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PHULKAS - MASTER THE ART OF MAKING PERFECT PHULKA - INDIAN BREAD COOKED ON OPEN FLAME !!!!




Many of my friends requested for the Phulka recipe, so I came up with the stepwise method for making Phulkas.  I have tried my best to give more tips and tricks for making a perfect phulka.  Do try and write to me if you have any questions.

The traditional flat bread that is originated from the Indian subcontinent is commonly known as roti.  "Roti" is the universal term for all Indian breads.  Making a perfect roti is an art.  By practice you can make soft and fluffiest ones with ease.  There are lots of Indian breads like Naan, kulcha, Romali roti, Paratha, Phulka, Puri/poori, Chapatti and Tandoori Roti etc.  All breads are made either with whole wheat flour or all purpose flour or the combination of both.  It is usually accompanied with cooked vegetable curries or curries with meat.  Rotis with accompaniments is such a comforting meal.   




Is Phulka and Chapatti same???
No they are different, see below to get to know the difference.

Phulka is a thin roti, which is grease free.  The dough is made with whole wheat flour/atta, water and salt.  Then the portion of dough is rolled and made into thin discs.  The discs are cooked (toasted) on a tawa and on the open flame.  The phulka puffs up like a ball, and it is removed from heat and served as it is or you can brush slightly with Clarified Brown Butter.  Literally the swollen or puffed roti is called as Phulka.

Chapatti can be thin or thick and it is traditionally made by patting the dough balls between the palms of the hands and flattening it.  This requires little skill and practice, you can use the rolling pin for flattening the dough which makes it easier.  It is completely cooked in the flat pan which is called as Tawa by smearing oil on both the sides.  





Here is the recipe and step wise picture for making perfect for FRIED INDIAN BREAD (POORI/PURI)

PHULKA

The secret of making good phulkas boils down to 2 things, mixing the dough and rolling.  Use good atta/flour to make your dough.  The dough that is rolled thickly and kept in the open flame will puff up for sure like a balloon,  but that does not mean that is good one, it will end up with thick roti which we don't want.  As I said earlier phulka is a thin roti which stays soft even after couple of days.  The swollen roti after taking out from the open fire/flame should remain thin and soft which means that you have done perfect phulkas. 

What all you need for making Phulka?

Here in US since I don't have open flame burner in most of the places, I use the mesh directly to the coil or hot plate to keep the phulka to blow up.  You need a flat non stick pan/tawa, a tong, mesh (if you have coil or hot plate).  Open flame does not need a mesh.  off course you need the dough :)




Ingredients:

This yields approximately 30 to 32 phulkas

Whole wheat atta - 4 cups (I use Ashirvaad or Swarna brand Atta which is available in Indian groceries)
Water - 1 3/4 to 2 (The water depends upon the quality of flour)
Salt - 2 tsp 

Clarified Brown Butter(Ghee) - to smear on the top (This is absolutely optional)

Extra flour for dusting.

Method:

For making the dough:


1. Take the flour in a big bowl; add salt and half the amount of water in the flour first.
2. Try to wet all the flour.  Then start gathering the flour together and keep adding more water as needed.
3. After the dough gets together, using your knuckles that is lower palm give a slight pressure to the gathered dough.
4. Add little water while kneading if you find it hard to handle the dough. 
5. Knead until you get soft and pliable dough.  This approximately takes 5 to 8 minutes.
6. If you feel the dough is very sticky you can add more dry flour, mostly this will not happen because we try to sprinkle water little by little.
7. The softer the dough, the better results.  Keep kneading and punching the whole dough with hands few times this makes the dough very soft and pliable.
8. Now close them in the tight container and keep it aside for at least an hour.  It makes the dough very soft and workable. 




