My family loves chapatis and I am always on the look out for new ways to make them happy. In my quest to please my family I came across this very interesting way of making flakey and soft chapatis!! The outside is so crispy, almost paper thin, while the inside is so soft and tender it’s unbelievable. I was blown away. I mean, on my site you will find all manner of chapati recipes like pumpkin chapatis, super soft layered chapatis, even Moroccan inspired multi layered chapatis! The list is endless.
It took a few trials and failures before achieving any level of success. My biggest challenge was always on how to achieve that crispy exterior that would allow me to smash and separate the layers. They would always stay “glued” together and this was just so frustrating for me. I made a lot of adjustments to the consistency of my dough before I hit the right texture for starting out. The dough had to be on the sticky side for me to achieve any level of success.
The other thing that I learnt was that I had to knead my dough fully for the gluten to develop nicely. You see, there is this step where the dough has to be rolled out and spread very thinly. The flakey chapatis will come from this fact. But if you will not have kneaded your dough sufficiently then the dough will keep tearing before it has a chance to spread out thin enough.
Another lesson I learnt was that I had to apply a thin layer of oil at each step in order to limit how much oil I would end up with in my flakey chapatis. Oily chapatis are a no go zone because they are a complete turn off, in my opinion.
When twisting and folding your chapati keep a very light hand. If you make things too tight the layers will not separate when the time comes. Also, it’s easier to smash and separate the layers of your flakey chapati while it’s still warm.
A very important thing to note is that you have to cook the chapatis on moderate to low heat and make sure to turn them every 20 -30 seconds. If you use high heat like normal chapatis (like we are used to doing it in Kenya) the outside will not crisp up. Slow and easy does it.
- 330g all purpose wheat flour
- Salt to taste
- Optional pinch of sugar
- Enough warm water to bring the dough together
- 3 Tbs vegetable oil plus enough oil to apply on chapatis and for cooking
- Put the wheat flour in to an appropriate container together with your salt, sugar and tablespoon of oil.
- Rub and mix all the ingredients together until slightly crumbly.
- Add the warm water, a little at a time, until the dough comes together and is slightly sticky.
- Knead for ten minutes or until dough is smooth and silky, oil the top, cover container with a plastic wrap or damp tea towel and set aside for an hour to rest.
- Divide into seven equal balls and apply oil on all of them to prevent them from drying out.
- Apply a thin layer of oil on your work surface and on your ball of dough as well.
- Roll out each ball of dough to the thinnest possible it can get and then apply a thin layer of oil on it.
- Pick up one end of your rolled out dough and shake it gently to allow the dough to form folds naturally.
- Next, roll the dough into itself while twisting it simultaneously.
- Set the balls aside for about ten minutes to relax.
- Heat your pan and apply a thin layer of oil on it, wipe off excess with kitchen paper.
- Use your fingers to spread out the dough lightly to about 1 cm in thickness.
- Place your chapati dough gently on the pan and cook each side on medium to low heat for about 4 minutes turning it over every 20 seconds.
- Once the chapati acquires a golden brown colour apply a thin layer of oil on both sides and cook for a minute more.
- Remove from pan and smash the chapati together (while still warm) from the sides for the layers to separate.