The chapatti and the cook

Necessity is not always the mother of invention, carelessness is. Sometimes, you just don’t take enough care to dough your flour properly and end up with dough for making chapatti instead of Bhakhri.

By the way, Bhakhri is a Gujarati supplement with vegetables and eaten mostly for breakfast and dinner here in Gujarat. Gujarati Patels are said to not start their day without a full blown Bhakhri. Bhakhri is the hard, thick, rough (and tough for oldies) version of chapattis. One big Bhakhri serves two or three chapattis, or maybe even more. I guess that’s imaginable enough.

That sunny afternoon, as mom was out of town, I was cooking Bhakhri and Cereals for lunch. The scene was that I was more interested in watching that saas-bahu serial than I was in cooking. Actually, when no one is home, it’s okay to watch such things. No 0ne questions a loner’s manhood. Believe me, I watched four serials consecutively and all of them had the same plot, same old drama with just actors changing.

Kind of same is with cooking. The same flour, the same oils, the same spices, the same people to eat the cooking everyday.

Anyway back. So, I just ended up putting two glasses of water in the dough. Gosh, there drowns my lunch, I thought. But I just kept working on the dough. And before the dough could become flour juice, I added more flour to it. To my amazement, I had ended up with chapatti dough. That’s pretty good, I said. Now there’s only one problem – how do you make chapattis out of it?

I browsed all my kitchen utensils; the bowls, the cups, the chhaliyas, the dishes, glasses, spoons and all of it to get a fair knowledge of perfect shapes in the kitchen.

Then in the deepest part of my fridge I found a plastic vessel. Wow! perfect head for chapatti. I started swinging my hands over small pieces of dough with belan, no matter what shape they turned into. I was feeling creepy, cause some looked like complete disasters. But that vessel came handy. I just put the head over my disaster chapatti and thud…thud…thud…. Three times I hit it hard and beautiful round chapatti mesmerised me.

Have you ever noticed that we all love perfect shapes? Remembered Chetan Bhagat’s words – Why don’t evolution figure out that men liked beautiful women? And if it does, why does it mess up things so many times? Basically, why learn to make chapattis with hand when you can just trim them off with a plastic vessel?

Them comes roasting the chickens..I mean..chapattis. Hope that’s what it’s called. A cook who doesn’t know cooking may also not know how to describe it. So, just don’t expect that.

I roasted chapattis. I’d watched mom doing it so that wasn’t that tough. Except that some of them just burned themselves head to toe, some of them just went on to make history – they filled air and fluffed air like some rugby ball.

To my surprise, I got to eat chapattis I roasted myself. And it was a wonderful experience. Doing something you never thought you would just give you a worldful of happiness.


  1. Ha ha ha! Totally enjoyed reading this! In fact totally loved this entire blog, even though it's still at an infant stage. Also liked the way you present the recipes.

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