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Forum Thread - Keeping Chapatties soft?

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Mamta, on 24/6/2007 06:46am

Received 22-Jun

Hi Mamta,

I recently was surfing the web and came across your website. It is wonderful and has a huge collection of recipes. I congratulate you for that.

I had a question...

I cook at night and take lunch in the morning. However, where I live

(Chicago, US), it is very cold, and the rotis become hard. Please advice

what should be done so that rotis remain soft even on the next day.

(Posted by Mamta)

Mamta, on 24/6/2007 06:53am

Note: Sorry, that last post was from Deergha, it came under my name by mistake. I am posting this thread here from my mail box, just in case anyone here has a better answer for Deergha.


Hello Deergha

When you make roties for the next day, stack them, fold them and immediately wrap them in Aluminium foil, before they cool down. Do you not have a microwave at your place of work? You can heat them for 30-40 seconds, before you eat. You can't be eating cold food from previous night surely?

Alternatively, make parathas with a little oil in the dough, they will stay softer for longer.


Deergha, on 24/6/2007 06:55am

24/06/07 01:47 (5 hours ago)

Hi Mamta,

Thanks for your reply.

I have tried using aluminium foil before but it still becomes hard the next day.

I have a microwave at my work place, but after keeping it for 30-40 secs and removing the them, makes the rotis harder than before.

Parathas remain soft, but not rotis.

I am looking for ways to keep rotis soft since a long time but in vain. Please let me know what should I do?



Mamta, on 24/6/2007 07:02am

24-Jun-2007 06:44 AM

Hello Deergha

Microwaved heated chapatties can become hard, if not eaten immediately. Bear in mind that cold chapatties will not be soft. That is the reason why Indians always take parathas or poories in their packed meals. Or, they take rice, which is much easier to heat in a microwave, just by sprinkling a little water before microwaving it for 2-3 minutes. It comes out soft and fluffy.

Take a look here; Chapatti. If you scroll down the page, it tells you how to make chapatties soft. If you put a bit of 'mone', a little oil in the dough, that also helps, but this will of course increases the fat content.


I will post your query on the forum, someone else might have another answer for you, many excellent cooks visit the forum. Keep an eye out there.


AskCy, on 24/6/2007 12:09pm

I take pitta breads (that I've made) straight from the freezer to my lunchbox in the morning , this allows them to defrost by lunch time....

I'd guess keeping chapaties or roti in a sealed plastic sandwich bag would keep it moist.


syedz, on 25/6/2007 04:05am

I cannot offer an expert opinion but I believe that the quality of flour makes a great deal of difference.

Mai'daa was never used for chapatties. It was reserved for pooris or parathasas or for items collectively known as pakvaan. The flour used for chapatties was either brown or light brown and perhaps the quality of the grain also contributes to the quality of the finished product. An alternative to chapatty, which is more likely to remain soft, is the phulka - a shorter diameter, more thickness and it rises on the girdle in making. Chappaty making is an art. In order to have soft chapatties there should be a far higher content of water in the dough. That is where the art comes in.


khichri, on 4/7/2007 11:11am

Hi! I know what you mean about keeping "chaps" soft!

I find that at the rolling stage, if they are just ever so slightly thicker, they tend to stay softer (my mum's an expert - mine tend to be a little on the thin side)

Also, when making the atta try to use hot water (never use cold, and not straight boiled either) that helps the consistancy of the flour and need it really well to help roll the chapatis better.

Hope these hints and tips are of help.



Krishma, on 5/7/2007 05:07pm

Hi Mamta - I think the amount of oil also makes a difference - doesn't it? I use hot water too and little oil. Also I leave the dough to then rest for 10 minutes before kneeding again.

Mamta, on 5/7/2007 05:26pm

Hi Krishma

I don't think I have ever used hot water to make dough. I have occasionally used lukewarm water, if the day is exceptionally cold. I never add oil to chapatti dough. I do, sometimes, to paratha dough, but never chapatti dough. I don't think anyone from my part of India does, I have never seen anyone do it. Mostly people from Gujarat add oil to the dough. My chapattis are always soft, because the dough is soft, they always balloon up and I stack them on top of each other, so their steam keeps them soft.

