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Back to Basics 1 – Stone ground Wheat Chapathis

Chapathis with cabbage-peas curry and tindora fry
Back to Basics – back to the way our ancestors have been cooking. The right from scratch procedure that we have ignored for a long time. I was delighted to see stone-ground wheat flour in Safeway, so I grabbed a bag but then never cared to open it for months together. Finally over the weekend, I did open it and made chappathis with it.

The flavour, aroma as well as the colour is very earthy compared to the atta that we use and the chappathis are also a tad bit harder than the ones we are used to. But knowing the goodness of stone ground whole wheat flour – its a well worth a try. The fibre content is much more higher.

I never knew how to make chappathis and the ones I made always became pappads. This was one thing my mom also missed and I used to think people from Tamilnadu cannot make good chapathis. Then I browsed for some tips and found one on helped me a lot. That was two years ago. Now I am able to get Chappathis quite fine – enof to keep Ravi pleased.

Before rolling into chapathis

There are only 3 tips I found you need for really good chapathis
1. Use very warm water for the dough
2. Dont roll the chapathis too thin or too thick.
3. Keep the flame to medium high for the chapathis to puff up.

The stone ground chapathis are slightly different to prepare from the atta. This was the first time I used stone ground flour and it was slightly harder. Could be I did not use enough water.

My chappathi drill is 2 cups flour to little less than 1 and half cups hot water. I cover it with a moist paper towel and leave it for 15 minutes. Once a while its good to know that we really eat something thats good for us. This chapathi dish was one such experience.


May 6, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Revathi,
    I share the pain(I was a failure at making chapatis at one time). First time I made chapatis was when I joined school here and had absolutely no idea about cooking at that time. Me and my roomie had a chapati craving but none of us knew the correct proportions anyways we tried it and they came out perfect(not for eating but they were perfect for self defense :-)). Now the dark cloud has lifted and my chapatis don’t turn out as bad. Great tips.

    Comment by KrishnaArjuna | May 6, 2006 | Reply

  2. nice post on Chapatis,Revathi.

    Comment by Lakshmi | May 6, 2006 | Reply

  3. Ha ha ha Nice story Krishna…

    Thanks Lakshmi for the comment

    Comment by Revathi | May 7, 2006 | Reply

  4. chappathis had eluded me too for long time, i’ve gone through all that pappad-chappathis and designer chappathis(unique shapes)stages ! and Revathi, you had asked about the red colored puttu your mom used to make, my guess is that it’s made out of chemba puttu podi, which has a significant amount of husk and hence the red color.hope this helps!

    Comment by Reshma | May 8, 2006 | Reply

  5. Wonderful post! I had tried this flour before. It was too hard to roll the chapathis, the dough was too difficult to handle. But the taste was unbeatable. So to make it easy, I started mixing it with golden temple. 1 cup golden temple + 1 cup whole wheat powder.

    Comment by RP | May 8, 2006 | Reply

  6. My chappatis are pathetic.The only thing that consoles me is the thought, “Northies might be having trouble with cooking rice” 🙂

    Comment by Inji Pennu | May 9, 2006 | Reply

  7. Thanks for the comments Reshma. I was thinking it is segapu arisi. I got some – I may try.. but i have to grind the rice first.. Too much of a job,- but will be a good post for my Back to basics post.. Lets see.

    Thanks RP. Btw I saw manga inji in the indian stores yesterday and thinking of you. Your GreenBlog Project is great. Count me in. I got some mint already. But I am thinking of going to the nursery and buying some pots.. You are making me do gardening!!!!!

    Thanks LG for the comments. Why dont you try the tips I suggested. Beleive me my chapathis were really pathetic.

    Comment by Revathi | May 9, 2006 | Reply

  8. hi revathi,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. My adventures with making chapathi are numerous to account for. My sisters and mom make them so well. I will try your tips.

    Comment by Shankari | May 9, 2006 | Reply

  9. Whole wheat flour chapatis look beautiful, Revathi. The color is almost like the ones that we used to prepare back at home.
    Very healthy recipe and good tips.

    Comment by Indira | May 10, 2006 | Reply

  10. hi revathy,
    i think all south indians a bit weak on the chapatti side. my mom makes bearable chapattis. one of our family friends, (he’s a famous south indian playback singer), exclaimed on eating my mom’s chapatti’s, that eating chapattis at his own home, he always thought chapattis were some crispy stuff like pappads !
    my trick for soft chapattis is just knead, knead and knead. i use mill-ground wheat flour, which is fibrous and a bit hard. i add just plain tap water and salt and knead till the dough is real soft. then use the half-tawa, half flame method of the north indians. put one chapati on the tawa on a low flame, let it cook while you roll out the next one, increase the flame for a second, pick it up with tongs or the ‘chattukam,’ remove the tawa and put on the flame directly and watch it puff up like anything.
    as a friend who grew up in delhi who could turn out chapatis in a jiffy said, you need practice, practice and practice for roti-making.

    Comment by renuramanath | May 12, 2006 | Reply

  11. Shankari: Thanks for the comments. If I can make my chappathis to puff up then any one can. I was such a novice at it.

    Indira: Thanks for the comments. I guess I dusted a little too much flour, so that it wont stick.. It shows in the pic.

    Renu : Great story and great tips. Welcome to my blog. In a way I am please to know that most tamilians have a tough time with chapathis ( he he he sadist i am )… Hmmmm who could that playback singer be.. Harish raghavendra or Tipu ???? Is my guess right ??

    Comment by Revathi | May 12, 2006 | Reply

  12. Revathi,
    I make these chapathis too and needless to say – they turn out crispy and hard. I love those tips. Will apply them next around.


    Comment by Mythili | May 15, 2006 | Reply

  13. My chappathis too had been real flying disks for a long time until I mastered the trick with trial and error…yeah…things come with experience…

    Comment by indianadoc | May 26, 2006 | Reply

  14. Revathi,

    Thanks for the tips! This is exactly what I was looking for. In fact, just 2 days ago I got Whole Wheat Flour from “Whole Foods Market” and tried to make chapathis with it. But like you (and so many other bloggers who replied) the chapathis came out like papads.

    The other problem I have is, the flour that I bought is a lot coarser. Not like the atta you get in India which is really a fine powder. I tried putting it in a coffee grinder to make it fine. But did not work that well. Any suggestions? Also, what is the brand of stone ground wheat flour that you bought in Safeway? I live in Dallas and we don’t have Safeway here. I might have to search for a similar brand in a store here.


    Comment by Tulip | June 12, 2006 | Reply

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    Comment by Anonymous | March 16, 2007 | Reply

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