Phulkas is a type of Roti, an Indian bread. It is made with Whole wheat flour that is half-cooked on a skillet and finished off over an open flame. The Phulka begins to puff up over the open flame because of the steam that is formed. “Phulke” means puffed up or bloated, that how this roti gets its name!
Roti and Chappati are the same, they are just called in different name depending on the region. Roti/Chappati is little thicker and cooked on skillet, smearing oil/ghee on both sides. Paratha is layered roti and made with stuffing, Check out the link for Cauliflower stuffed Paratha: Gobi Paratha.
Ingredients you will need:
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour (Chappati Flour) – 2 cups
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Oil
3/4 to 1 cup Warm water
1/2 cup Extra flour – for rolling and dusting
Makes: 13-15 Phulkas
In a large mixing bowl, add the Chappati Flour and Salt and mix well. Make like a well by moving the flour to the sides and add warm Water a little at a time and start mixing with the tips of your fingers.
As the flour and water is combined well, start kneading. If the dough becomes too soft cause of extra water, sprinkle more flour and add few tsp of water if the dough is too thick. At this stage, there will be little dough sticking to your palms as well the sides of the bowl.
Add Oil and continue kneading with your knuckles and lower palm to form a medium soft dough. At this time there will be hardly any dough sticking to your hand as well in the mixing bowl. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Heat Tawa or skillet on medium heat.
Knead the dough once again.You can either divide the mixture into equal potions, in the size golf ball or little smaller than that or pinch a small part of dough as you make phulkas.
Gently dab the small part of dough into the extra flour to coat and roll it out into a thin disc. Keep dabbing the roti into the dry flour as you are rolling it to prevent it from sticking to the rolling surface.
Shake off excess flour from the roti and place it onto the hot tawa.
After about 20 seconds, Flip to the other side once you see bubbles appear on the surface. Allow it to cook for 20 seconds.
Increase the stove heat to High, gently pick the roti up with tongs, remove the tawa off of the flame, flip the roti over and place onto an open flame. The roti will puff up. The phulkas will not puff up if the tongs tear up the tender phulkas as there will be a vent for the steam to escape but they are perfectly edible.
If you have electric stove: You can use a clean kitchen towel and gently press on them after both sides have cooked for 20 seconds or place them on the mesh like cooling rack available in Indian grocery store.
Keep the cooked roti into an insulated container and smear it with Ghee or clarified butter (optional) and repeat the process for the remaining dough.
You can store the dough in the fridge for about 3-4 days in an air tight container. Leave it on the kitchen counter for at least 20 mins before making the roti.
The only reason for it to not fluff up will be cause of not rolling out evenly or any tiny holes in roti while flipping them. It will come with some practice.
As the roti puffs up, its is filled with hot steam. Do not try punching it with your fingers! A bad experience of my index finger, is automatically typing! If you are laughing, enough. I was little and I didn’t know about steam formed, I thought it was magic!