Rolling the dough:

1. Make about 30 to 32 equal size balls out of the dough and always keep them closed, as it tends to dry if it is exposed to air which we don't want.
2. The size of the ball should be a little less than the size of Meyer lemon.
3. Now take a ball give it a slight pressure between the palm to flatten it and dust them in the dry flour.
4. Using the rolling pin make 6 to 6 1/4 " inch disc.
Uniform thickness of the rolled out balls is the key to it being puffed up later, so try to roll out away from the center of the ball.  Make sure that the edges are of the same thickness as the center or little less than the center thickness after they are rolled out completely. But make sure the center of the disc is not thin which ends up with flat phulkas.
5. Proceed the same for all the balls or also you can do it in batches.  But make sure to keep the rolled discs closed until you finish with all the balls; otherwise it dries out easily if it is kept open.




Making Phulkas:

If your mesh is square shape then you need 2 burners, one for the mesh and another for the pan.  But if you have the circle mesh then you can keep the mesh on the coil, above the mesh you can stack the pan.  The point is you have to get heat for both the mesh and pan even when they are kept above each other.  When you start rolling the dough, you can start heating the mesh and non stick pan in the coil/hot plate or open flame.  Use medium to high for pan and high flame for the mesh.

1. Now put the rolled dough in the pan/tawa you will start seeing few bubbles, now flip them and after you see few more bubbles.
2. Put them in the hot mesh or directly to the open flame using a tong.
3. Wait for few seconds you will see the magic that it starts to puff up like balloon.  Once it puffs or swollen up do not wait for long time.
4. Remove from the flame and keep it in the plate lined with kitchen towel, smear with little clarified brown butter on the top.  Keep it closed.
5. Follow the same procedure with other balls and stack phulkas in the same plate until you are done with everything.  This way it keeps the phulkas moist and soft.  




Note:

Since we are using the dry pan, after 4 to 5 rotis, the pan may get very dry and the dough starts to stick, in this case add a drop of oil and using tissue just clean the pan.

What, if you don't have open flame burner and the mesh???
1. Once you put the rolled dough in the pan when you start seeing small bubbles, flip them and wait few more bubbles on other side too.
2. Now increase the heat to high and close with the lid as shown in the picture.  Now you can see the phulkas are puffed up.  Don't keep this for long time after you increase the flame as it burns the phulka :(






 
Do write to me if you have any queries about the procedure, I would be happy to help you :)

Hamsamalini Chandrasekaran  – (June 4, 2012 at 8:34 PM)  

Perfect phulkas. Yummy.

www.indianrecipecorner.com

Vidhya  – (June 4, 2012 at 8:37 PM)  

Thats one fluffy phulkas alright!!! Yummy..

Anu  – (June 4, 2012 at 9:35 PM)  

I do this type of phulkas only. Nice one.

Gayathri NG  – (June 4, 2012 at 9:46 PM)  

Wow so soft n fluffy phulkas, luv the step by step pics...

Mahi  – (June 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM)  

Nice demo! I had a mesh back home,but never used it. ;) now I have to look for one as am having hot plates. :)

Hamaree Rasoi  – (June 4, 2012 at 10:18 PM)  

Very helpful post for beginners and looks so soft and fluffy

RAKS KITCHEN  – (June 4, 2012 at 10:34 PM)  

Lovely detailed post pavi :)Loved your mesh, i do it directly on flame. this must be perfect for electric stove...

PriyaVaasu  – (June 4, 2012 at 10:54 PM)  

Lovely Post dear, enjoyed the puffed up phulka pic!!!!

RM  – (June 5, 2012 at 3:41 AM)  

WOW!!!!!!That was just awesome....very clear instructions for beginners...but u know me ..i may still have questions...but will definitely try..Thanks a lot !!!!Reny.

Priya  – (June 5, 2012 at 4:24 AM)  

My all time favourite phulkas, lovely post Pavi.

radha  – (June 5, 2012 at 4:43 AM)  

That lid idea is a good tip. Will try that out. Shifting the phulka off the tawa to an open flame is sometimes an effort :-)

Rosa's Yummy Yums  – (June 5, 2012 at 8:27 AM)  

Wonderful! They must make a perfect accompaniment to curries and chutneys.

