There isn’t a slew of ingredients that go into making a chapati. Which is why the end results mainly depend on two things: the dough and the technique.
While many people use ghee, milk, and butter while kneading dough for soft chapatis, we’d like to get the best with only a few ingredients.
In a wide flat bottomed vessel, add wheat flour, add salt and mix well. Slowly drizzle in the water. Do not dump the water in one go. Knead the dough for at least 3 to 5 mins. Make sure the dough is soft enough that it leaves an impression when you press your finger against the dough.
Cover the dough with a clean kitchen cloth and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes for best results. After it has rested for quite some time, press and knead the dough again. Beat the dough well with a rolling pin to make it even softer. Now you can divide the dough into medium ball-shaped sizes.
Always flatten these balls before you start rolling them into circles. Place the rolled out chapati in the hot pan. Cook the chapati till small bumps start to form on the surface (approximately 1-2 minutes). Flip the chapati onto the other side and cook for 10 seconds or so until you see bumps. Lastly, smear the chapatis with ghee or oil.
You can look up the entire recipe here.
Two tips for you:
1. Store your soft and puffy chapatis in a traditional Indian bread basket aka roti ki tokri.
2. Using the same brand of whole wheat flour will help you get consistent results.
Before you try out masala chapati, coriander chapati, a phulka, or a rumali roti, first master the basics. Try out the chapati and let us know how it turns out for you.