Chapatis

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Method

Chapatis are an unleavened bread and are the most common one served at an Indian meal. They are traditionally cooked on a tava, a flat Indian frying pan, but you can use a heavy frying pan or griddle. To make 8, you will need 250 g (8 oz) plain wholemeal flour, 150-200 ml (5-7 fl oz) water and a little ghee (Indian clarified butter) or melted clarified butter.

  1. Put the flour in a bowl. Slowly mix in the water to form a soft dough. Knead for at least 5 minutes until smooth. Return to the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave for 30 minutes.

  2. Heat a dry, heavy frying pan or tava over a low heat until very hot. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and with floured hands, shape each one into a smooth ball.

  3. Cook 1 chapati at a time. Put 1 ball on a lightly floured surface and coat in flour, then roll out to a circle about 12cm (5in) in diameter. Slap the chapati on to the hot pan.

  4. Cook over a low heat and as soon as brown spots appear on the underneath, turn and cook the second side. Turn again and, using wads of kitchen paper, press on the edges so the chapati puffs up.

  5. Remove the chapatis from the frying pan or tava with a palette knife or fish slice and brush with melted ghee or butter. Serve the chapatis at once or keep warm wrapped in foil, while you cook the remaining dough as in steps 3 and 4 above.

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