“Add some milk to the dough”, says my friend. “The consistency of the dough is very critical. Should not be too tight.” Warns my Mom. “Don’t press too hard when you roll it. That’s the secret.” Chirps in my sister. Other tips keep pouring…”Don’t use too much oil;  The tava (griddle) shouldn’t be overheated;  Turn it around quickly; Use Annapoorna atta ; Make more layers, so it comes fluffy; Allow the dough to ferment for an hour at least.”

Well… the context is the process of making good quality soft chapatis ( Indian flat bread).

However mundane and simple it may sound, the art of making perfect Chapatis has been evading me for a long time. “Perfect” my foot, nowhere near! What I make goes straight to the garbage many times. Sometimes my son dares to try it out and says it is physiotherapy for his jaws! 😦

This time around, I try to follow all instructions carefully. I pick up the best atta possible. Knead it well and with care. Put just enough water and…ahem.. milk as suggested. Ha… it feels just right. I carefully place a wet towel over the dish with the kneaded dough. The clock ticks. An hour later, I’m ready to take up this herculean task of the day.

The dough is made into small round balls. Need to be consistent. All of them got to be of the same size. Cool…Got it! No big deal..you see. Good. I had about 10 of them.

I take the first one and flatten it out a bit. Smear some oil on it. Fold it twice. A little oil oozes out of the sides and it looks yummy to me already. Focus!

I take the rolling pin and very gingerly flatten it out. Oh..not too hard…ok….here you go…I flip it with some grace. Dip it in some flour and in a few seconds, I have a perfect round piece of art in front of me. I used to be good at drawing, my Mom would say. The circle proved it.

Now, over to the stove. Yes, keep it in low flame. I use a non-stick tava, just in case. I call my son to watch me perform. He is hoping for the best, but I bet he is praying for his jaws silently. When the tava is heated enough, I toss my master piece on it. A little oil around the edges and a little on the top. Yes…so far so good…the top layer is going to bulge now. My son is ready to cheer.Just short of a Vuvuzela ! I hold my breath.A few seconds pass…Nothing happens…Maybe a few seconds more. Oh my God, there is a burning smell. As I watch in dismay, the corners turning black, ‘Turn it around, ma’ my son says nonchalantly. I flip that thing around. “It is ok”..I console myself. The ‘whatever’ stares at me with a lot of dark patches all over and looks like a burnt face. I cannot even fold it.

” Dont bother!” The optimistic Sagittarian in me pops out.  I just break it into four pieces . My “whole wheat crackers” are ready to eat! I ask my son to try it out with some sauce.Nope, he doesn’t want to risk it.

Off it goes, to garbage again. Why…oh…why can’t I ever make a soft and good looking Chapati??


5 Responses

  1. ROFL… Alas!! Well, you should be happy that you could at least get the round shape this time instead of the usual triangle. LOL.. Work the jaws ma’m, work the jaws !!

  2. Why – o – Why do you try
    Especially when it just makes you cry

    (effect of reading your other posts)

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