Indian Cooking Hacks: Tips To Keep Chapati Dough (Atta) Fresh And Soft For Longer

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: May 15, 2019 10:36 IST

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Indian Cooking Hacks: Tips To Keep Chapati Dough (Atta) Fresh And Soft For Longer

Prepare your dough in bulk and use it throughout the day with these tips

Highlights
  • Your chapati dough may not last an entire day if not stored properly
  • Cover your dough with a cling film and store it in the fridge
  • Grease your dough surface with oil or ghee and refrigerate it

Whole wheat chapatis are an everyday staple in regions across India. The perfectly round, soft, fluffy and light Indian bread that can be consumed along with any number of curries and dals, is also quite nutritious in nature. This is why it is considered healthy when included in daily diet. A whole wheat chapati, or phulka or roti, is made from simple dry flour, water and oil dough that is first divided into small rounds and then flattened into perfectly even rounds with the help of a rolling pin. This flattened dough is then cooked atop a cast iron griddle or cooked in tandoors to get lightly toasted and warm chapatis. Chapatis can be enjoyed with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries, or can even be eaten with dry subzis. Chapatis taste the best when they are paired with desi ghee.You can stuff sabzis inside the chapatis and make rolls out of them.

Making the perfect chapatti is considered something of an art that requires some practice. One must be able to achieve a certain perfect thickness that allows the dough to rise just enough to form the thin upper layer that is characteristic of the bread. Then it must be toasted on the tawa or the griddle for just enough time to allow the dough to cook through. Chapatis are wildly popular across the Indian subcontinent and are prepared at least two times in the day. This is why the dough is prepared in bulk and can be used throughout the day.

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Chapati (Roti) Nutrition

A whole wheat chapati is low in calories and contains good amounts of fibre. It is great for people looking to lose weight. This is because it helps fill you up and satiate your enough to prevent frequent hunger pangs between meals. When prepared fresh, a warm chapati accompanied with a vegetarian subzi, dal or any protein, makes for a complete meal with sufficient amounts of essential macro nutrients.

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9esr63oPrepare Your Dough (Atta): Chapati is low in calories and loaded with fibre

How To Keep Chapati Dough Fresh For Longer

Since chapatis are such an important part of the Indian diet, it can be tedious to prepare fresh chapati dough from scratch for every single meal. A much more efficient way to do it is to rather knead dough in quantity that is sufficient enough to last you a day. However, it can be a problem to keep your dough fresh for 24 hours, as this dough is susceptible to mould. It may even turn greyish black, rendering all your efforts wasteful. Additionally, a spoilt chapatti dough yields dry and flat chapatis that may not taste good.

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But if you store your dough properly, you can increase its shelf-life and make sure you don't have to prepare it more than once a day. Here are some steps you can follow to achieve the same:

1. Use Cling-Film or Aluminium Foil

After you're done using the dough, you can cover it with aluminium foil or a clean cling film before placing it in a container and refrigerating it. Cover the dough completely, making sure there are no air bubbles left inside.

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2. Use An Air-Tight Container

You can store your dough in a zip lock bag or an air-tight container as well before placing it in the fridge, to prevent it from spoiling.

s3jvngtgPrepare Your Dough (Atta): Chapati dough should be stored in air-tight containers in the fridge

3. Use Water Judiciously

Adding too much water to your dough while kneading it, can also make it spoilt faster. Make sure you only add water in small quantities. If you feel that the consistency of your dough is too loose, add some dry flour to correct it.

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4. Cover The Dough Surface With Oil/Ghee

You can also prevent your dough from spoiling by covering it with a thin layer of oil or ghee before placing it your container and refrigerating it. The grease may prevent blackening and drying of the atta, keeping it soft and fresh for the next batch of chapatis.

Never leave your kneaded dough uncovered or in out of the refrigerator for long hours, especially during summers. This can result in growth of bacteria that may cause food poisoning. Make sure you store your dough in a good quality high grade plastic container and keep it refrigerated at all times.

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