Phulkas/Rotis/Chapatis are flat Indian breads made of wholewheat flour. Almost every corner of the country, it is a part of the daily diet in some way either as a lunch or in some southern states it is considered as a tiffin.
As Phulkas are most preferred way to have the rotis, as it has little or no oil, and forms lovely layer , makes it very soft and good to eat.
Yet this art of making simple rotis /phulkas seem intimidating to many. The only way to master this art is by daily preparation. Initially you may make all sorts of mistakes, thick, hard, burnt etc, but you will overcome this and soon be on your way to making excellent rotis/phulkas.
The pics will show how phulkas can be made just as easily on a tava instead of a open gas flame.
1 cup whole wheat attta/flour or any multigrain flour
Pinch of salt
Water enough to make a smooth soft dough.
In a large bowl, add the flour , salt and start adding water little by little and start making a dough by bringing all the flour together, dont add water in one go, in stages, soon yo will see the dough come togetehr smoothly, apply more flour if you feel it is sticky, add little oil if you wish while almost the dough is ready.
Make a smooth ball, cover and keep,aside till you make the phulkas. A resting time of 30 minutes will give great phulkas, though not necessary.
First pinch off even size balls for no of phulkas you are going to make,cover and keep aside. Take one ball of dough, slightly flatten and place on the board, dust if necessary very lightly and keep rolling , pressing lightly in the centre,you need to move the hand as the flattened ball of dough is moving, this you need some practice, or else everytime, you need to place the dough in position to move forward.
Choose a thin pin which moves with ease and the ball of dough will be getting bigger as you keep moving away from the centre.
Keep the edges thinned out but not too much or else it will be difficult to remove, dust as you proceed.
The disc should be lightly thicker as it need s to puff and the two layers will be seen.
It is generally thought phulkas need only open flame, not really as it is not the open flame that makes the phulkas or the rotis to open out or balloon , it is the heat too, which should be controlled.Too less heat the rotis will sit flat, though will get cooked, too much, heat you will scorch the rotis and it will not balloon.
The trick is to first heat up the tava ,and place the rolled out disc of dough, and you will see the puffing happening in spots , and then you need to slightly lower the flame, if you feel it is too hot, flip on other side, it will puff up more, then again on the other side, so uniformly it will keep puffing up , till it open s out fully.
At this point it is done and dont try to delay any more as you dont want the phulkas to burst and let out steam!!. Anyway even if that happens, it is ok , the phulkas are technically done!
Place the disc on a medium flame , initially the tava or skillet needs to be heated up well, then lower the flame to medium and place the disc of dough. You will see it is getting puffed in places.
Turn it over on other side , so that it may also puff up evenly as seen here.
Again flip over to previous side, now the flame to be adjusted as the sides are getting cooked.
The disc of dough is now getting bigger as more heat is circulated evenly
Again flip over
At this stage you need to keep flipping fast or one side will scorch.
There!! all done, now remove quickly.
See the phulkas balloon now reducing as it is taken off the gas .
Keep the phulkas in open till the heat subside, then keep them covered with a towel
Serve hot phulkas with any side dish of your choice.
Remember it is only practice which gives perfect looking rotis, chapatis or phulkas. Dont despair, try , and keep trying .