Chapati flour is a type of flour commonly used in Indian dishes, particularly for making chapatis, a type of flatbread. It is usually made from whole wheat and has a finely ground texture, which makes it ideal for producing soft and flexible flatbreads.
But how is chapati flour made? Is it good for you? And can it be used for more than just chapatis? I’ve got you covered with everything you need to know below!
What is chapati flour?
Chapati flour (also known as atta flour) is a finely milled whole wheat flour that is commonly used to make chapati (roti), a traditional Indian flatbread.
Chapati flour is made by finely milling whole hard wheat grains that are higher in gluten. This makes it easier to knead into dough for making chapatis or other Indian flatbreads.
The milling process typically involves cleaning the wheat grains, removing any impurities or foreign materials, and then grinding them into flour using large grinding machines, which can be either stone or steel mills. The result is a light-brown flour with a slightly gritty texture.
What’s the difference between chapati flour and regular flour?
The main difference between chapati flour and regular flour is that chapati flour is made from whole wheat grains, including the bran, germ, and endosperm, while regular flour is typically made from only the endosperm of wheat grains.
This means that chapati flour retains most of its fiber and nutrients, which have been stripped away in all-purpose flour. Additionally, chapati flour has a coarser texture and produces a denser, chewier dough, while regular flour produces a lighter, fluffier dough.
Benefits of chapati flour
As a whole wheat flour, chapati flour is higher in dietary fiber than all-purpose flour, which promotes healthy digestion and keeps you feeling full for longer periods of time.
Chapati four also has a lower glycemic index than regular flour, which means that it can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. Plus, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and B vitamins.
In the kitchen, chapati flour is a dream to work with! It produces a soft and pliable dough that’s perfect for flatbreads (specifically chapatis). And because it has a mild flavor, it can be paired with a range of ingredients and spices to create endless flavor combinations!
Chapati flour nutrition facts
|Flour (¼ cup)||Calories||Carbs||Fiber||Sugar||Fat||Protein||Glycemic Index|
|Chapati flour||110||23 g||3 g||2 g||0.5 g||4 g||52 +/- 4 for chapatis|
|All-purpose flour||120||24 g||1 g||0 g||0.5 g||4 g||85|
How to bake and cook with chapati flour
Chapati flour is most commonly used to make dough for chapatis by mixing it with water and salt. The dough is then rolled out into thin, flat circles and cooked on a hot griddle.
In addition to all kinds of flatbreads, chapati flour can also be used as a 1:1 substitute for all-purpose flour in various recipes such pizza dough and fritters, as it has a high gluten content that helps to give baked goods structure and texture. Just keep in mind you may need to add a little more liquid because of its higher absorbency.
Popular chapati flour baked goods and dishes
Chapati flour is often used to make:
- Indian flatbreads (chapati/roti, naan)
- Paratha (similar to roti, but with added ghee or oil, and often stuffed with vegetables or meat)
- Puri (deep-fried bread)
- Pizza crust
How to make chapati flour at home
Here’s how to make chapati flour at home:
- Start with whole wheat grains or wheat berries.
- Rinse the grains under cold water and let them soak in water for 6-8 hours, or overnight.
- Drain the water and spread the soaked grains out on a clean cloth or paper towel. Let them air dry for a few hours until they are completely dry.
- Spread the dried grains evenly on a baking sheet and bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until they are lightly toasted and fragrant.
- Let the toasted grains cool down completely.
- Grind them in a high-powered blender or food processor until you get a fine powder. You can also grind the toasted grains in a traditional stone grinder if you have it.
How to store chapati flour
To store store-bought chapati flour, keep it in its original packaging or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place. It should last for about 6-8 months if stored properly.
To store homemade chapati flour, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place. Use it within 3 months for the best quality. If you live in a humid climate, it is best to refrigerate or freeze it to extend its shelf life.
What are the best substitutes for chapati flour?
The best substitute for chapati flour is a type of whole wheat flour, specifically white whole wheat flour, which is made from white wheat.
Using white whole wheat flour as a substitute for chapati flour can yield similar results in terms of texture and flavor. White whole wheat flour is also more widely available and often less expensive than chapati flour, making it a convenient and cost-effective alternative.
If you’re looking for a healthier or gluten-free substitute, I recommend sorghum flour.
No, chapati flour is not the same as plain flour. Chapati flour is made from finely ground whole wheat, whereas plain flour is made from wheat that has been stripped of its bran and germ. The two flours have different properties and are not interchangeable in recipes.
Chapati flour is made of finely ground whole wheat, which includes the bran and germ of the wheat grain.
Chapatis are typically made with whole wheat flour, also known as atta flour, which is a finely ground whole wheat flour that is high in gluten and gives the chapatis their characteristic chewy texture.