Thursday 24 July 2014

Pulka (வாட்டிய சப்பாத்தி)

Pulka (வாட்டிய சப்பாத்தி) is nothing but a chappati cooked on direct fire. Of all the rotis and chappatis that can be made, pulka is my all time favorite. Pulka is soft, light, and yes, easy to make. It is also healthy, as you do not use ghee to make it. You can pack pulka for lunch and it remains as soft as ever! 

Ingredients: (Makes approximately 12 pulkas)
Wheat flour or atta – 2 teacups or 400ml measure (கோதுமை மாவு)
Water – ¾ teacup or 150ml measure
Oil – 2 teaspoons*
Fig.1: Pulka Dough
Salt – to taste
Flour – for dusting
*Though any oil may be used, I prefer to use gingelly oil.

Method: How to prepare the dough: Mix wheat flour and salt in a large bowl. Add water little by little and knead it into a firm dough. Add oil and knead very well (see Fig.1). Cover it with a wet cloth for 30 minutes. After standing for half an hour, the dough becomes softer. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll them into balls. Keep aside. 

How to make pulka: Roll the dough ball into a thin, medium sized chappati on a board using a rolling pin, dusting with flour as required. Heat the tava on medium flame. Once hot, place the rolled out chappati on the tava and allow it to cook for a minute.
Fig.3: Bubbles become slightly bigger
Fig.2: Small bubbles appear on the surface

Fig.2: You will observe small bubbles appearing on the surface.

Fig.3: Once these bubbles become slightly bigger, remove the chappati with a pair of tongs, turn it over and place the chappati on direct flame*

Fig.4 Pulka puffed up fully
Fig.4: Note the uncooked side of chappati is in contact with the fire. Pulka starts to puff  immediately. Remove from fire, when pulka puffs up fully and brown spots begin to appear. You can smear ghee if desired and serve hot with dhal or gravy and salad.

*You may also use a ‘pulka grill’, a round or square metal mesh with a handle. You can keep the pulka grill on the flame and place the chappati on it. Once the pulka puffs up, remove it from the grill.

Pulka served with Paneer Butter Masala and cucumber salad
How to store pulkas: Place a clean square cotton cloth at the bottom of a hot case. Place pulkas one on top of the other, as you make them. Once you finish making all pulkas, fold the edges of the cloth over the pulkas to cover them fully and close the lid of the hot case tightly. The moisture from hot pulkas gets absorbed by the cloth and hence, the pulkas remain fresh and hot for at least an hour. 

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