Diet Control, Or Not
Not so long ago, when I was working in Bangalore, I was part of a gang.
The Lunch-Gang was notorious for having lunch together and holding the seats for far too long, there by troubling others at lunch. My colleagues used to eye us suspiciously and tried to make a run for the office cafeteria before the Lunch-Gang did. But, at sharp 1:00PM, unless there was a client call or a deadline to be met, the Lunch-Gang would be at the cafeteria.
Two of the Lunch-Gang members were married at that time - one, a veteran, married for about 10-12 years and the other Lunch-Gang member was newly married..
Your's truly was still enjoying the courtship days.
One day, we were enjoying a fine lunch - it was bhindi (okra)fry and we had not yet found any worms in the bhindi fry, which definitely made it a fine lunch. One of the unmarried Lunch-Gang members happened to mention that the newly married Lunch-Gang member was gaining weight.
There was silence at our table.
We could hear each other's heart beats and by the looks of the newly married Lunch-Gang member it was sure that the offense was taken.
Next day, the newly married Lunch-Gang member announced that, she has brought about changes in their diet. "My husband and I are switching to chappati instead of eating rice at night", she said.
Chappati is an unleavened Indian flat bread, typically made of wheat flour. Because of the high fibrous nature of the wheat, chappatis are considered to be filling. My friends, who go on a diet, used to switch to chappati for dinner instead of rice which is heavy in carbs.
We don't dare to bring up the weight-gain topic again.
After a few weeks of the announcement about the diet change, the newly married Lunch-Gang member announces that they have switched back to eating rice at night. We are astonished. "Why would you switch back to rice?", we ask. "Well", she says, "when we started off, two or three chappatis would satiate my husband's hunger. But as time went on, my chappati making skills improved considerably, and he started eating 12-14 chappatis at night. If this trend continues, I will be making chapptis all night. So, I figured that we switch back to rice and make my life easier."
I still cannot digest it.
Though I call this bread Chappati, it is actually a fusion of an original chappati recipe & phulka recipe. Read this and this to know more. I make it like a phulka, but do not puff it up on the stove and I smear it with oil.
When I first started making chappatis, they always turned out to be very hard. What works for me now is that nowadays I make the dough really soft and also use the shuffling technique my aunt taught me. I have detailed the "shuffling technique" in the recipe. Thank you Prabhamaayi, for the tip.
Typically chappatis/phulkas are made with wheat flour. I have added powdered oats to the wheat flour. I find this is a very good way to add oats in our diet. These Oats Chappati can be served with any curry of your choice. Kerala Style Egg Fry works as a good accompaniment.
- ½ cup Rolled Oats powdered fine
- 1.75 cups Wheat Flour
- Salt to taste
- Oil for greasing
- Mix powdered oats, wheat flour and salt in a big mixing bowl.
- Knead into a dough using a little water at a time till you get a soft dough. You will need approximately 1.25 cups of water.
- Smear a little oil on the dough and keep it covered with a wet cloth for 10 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 14 equal sized balls.
- Flatten a ball using the palm of your hand and roll into a thin circle (about 3-4 mm thick) using a rolling pin. The circle would resemble a thin tortilla. You can lightly coat the chappati with dry flour when roiling it to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin or the surface.
- Heat a skillet/tava over medium heat. When the skillet/tava is hot, put the chappati on it.
- When one side is cooked (a little less than a minute), flip the chappati over to the other side.
- Cook the other side of the chappati for about a minute. At this stage you can use a folded kitchen towel to press down the chappati onto the skillet/tava. This will make chappati to cook well on both sides.
- Once both sides are done, remove the chappati from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Grease the chappati with a little oil(optional). Cover the cooked chappati with a lid.
- Repeat and make chappatis using the remaining dough.
- Every time you transfer the cooked chappati from the skillet to the plate, apply oil and then shuffle the chappatis (mix them all up) in the plate and keep them covered with a lid. (See Recipe Notes)
- Serve hot with the curry of your choice.
If your skillet or tava is too hot, the chappatis will burn.
If the chappatis turn very hard, that means that your skillet/tava is not hot enough.
The shuffling technique and keeping the hot chappatis, covered with a lid, is my technique to lock in the vapor and keep the chappatis soft.
Do not make chappatis in the same skillet/griddle/tava you plan to make dosa on.
Extra chappatis? No worries. These chappatis can be saved by wrapping them in Aluminium foil and keeping them at room temperature for a day. Heat them on the tava/skillet for a few seconds or microwave for 10 seconds before serving.