Sunday, 28 April 2013

Reduced Gluten Stuffed Chappatties


It’s easy to lower the gluten content in chappatties by using besan, also known as gram flour or chickpea flour.  It has a nutty taste, and it's high in protein.  I’ve never made one hundred percent besan flour chappatties though, as I’m assuming they'd be too brittle and tough.  With these, I used fifty percent organic whole wheat flour, as well as a few other tricks to notch up the taste and texture.

1 cup besan flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (or more)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seed
½ teaspoon dried chillies
1 tablespoon melted ghee

1 cup hot water

2 tablespoons melted ghee (perhaps less if you're sensible)
3 green onions, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
a few mint leaves (optional)

Besan, or chickpea flour is stickier than wheat flour, so I don’t like getting it on my hands.  Because it produces a tougher and stickier dough, kneading is much more easily done with a machine, so I suggest that if you have one, use it.

In the machine’s bowl, add all the dry ingredients and stir, then add the ghee and stir some more.  Pour in the hot water, and set the machine on to slow speed to begin, and move it up to medium once the flour is largely incorporated.  Here In Alberta, which is dry as dust most of the time, our flours tend to be very dry, and we need extra water. 

My friend Jeanne, who bakes bread nearly every day, advises me to add the full amount of water to begin with, and then add extra flour if the dough feels too wet.  Add the extra flour just a tablespoon at a time. 
You know you have the right consistency when the dough doesn’t try to glue itself to your fingers. 
 Don’t add too much flour, as you’ll be adding a bit more later when rolling these out, and if too much flour is used, the dough will be dry and brittle. Once the dough is well mixed, remove the stirring tooll and attach the dough hook.  Knead the dough for at least seven minutes.  The dough should feel springy and cheerful when it’s done.  The machine is excellent for this, because it won't complain about the stickiness, or the amount of time spent kneading. 

You can let it rest for up to a couple of hours, or you can use it right away.  Separate the dough into golf ball sizes.  Beginning with the first ball, flatten it, then on a very lightly floured surface, roll it out.  Brush on a thin coat of ghee, and sprinkle on some onions and cilantro leaves.  A bit of chopped fresh mint is delightful too, if you have it.  

Fold the chappattie over and roll out again.  Although I can get them nice and round on the first go, I have never yet managed to roll them out round the second time.  Hopefully I’ll improve with practice.

My roundness is lost after the stuffing and folding!
My non-stick griddle works best when I have it on 5, with 12 being the top temperature.  Many cooks go with a hotter griddle, but I wind up scorching the dough, and making a mess.  Once upon a time I had a cast iron griddle, which worked very well, but I gave it away, and now I’m on a hunt for another.

Anyway, you don’t need to grease the griddle.  Pick up the rolled chappattie, and if it’s too dusy with flour, brush off the excess and place on the griddle.  In a few moments in will begin to change colour.  Use a spatula or back side of a spoon and brush the top side with a thin coat of ghee.  Gently press down on air bubbles.  Flip it when it’s a darker beige all over.  Brush the next side with ghee and let cook, still pressing down a bit on the air bubbles. 
You don’t need to hang over it during the entire cooking time, you can roll out the next chappattie, but it’s always nice to make these with two people, one rolling and one flipping and buttering.   Flip over one last time, let cook a bit more, and remove to a warming pan.  Each chappattie should be finished in about two to three minutes. You can brush more ghee on when laying it in the warming pan, if you wish.  Ghee, (clarified butter) always improves the taste, but do think of your innocent arteries.
These can be eaten with just a bit of plain yogurt and Indian pickles for a simple meal, or can be a side dish to a big feast. 
A blurry picture of a fabulous feast!  Still learning the DSLR fanciness.

The stuffing can be varied to almost anything.  I haven’t tried it yet, but crumbled paneer would be nice, and chopped peanuts would be mighty delicious.  What would you use?  Please drop me a line in the comments below!


  1. Hubby just saw a picture and requested that I make these stat!

  2. Hi Fareen,

    Thanks for dropping by. I hope the two of you enjoyed these. I'm looking forward to making them again, and stuffing them with chopped, spiced peanuts and cilantro.