I am sure adding oil will soften them, but it will also increase their fat content.

Good luck with whichever method gets you to your goal :-)!


monalisa, on 5/7/2007 09:14pm

Hi all, I keep on travelling to US every year for 4-5 months for vacation and to join my husband who stays here on project. During my stay I used to buy different varities of atta and always found this problem - no matter what atta I use.

Once I tried putting 2 tsp of silken Tofu while preparing the atta and also used warm water and one tsp of oil. It did help to make the chapatis soft.

One thing to keep in mind, whenever u pack chapati never use paper tissue to wrap, as it absorbs all the moisture.

Channa, on 6/7/2007 05:37pm

Is it possible you're cooking the chapatis a little too long? They may seem soft enough when you first make them, but then get harder as they cool.

Are you keeping them in the fridge? Breads stale very quickly in the fridge. If you have to chill them, use the freezer. But there's no reason you can't leave them on the counter overnight (covered).

I have a high-wattage microwave, and 5-10 seconds is all it takes to reheat one or two chapatis. Check every 5 seconds until you get the timing right, and flip them each time you check. After that, you'll know how long it takes.

Good luck!

Susan (clayms), on 17/8/2007 09:44am

Hi Deergha

I make chappatis that poof and are lovely at first. I freeze the rest and they are rather hard even after they are thawed. Perhaps they are overcooked. Regardless, to soften them and warm them, you can wet them with water, yes, I mean run them quick under a faucet, then wrap in a paper towel and microwave them about 10 seconds, more or less. Works for me. A trick I learned with corn tortillas.

I live north of you in Milwaukee, and perhaps it the location that dries our chappatis.

AskCy, on 17/8/2007 06:21pm

oy yes indeed if the temperature is 30 deg's all day and night things are going to dry up a lot quicker than if like here (the UK) its raining cold and damp most of the year (in summer the rain is just warmer).


Chut ka Pakoda, on 21/8/2007 06:10pm

Few tricks.

1. Use warm milk to make dough

2. Use ghee or butter or oil to make dough.

3. Use buttermilk or chancha to make dough.

This will give you a chapatis as soft as soft wooly. I have been using milk or malai for long, my chapatis stay soft even after 60 days deep freezed :) I cook over 500 chapatis in one day and store then for next 3 months or so. Got a special dough maker and chapati roller :)

AskCy, on 21/8/2007 07:42pm

500 in one day !!! I look like a snowman after 20, never mind into the hundreds...!

thanks for the ideas


Mamta, on 22/8/2007 05:12am

Hello C... ka Pakoda

This is interesting. I am sure adding these things to the dough helps, but for me, it will hadd to the fat content, so not practical. I know a few Gujrati friends who add oil and salt to their dough.

I have not known anyone from North India who adds milk/butter/butter milk (chaach) to their everyday chapatti dough. Chapatties remain soft, simply because they are stacked on top of each other as they are made. A Punjabi lady who makes bulk chapatties for me now and then, which I freeze in packs of 10, doesn't either. I know my GM and Mum used to add ghee and milk to Paratha/poori dough, for making them for travel, because they had to last for a couple of days in a hot train.

Are yoy storing your chapatties in the fridge or freezer?


Can I please ask how you acquired your name?


tippu, on 22/8/2007 05:22pm

my grandmother gave me this idea of steaming the rotis this way you bring back the moisture lost in the fridge or while exposed to air.

though cumbersome, this is a sure way to get back soft eatable chapatis.

Varsha, on 21/6/2012 06:28am

Once you heat the roti in the microwave, do not directly expose it to the heat.

Enclose it in microwave box and then heat it. It will be soft.

Try out!

Richa, on 3/9/2012 10:21pm

Hi Mamta,

I wnt to add little bit here. If the dough is made with milk 1 or 2 percent, the chapatis will be soft. If you put little butter on that and store it, while microwaving the very next day, it will be as soft as fresh roti.


Mamta, on 4/9/2012 06:40am

Yes, milk and butter do help, but I don't like any butter or ghee on my chapatties, unless I am eating them very crisp, straight off the fire. I know milk works, it is generally used in dough with parathas & poories that are made for long journeys, precisely for this reason.

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