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Chapati is an unleavened pancakelike bread from India. Often diners tear off pieces and use them to scoop up food. Serve these chapati alongside our Chicken Madras Curry (see related recipe at right).

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. usli ghee or unsalted butter, at
      room temperature, plus more for brushing
  • 1 Tbs. milk
  • 1/2 cup water, plus more as
      needed

Directions:

In a bowl, stir together the 1 1/2 cups flour and the salt. In a small bowl, stir together the 1 Tbs. usli ghee and the milk. Add to the flour mixture and stir well. Add the 1/2 cup water and stir well, gathering and pressing, until the flour adheres together. If the dough looks dry, add 1 to 2 Tbs. more water, but do not add too much or the dough will become too sticky.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes. If necessary, add more flour or water to achieve a workable, elastic consistency. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each into a 1 1/2- to 2-inch ball and roll out into a 6-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick.

Heat an Indian tava griddle or cast-iron fry pan over medium-high heat. Brush the tava lightly with usli ghee. Place 1 dough round on the tava and cook until covered with light brown specks, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using tongs, turn the chapati over and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining dough rounds.

Meanwhile, heat a stovetop roaster over high heat. Place a browned chapati on the roaster and cook until it puffs up, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Brush the chapati with usli ghee and place in a shallow bowl lined with a kitchen towel or paper towels. Repeat with the remaining chapati. Serve warm. Makes 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring India, by Julie Sahni (Time-Life Books, 2001).