The word chapat in Hindi means "to slap," which is exactly how this bread is made. Aarti Sequeira of the Food Network shows us the technique, along with a few other key tricks, to make this puffed-up, blistered Indian flatbread. If it doesn't puff perfectly, don't worry, because it will still taste delicious.
Note, durum wheat flour can be substituted with equal parts all-purpose and whole wheat flours.
To learn more, read "Chapati Time, Excellent."
Chapati (Unleavened Wheat Flatbread)
Recipe adapted from Aarti Sequeira
Yield: 12 flatbreads
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
2¼ cups durum wheat flour, divided
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
¾ cup lukewarm water, divided, plus more as needed
Flaky sea salt, to finish
1 cup whole-fat yogurt, to serve
1 cup mixed Indian pickles (such as Bedekar), to serve
1. In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups of the flour and the salt until combined. Slowly add the oil and ½ cup of the water, simultaneously stirring with your fingertips in a circular motion. Continue to add enough water until the dough comes together, then transfer to a kitchen surface and knead until soft and supple, 10 minutes. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest 20 minutes.
2. Roll and shape the dough into a 2-inch-thick log. Pinch off 12 golf ball-size pieces and roll each piece in between your palms to form a smooth ball; cover with the kitchen towel.
3. Place the remaining flour in a small bowl. Working with 3 pieces at a time, flatten each ball slightly and dunk in the flour bowl. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6-inch-wide circle.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Slap the rolled chapati between your hands, then slap it onto the hot skillet and cook until small bubbles form, 20 to 30 seconds. Use a pair of tongs to flip the chapati then brush with a little oil. Let cook until small-to-medium bubbles form and the bottom is golden brown, another 30 to 40 seconds. Flip and brush with a little more oil over the surface, then press down on the puffed chapati edges with a dry kitchen towel, gently pushing the air to puff up the center. Cook until puffed and both sides are oiled and browned, 1 minute more.
5. Transfer the chapati to a towel-lined plate, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and fold the towel over the chapati to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces. Serve warm with yogurt and pickles.
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