Chapatis (rotis) (tortillas -ish) © llizard aka ejm 2000, 2001, 2015

Ingredients makes 8 rotis Preparation
  1. In a bowl, mix flours and salt. Add warm water gradually, stirring with a fork until you have a soft dough. The amount of water will vary drastically depending on air temperature and humidity. You just have to play with it. I think (but am not certain) that the softer the dough, the softer the finished rotis will be.

  2. Using as little extra flour as possible, knead on a board for 8 minutes until the dough is soft and silky.

  3. Place dough back in the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes to one hour.

  4. Put the tava on medium heat. Do not oil it. Put the wirerack on another burner at the highest heat possible.

  5. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Lightly flour each one and put 7 pieces back in the bowl. Cover the bowl. Form the piece of dough into a ball and flatten it. Roll it out into a round til it is quite thin but not too thin (this is again is one of those infuriating things where you will just have to practice to find out what thinness works best for you) - about 1 mm?? As you roll out the dough, make sure it is not sticking to the board and that there are no holes. Keep the rolling pin lightly dusted with as little flour as possible and the board the same way.

  6. Place the round of dough on the hot tava (griddle). As soon as you see little bubbles form, turn it over using tongs. As soon as there are little bubbles on the reverse side, lift the bread off the tava with the tongs and place it on the wire rack. It should puff up. Turn it over once or twice to ensure that it puffs up completely. Don't be worried to see a few dark brown spots on it. (If you are lucky enough to have a gas stove, you can hold the bread directly over the flame.)

  7. Put the finished bread on a serviette covered warm plate. Cover with a lid. Keep the plate in a warm oven. Roll out the next piece of dough and repeat til you have 8 rotis. Turn the finished rotis over as you put a new roti on the stack.

N.B. Traditionally, chapatis are made with atta (finely milled 100% whole wheat flour). If you have access to atta, do use it measure for measure in place of the unbleached all-purpose and whole wheat flours listed above. The resulting chapatis are amazingly soft and pliable.

For Corn Rotis (tortillas -ish) This is not exactly like a recipe for tortillas but it is a reasonable facsimile for corn tortillas. Corn tortillas use only corn flour (masa harina) and have no wheat flour at all. They are quite different from flour tortillas. While this version of corn tortilla is NOT really correct, it amounts to the same thing in our unsophisticated minds.