The Secret’s Out!

Kadamba just left a comment on my Slow Food Won’t Make You Fat post asking for the secret to my spelt chapatis. Although I adamantly am against food secrets (or pretty much any secrets for that matter), my spelt chapatis have strictly fallen under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” category. Until now, that is.

My secret is….and don’t tell any of the swamis that I cook for…I use white spelt. *Gasp*!!! It makes a soft and silky dough and is very digestible (believe me, if I can digest it, anybody can). I know it is white flour, but it is not bleached, it is usually always organic and it’s spelt. That just sounds good and healthy, doesn’t it?

If you are looking for the secret to whole wheat spelt (or whatever it is called) chapatis, keep looking. I don’t have that. Sometimes I do, however, mix my white spelt with coarse whole wheat (3:1 ratio). That also works well, as does half and half with chapati flour (which is the complete opposite of organic).

It is funny Kadamba asked this question today because Atita Guna is visiting the Hare Krishna Farm and I just talked to her this morning. I was telling her how I remember when she came last year and Rucira Mataji was here, too. Together they were in the temple kitchen making the most beautiful chapatis. I watched them attentively and my chapatis improved drastically from that point on.

Here are some general tips I picked up from that life changing day:

1) Make your dough soft! Prabhupada said it should feel like an ear lobe. Ghee solids are great for chapati dough.
2) Let your dough rest.
3) Use a ton of flour to roll out your dough! I never saw so much flour involved in chapati making, but it really helps perfect the following…
4) Don’t be afraid to roll your chapati thin! By heavily dredging the chapati in flour, you can roll it thin without any adverse effects.
5) smile a lot while cooking!

Anyone else who has magical chapati secrets, feel free to comment on this post.

I hope this helps, Kadamba. Good luck with your spelt chapati endeavors and please pass along any tips you come up with during your experimentation in the kitchen!



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5 responses to “The Secret’s Out!

  1. Anonymous

    For nice soft chapati dough, use whey or diluted buttermilk instead of water. Makes the dough nice and soft. and I second making them very thin, they’re much nicer that way.

  2. Devadeva Mirel

    thank you, anonymous…i totally agree with you and prefer to use whey, myself. also, i think it is very important to utilize all of our dairy by-products. so pleasing to you know who!

  3. kmala

    thanks deva, you’re the best. and hey, unbleached white isn’t such a sin. and what’s with ww flour and chapati’s not getting along? too dense I suppose?

  4. kmala

    I have to say, I’m a little bit sad – I always though spelt was gluten-free… but I was just doing a little research and found out it’s not. who knew? well… I guess a lot of people, except me.

  5. Devadeva Mirel

    spelt is lower in gluten and more digestable than what we normally think of when we think of wheat (spelt is a kind of wheat).

    buckwheat is a gluten free flour and although it is tasty and you can make good stuff with it, it is not as versatile as other flours.

    i know gluten-free is popular these days but in my humble, non-expert opinion, i would recommend just adding a variety of whole grains to your diet. in the u.s. we are too dependent on wheat flour. there are other nutritious, filling and delicious grains out there to explore. just hit the bulk section of whole foods.

    ok..i’ll shut up now. xo

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