than 30 award-winning cookbooks and a James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame Award, Madhur Jaffrey may be the greatest living authority on Indian cuisine. Now she shares those vast and storied traditions with you. Learn 30 authentic recipes: vegetables, breads, South Asian meats, street foods, and more. Blend and layer spices and bring it all together—from the perfect bite to full menus of vibrant flavor.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Madhur Jaffrey

7x James Beard Award winner Madhur Jaffrey teaches you 30 authentic recipes and shares India’s vast culinary traditions and techniques.

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