Sunday, May 31, 2009
Mother’s chapattis were the first and the best chapattis we ever relished. The chapattis which she prepared with her newly acquired skill looked like full moons with their unblemished perfect round shapes and silky smooth texture. She cooked the flour in boiling water, and kneaded and boxed it while still warm. She pinched out lemon sized balls from the dough and rolled them out into thin chapattis of six inch diameter. We the children sat around with the round lids of steel boxes with which we cut out the perfect rounds. We were engrossed in chewing the left over ribbon like strands of dough as we cut the circles and left behind only a very small quantity which took the shape of one or two more thick chapattis in the end.
Mother never used the gas flame. (That was the first time we bought a gas stove!) to make the chapattis puff up though she used it to heat the tava to do the initial cooking. She had a ‘choolha’ with burning embers on which she dumped the half done chapattis for a moment. And Lo! How they puffed up without a scar or blemish! We could devour at least half a dozen of them with pickles, dal, sambar, rasam, jam, curd or anything that was available.
My children love chapattis and their best ever relished chapattis were really named as “Reshmae (Silk) Parotas”. As we were always after good food we often visited various restaurants in Bangalore. The choicest among them was a place called “Avishkar” which has now succumbed to the monsters called ‘Development’ and ‘Real estate’. We loved the hot, crisp and luscious ‘Reshmae Parotas’ - multi layered chapattis- which we relished with green peas masala.
Even now I try to make it at home with wheat flour, which turns out good enough, though it can never beat the original ‘Reshmae Parotas’ of Avishkar.
Wheat flour - 1 cup
Salt - ¼ tsp
Ghee - 4 tbsps
Rice flour – 4 tsps
Oil – for cooking
1. Add warm water, salt and a spoon of oil to the wheat flour and make a soft dough.
2. Cover the dough and leave it aside.
3. Mix the ghee and the rice flour and beat it with a spoon until it becomes fluffy. This is called ‘Saati’ (don’t know in which language!!). Add more ghee if necessary so that it is t enough to be spread on the parota.
4. Make lemon size balls out of the dough and keep aside.
5. Roll them one by one into very thin chapattis.
6. Spread a spoon of ‘Saati” all over on a chapatti and place another chapatti on it.
7. Spread “Saati” on the second chapati and place the third one on top and repeat the process.
8. When you finish with all the chapaties apply the remaining “Satti” all over the last chapatti.
9. Roll the layers tightly together as you would do with a mat.
10. Cut them across into thick rings resembling jam rolls.
11. Flatten one ring with the cut section up into a moderately thick parota.
12. Heat a greased tava and cook the parota on both sides till golden in colour, with a liberal dribble of oil on both sides.
Relish the crisp and hot Reshmae parota with any side dish of your choice.