Reasons why your chapati may not be puffing up like a whoopee cushion

There was a post on a blog last year where a dad explained all the reasons why his 3 year old kid might be having a tantrum. Pretty funny and true, if you’ve ever spent time with a 3 year old.

As I was rolling out some chapati tonight, I decided to make my own list. In my opinion, chapati can be temperamental and inscrutable like toddlers. They are finicky little punks. I have written before about how they are my nemesis and symbolize unpleasant things for me. They are, unfortunately, a necessity. I was thinking of doing a tutorial on how to make them, because it seems like all the tutorials online are just too vague. However, I chose to mock them instead.

The perfect chapati will be round, about 6-8 inches across, soft and chewy, evenly cooked all the way to the edges, and will puff up completely like a whoopee cushion just before you remove it from your tava (griddle).

There are seven main steps in making chapati. (1) mix the flour with salt and water and knead to form a nice dough that is soft and pliable. Poke it with your fingers, and sprinkle some water. Allow to rest; (2) do a second, very brief, gentle knead and add a little oil. Allow to rest; (3) roll the dough into golf ball-sized balls; (4) squish and flatten the golf balls with your palm and fingertips into a circular disc; (5) roll the disc into an even, thin, round chapati; (6) cook the chapati on a hot iron tava, flipping it twice, and then applying pressure to the edges until it puffs; (7) douse with ghee.

Chapati dough resting after the first knead, waiting for the second knead. Sprinkled gently with water. Incense lit and a cup of ghee were offered to it.

Chapati dough resting after the first knead, waiting for the second knead. It has finger impressions, and was sprinkled gently with water. I lit incense and made an offering of a cup of ghee. It still didn’t puff correctly.

Reasons why your chapati may not be puffing up like a whoopee cushion:

Your flour is ground too coarsely
Your flour is ground too finely
You used the wrong wheat for flour
Your flour is old
Your flour is too fresh
You added the water too slowly
You added the water too soon
You added too much water
You didn’t add enough water
You kneaded with too much pressure
You kneaded it for too long
You didn’t knead it long enough
You didn’t make finger impressions in it and sprinkle it with water
You sprinkled it with too much water
You rested the dough for too long after the first knead
You didn’t rest the dough long enough after the first knead
You didn’t do a second light knead
You added oil during the second knead
You didn’t add oil during the second knead
You didn’t rest the dough long enough after the second knead
Your dough is too hard
Your dough is too soft
Your dough isn’t stretchy enough
Your dough is too stretchy
You rolled out too many little balls at once
You didn’t knead the dough in your hands enough as you rolled it into balls
You didn’t roll out the little balls early enough so they could rest
You dusted the discs with too much flour
You didn’t dust the discs with enough flour
You put too much pressure in the center of the disc when rolling it flat
You didn’t dip the chapati in the flour halfway through rolling it out
You dipped the chapati with too much flour halfway through rolling it out
You forgot which side of the chapati you began rolling on, and resumed rolling on the wrong side
You didn’t do the necessary 2 final rolls in an X shape across the center of the chapati
You rolled the chapati too thick
You rolled the chapati too thin
You nicked some kind of hole in the chapati dough
Your tava didn’t heat up hot enough before you put the chapati on
You waited too long to do the first flip
You didn’t wait long enough to do the first flip
Your tava wasn’t hot enough after the second flip
Your tava was too hot at any point
You didn’t press and rotate the chapati on the tava the correct way
You flipped the chapati too many times
You pressed on the chapati after the wrong flip

I have made every single one of these mistakes, usually more than once, and usually in combination. Did I miss any?

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This entry was published on November 14, 2013 at 1:34 pm. It’s filed under India, Recipe and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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