Cooking Guide: 7 Reasons Why Your Chapattis Are Hard And Chewy

Chapatti is a staple Indian flatbread that is consumed in many parts of India. The traditional flatbread is made by combining wheat flour and water together. The soft and fluffy chapattis are easy to chew and are served with vegetable dishes and curries. Many people have mastered the art of making perfectly round chapattis that can easily be pulled apart by a single hand. However, people who are new to Indian cooking can find it challenging to make soft chapattis even after several attempts. For those who feel their chapattis are hard and chewy, take a look at these mistakes that could possibly be the reason for your dry chapattis.

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Here Are 7 Reasons Why Your Chapattis Are Hard And Chewy:

1. Ratio Of Water And Flour

Preparing the dough is the first and most important step in making chapatti. Water and flour are the only two ingredients that are required to make the dough. The ratio of both these ingredients goes hand in hand. Ensure you add the right amount of water to the flour. Too much water will make the dough soggy and less water will make the dough stiff. Ensure you slowly add water to the flour and check its consistency from time to time.


Don’t pour too much water at once in the flour. Photo Credit: istock

2. Over-Kneading The Dough

Yes, kneading the dough well is important but don’t over-knead it. When you over-knead the dough, it causes gluten in the flour to develop which will make the dough tough. This will result in difficulty to roll the dough balls and making the chapatti hard. Just knead the mixture until the dough is formed and has a smooth texture.

3. Not Letting The Dough Rest

At times, when we are in a hurry, we quickly knead the dough and start preparing chapattis. This misses out on a very crucial step which is letting the dough rest. Make sure you let the dough rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before using it. This will make the chapattis soft.


Let the dough rest in the vessel for 15-20 minutes. Photo Credit: Istock

4. Rolling Thin Chapatti

Rolling the chapattis extremely thin can also make them hard and chewy. To make perfectly soft and fluffy chapattis, don’t roll the dough ball too thin because they heat quickly and become dry. Besides this, try not to put too much pressure while rolling the chapatti.

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5. Temperature Of Pan

The temperature of the pan plays an important role in the texture of the chapattis. One should always cook chapattis on the right heat. When you overheat the pan (tava), it results in heating the chapattis too much, making them stiff and crunchy. Whereas, when you cook them on low heat, they don’t become fluffy. Always adjust the temperature of the gas according to the temperature of the pan.


While making chapatti keep checking the heat of the tava (pan). Photo Credit: istock

6. Not Filliping Chapatti

Chapatti needs to be cooked properly from both sides. This is why it is a must to flip it timely. Flip the chapatti more than once to have the perfect texture. If you don’t flip it timely, the side of the chapatti will become hard and may also burn.

7. Not Storing Chapattis Properly

Yes, storing chapattis properly makes them soft. For years, the traditional way of storing chapattis is by keeping a fresh kitchen towel in a hot box (chappati box) and then placing chapattis on it one by one. Quickly close the lid after storing chapattis in it. If you keep it in open space, the chapattis will absorb air and become dry.

Easy Tip: If your chapattis have turned out hard and chewy, apply 1 tsp of ghee on it just after you are done cooking them.

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