Sunday, July 18, 2010

chapati - north indian roti

both chapati and prata are considered "roti" but prata is the ubiquitous one whereas you may some problem seeking out the chapati stalls in singapore. a good bet (to find one ) is the serangoon area, at the junction of norris road and serangoon road. the coffee shop looks rundown but there is always a crowd of customers chomping on chapati.

after the train journey from johor bahru to tanjong pagar, we had chapati with keema at the railway station canteen.

chapati is staple to northern indians and pakistanis. it is bread made of whole wheat flour ('atta') and cooked on a tava (a flat skillet). the flat skillet is much smaller than the grill plate that is normally used for toasting pratas. it is smaller in size than the one used by the popiah maker for making popiah skins.

at 50 cents a piece, chapati is slightly cheaper than prata. i find it healthier than prata because not much oil is used in the making of the dough. in fact, you can do away with the oil when making the dough.

chapati is normally served with meat and vegetables. you tear the chapati into smaller pieces, fold it the shape of a cone and press the keema or whatever into it.

i like the smell of chapati because it wafts me back to my kampong days. we had a 'bengali' neighbour who seemed to be preparing chapati every other day. i do not think he used gas to heat up the tava; he must have used charcoal or firewood.

some people may mix up chapati with thosai or naan. thosai is a south indian pancake and naan is normally baked in a clay oven.


Phil said...

Hi yg,
Your posting on chapati also brings me back to my childhood days. The Sikh family at a coffee factory used to feed us kids in the neighbourhood together with their children with wood fired chapatis. Likewise theirs kids also shared our meals at times. The mothers in the neighbourhood took upon their duties to look after the children in those days. The good old neighbourliness is a thing of the past now in Singappore.

yg said...

phil, the openness of those childhood days and that kind of good neighbourliness will not be upon us again.