Every Indian knows how to make rotis, chapathis or phulkas. I am not trying to give a big idea here about that. These are basically whole wheat tortillas made with whole wheat flour, some salt and some oil if required.
Even though these are healthy compared to eating rice like most South Indians are used to, it can be time consuming. With few pointers, you can have them everyday and not spend too much time every day. I am not promising that it will get done in half time, but will definitely reduce the time.
First thing to do is keep a measuring cup in your whole wheat flour box. Measure in that and put it into a bowl. This is to see how many rotis/chapathis you get in one cup. I measure in the standard baking measuring cup and I can make 6 rotis in 1 cup of whole wheat flour. They will be about 7 - 71/2 inch in diameter. Roti dough takes a little less than half the amount of water. So, if you are using 1 measure of whole wheat flour, you need a little less than 1/2 measure of the water to make the dough. Remember that the water needed varies depending on the wheat flour brand, type of wheat used, so try the first time and measure it. This method makes it easy to make the dough. No calculation even when you need extra rotis for guests. You can blindly dump and make the dough. No watery dough or stiff dough that you need to fix.
You made the dough. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes covered to make it easy to handle. Otherwise when you try to roll, it will shrink back. You knead the dough once the resting period is over. Now comes an interesting part. Pinch the dough to the size you want and keep a count of how many you can make with 1 measure of the flour. Next time, you don't really have to pinch them. Trust me on this, it saves time. On a lightly floured surface, roll the whole dough into a log. Take a knife (I use my fancy bench scraper just because I have it) and cut the log into equal portions. In my case, I would cut the dough made with 1 cup of flour into 6 equal parts. Roll them and proceed. It will make them perfectly equal too.
This tip is for people who want to be prepared for company or parties. If you make the roti and keep them, they won't be soft when reheated. I usually roll them and freeze them and pull it out and bake when needed. Roll the roti and instead of cooking, place them between two sheets of wax paper. Pile them up separated by wax paper (deli wax paper which is cut works great here) and put the whole pile in a ziploc bag. Freeze on a flat surface in the freezer. I have done this for many parties, when I get the family during holidays. Try feeding 15 - 20 people rotis for lunch and dinner - you will appreciate this tip if you didn't already know.
When I was in grad school, I used to roll 40 rotis and freeze over the weekend. That way, I didn't have to spend too much time every day before or after the class. You don't have to do it like that. When you have some extra time, roll couple of rotis and freeze. This will give a you a break the next day so that you can do something else that day.
Now coming to the fun part of counting calories. If you do not use any oil in making the dough or baking it, 1 cup of whole wheat flour is 407 calories. If you make 6 rotis out of it like I do, each roti is 407/6 = 68 calories.
Let's say you used 1 TBSP of oil to make the dough and 1 TBSP of oil to bake the dough. You are adding 240 calories for 6 rotis which is 40 calories to each roti.
My way of doing 1 roti = 68 calories without oil
1 roti = 108 calories with oil.
Just because rotis are healthy doesn't mean that one can pile up 6 rotis and eat. Remember that dal and oil used in making dal, vegetables add up to the calories too.