Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Roti / Chapathi making simplified - Another tip for a busy woman

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.

Enjoy!! Pin It

34 comments:

  1. Loved the post and all the info in it. Specially, the calories. I too do not add the oil in making the dough or cooking the roti, so like the fact that eating 2-3 rotis and a cup of curry or dal (using very little less) can still just make us consume only max 300-400 calories or so per meal, which is like just perfect :)

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  2. I sometimes add soy flour or jowar flour for added nutrition and I make sure I don't add salt. The curries would any way have salt..lesser the salt the better, is the idea!

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  3. Good Post. Measuring and knowing how many chapathis it would make is probably what my mother taught me as a first lesson in the kitchen. She was also perfect in making dough balls which would yield same type of roti/chapati each time. This is also important for making rice flour rotis. Thanks for writing it. This tip definitely saves time and reduces wastage.

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  4. A very helpful esp for today`s working women...And its true that it does not alwayz mean eating chapathis instead of rice is way too healthy..Its best to stick to food items that grow in ur region..for instance rice for South Indians n wheat in North..I have heard of a case were a diabetic patient was asked to restrict intake of rice as well as wheat..

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  5. This one is helpful - esp the rolling and freezing part. I've never tried it before, though we mix dough and keep ready when expecting guests. BTW, will the texture of the chapathi not be lost if it is not cooked immediately after rolling?
    i do roll out 8-10 at a time and then cook them one by one, and i feel the longer the gap, the lesser is the quality of the chapathis... Or may be it is just my feeling, too!

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  6. Sum,
    It doesn't change the consistency or texture. When you roll and expose to air, then the chapathis get drier. Try covering with them with a clean towel when you are working on the rest and start baking. Then they will be consistent.

    Thanks for comments everyone.

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  7. Can, u tell me where we can find wax aper in blore ? Thanks,
    Meera

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  8. Meera,
    I don't know where you can get the wax paper in Bangalore, but if you can't get it, you can use the thick plastic sheets. You could cut the milk packets ones, clean and use it. Hope this helps.

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  9. Hi Champ,
    I often read your blog find it very interesting and helpful. this post on rotis is very helpful, though I would like to know how do you bake the rotis? I normally roll them out as phulkas/paranthas & cook on a tava.

    Thanks
    Ramya

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  10. Ramya,
    That is a wrong sentence that I have put on the post. Thanks for pointing it out. I cook it on tava too.

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  11. Ahh. ok.. :-(, thanks for clarifying Champ. I was thinking that I can save time by putting multiple rotis to bake at once - thanks ramya :-)

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  12. Very very useful tip.. U seem to be more oraganised.. Many likes for ur posts :)

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  13. I'm very impressed with your posts. Very useful and clever. Someone here had asked where to get wax paper in Bangalore. You can get it at General Food & Additives. They have almost everything you need for baking. It's a small but very good store and the owner is very helpful. Here's the address -
    # 175/3, 1st Main Road, Seshadripuram, Bangalore 560 020, India
    Tel : +91-80-2336 7878, 2336 0517

    Hope this helps.

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  14. Hi, Thanks a lot for the post. I am a MSc student in UK and was looking for the same.

    Can you please tell me that when I have to cook the frozen chapatis on tava then how much time before cooking it, should I take it out from the freezer?

    Thanks a lot fro your help :)
    Best Wishes
    SWati

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    Replies
    1. Swati,
      Sorry for the delay in responding. It depends on how many rotis you have stacked. If you just do 10 of them as one stack (with wax paper in between of course), take it out 10 minutes before you start making. The roti should be still stiff for you to transfer on to the tawa but at the same time not so stiff that it will break when you try to peel the wax paper off. Depends on how cold the weather is too. So, play by that.

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  15. Hi , Very useful post and thank you. I would like to know how long can you freeze them ? and won't it get discolored when its frozen for long ?

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    Replies
    1. No, if you wrap them neatly so that no air can go inside, it will be fine. But don't freeze for longer than 3 months.

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  16. Hi, Very interesting post. I make rotis almost everyday so having them rolled out at least saves time in cleaning up.
    A couple questions, can I roll them and leave in the rerigerator instead? If I freeze them can I thaw in the refrigerator?
    Thanks, Pooja

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    Replies
    1. Pooja,
      I wouldn't suggest refrigerating the rolled dough or thawing it. Refrigerating causes condensation which makes it difficult to remove the rolled roti and place it on the tawa. Also, refrigeration dries out the dough. You don't want to thaw the rolled rotis from the freezer. You want it to be still stiff so that you can peal it off the wax paper and place it on the tawa without stretching, or breaking. Give about 10 minutes at room temperature and it should come off easily.

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  17. hi!
    Thanks! its a very nice Post. That's what I was looking for!

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  18. Great post! This tip is so helpful :)

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  19. how much dough for 8 inch maida roti if yu can help me

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    Replies
    1. You are asking for Maida roti? You probably will get one more with the same amount of wheat flour so 1 cup (baking measuring cup) of maida will give you about 7 rotis.

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  20. may i know any other process to preserve rolled chapati for 2-3 days without using freezer or refrigerator.

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  21. Very nice post. Can you cook the semi-frozen rotis in the oven? Will you need to turn the oven on bake or broil? Thank you, appreciate your help.

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    Replies
    1. Roti needs to be cooked on the tawa. Can't bake it as it becomes hard.

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  22. Thank you so much for this useful post. I will try making rotis in bulk over the weekend. Can you share some tips on what you would do about cooking the rest of the meal when you were in grad school? Would you cook in bulk and freeze? Tips and suggestions based on your experience shall be highly appreciated. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. I never froze food in bulk. Go through my other posts in the tips section. I used to freeze ground masala, dosa and idli batter. If you have a particular question about a dish, let me know.

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    2. Thanks Champa! I went through all the post under tips and found them so useful. Thank you so much for taking the time to post on them.

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  23. Hi Champa - Thanks for the useful post. I followed your method of thawing the chapatis for 10 mins before cooking. However, this causes condensation so you end up putting a moist chapati on the tawa. Any idea what I can do to avoid this?

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, no. The only way to let condensation evaporate is to let it sit for a long time, but then the rolled rotis will loose their shape. I have noticed that nothing happens to the rotis even with the extra wetness.

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