Great clicks too!

Cheers,

Rosa

Spice up the Curry  – (June 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM)  

lovely detailed post. nice helpful tips

Amina Khaleel  – (June 5, 2012 at 8:02 PM)  

fantastic post... explained very well.... the quest to make good phulkas ends here!! Thanks for sharing...

Honey  – (June 5, 2012 at 9:40 PM)  

Great post.. I suck at making rotis and I have an electric stove.. I'll try your technique on covering the pan.

Apputty  – (June 6, 2012 at 4:41 AM)  

great great ... i usually do this but never thought of blogging it.. u tempted to have phulka and so as blogging it.... once fine day wll update it .

Do visit
homestylevegfood.blogspot.in

revathi  – (June 7, 2012 at 12:50 AM)  

Phulkas looks super yum... and the first pic is too good..:))
Bookmarked Pavi as I have never tried phulkas at home..:))
Lovely detailed post girl.. awesome..
Reva

Hamaree Rasoi  – (June 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM)  

Delicious and wholesome looking parathas. Looks so tempting.

Deepa

Finla  – (January 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM)  

I had to come and check to see if you were doing something different than me :-) i do the same way, i like the trick you used for keeping them warm, normally i cover with foil .

Shabs..  – (January 4, 2013 at 4:58 PM)  

Nice one....Today I made chappathis and I guess something went wrong unlike usual, none puffed up!!I have never tried cooking on open flame, will try out may be tomorrow with left over dough!

chinni Balusu  – (April 2, 2013 at 3:39 PM)  

Hi nice one..... I do the same but my pulkas puffing but they are hard :(
I use multi grain flour it is rough in texture compared to the whole wheat atta is that because of this pls help do I need to change the flour ?

Sampradaya Vantakam  – (August 7, 2013 at 7:01 AM)  

hi...nice preparation and gr8 dishes..

thankyou very much

and checkout my blog

http://sampradayavantakam.blogspot.in/

this can be useful ..

Srujana Ratna  – (October 4, 2013 at 9:54 AM)  

Well this blog is really interesting, procedural steps for making fluffy phulkas were explained with images gives an added source to learn quickly. Thank you pavitra for this great post.

M Hamza  – (October 19, 2013 at 2:30 PM)  

should the water be cold or hot? does it make any difference?

M Hamza  – (October 19, 2013 at 2:31 PM)  

should the water be cold or hot? does it make any difference?

QUALITY SERVICES  – (November 6, 2013 at 11:54 PM)  

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Kannan Subramanian  – (February 7, 2014 at 8:47 AM)  

Ms Elangovan
Yes you have got the steps right
The basic precautions are
1. The dough once done should be moist at all times
2. The edges should be flattened while pancaking the Phulka
3. The dough should hibernate for an hour after mixing
4. While making the dough add the water carefully
5. The most important >> eat it from the burner served hot . Yummy :)
6. Someone asked if the water should be hot or cold. I recommend lukewarm water
7. I get even better results when I add along with lukewarm water a cup of milk or 3 TBSP's curd to the atta(but this is optional). Stick to water for starters
8.I do think the mesh is very important. Worth the investment
In my opinion no other variant of the roti family can match the Phulka for sheer freshness. And yes the Atta quality is very important. Either fresh Chakee Atta or Aashirwad Select . Make sure Maida is not present in the Atta.
Thanks for the post. Loved it:)

deepu panicker  – (February 7, 2014 at 11:21 AM)  

Very nice, excellent phtographs as well.
http://www.saltandtamarind.net/

Gis Ferns  – (September 3, 2014 at 6:35 PM)  

When u initially put the chapatti on fire - do they have to be on sim fire? (am talking when u wait for the spots to appear.) And when u say to turn them on high, for the phulka to happen, how high? My gas is smooth top with a count of 1 to 8 (high).

Telebrand Pk  – (September 22, 2014 at 5:59 AM)  

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