The Healthiest Chappati

Disclaimer: I am not a nutrition expert. My only qualifications are my frequent dieter miles! Do let me know about errors logical or factual.

My entry for Srivalli's roti mela.

Srivallis Roti Mela has brought my inner mad scientist to life. Here are the results of my experiments to find the holy grail of all chappati flours, the very healthiest one to make the very healthiest phulka ( a chappati that puffs up into two layers).

In the tradition of long ago hot afternoons spent in my high school chemistry laboratory we begin with a

HYPOTHESIS: There exists the perfect chappati flour, which will puff up perfectly as a phulka- with low carbohydrates, high protein and loads and loads of vitamins and good stuff. This automatically eliminates all the mixed flour rotis like thalipeeth or thepla or parathas, which while perfectly healthy donot puff up into two layers.

What I did was try and mix different flours, soy, amaranth, even moong dal flour; with atta(durum whole wheat flour)in different proportions and make phulkas. Healthy stuff + healthy stuff must equal healthy stuff right? All the combinations had 1/4 cup of yoghurt and salt to taste. If you are looking for instructions to make phulkas from normal durum whole wheat check out Nupurs beautiful puffed up chappatis.


Wheat gluten is the protein part of wheat. It is commonly sold as vital wheat gluten from Hudson Mills. Iam not sure if it is available in India. My mother takes her soy beans to the local atta chakki and he makes it into flour for her. So people looking to source Amaranth flour or soy flour in India could try that idea.

METHODOLOGY / Different types of Chappati flour combinations tested:

Calorie information above is for the entire 11/2 cups of total flour. Each combination yielded 8 to 10 rotis. The proportion of all non wheat flours was limited to 33%( 1/2 cup of soy flour to every 1 cup of whole wheat) of the total. It says right on the back of the Amaranth and soy flour bags from arrowhead mills that you can substitute wheat flour with amaranth or soy upto 30% successfully.


Taste: All the chapattis fluffed up beautifully. The tastiest was the Amaranth Wheat flour combination- per my chief taster my husband H.It had a slightly sweet, characteristic nutty sort of flavor. All the soy combinations had a slight bitterness if you had the chappati straight. With sabzi or dal this was not noticeable. The revelation was the soy wheat gluten combination - i had almost no hopes of anything tasty emerging - it was virtually the same as the wheat and soy roti and fluffed up nicely. The wheat gluten holds the roti together and helps it puff up like a normal roti.

I am sure you could add sugar to modify the taste of the soy rotis, but that would kind of miss the whole point of this experiment.

What does this experiment mean ? One thing is obvious, there is no real calorie advantage in these different rotis. The main advantage as I see it is increasing the quantity and type of protein you get from your roti.

I guess if you are on a diet or into heavy exercising the Soy Wheat gluten roti might be perfect for you, because this roti is really high in protein. triple a normal roti.It is also very high in iron, always good for anemic people.

If you are looking for a complete protein and heart benefits , the Amaranth Roti might be for you. Amaranth is also said to be easier to digest.

As a vegetarian, I am always looking for ways to integrate soy protien into my diet. At the end of this experiment I am glad that at the very least I can now make all my rotis into soy wheat flour rotis without sacrificing an iota of the look and feel of the traditional roti. Yippee!


indosungod said...

those rotis look fluffy and soft whatever be the combination of flours they had in them and Wow this project deserves an 'O' What is Amaranth flour?

FH said...

Chapatis look gorgeous. Great post ms, love the breakdown of all the calories etc. I add lot of flours too to make it healthy!:))

ms said...

Hi asha! thank you :)
ISG: Amaranth is a seed whose leaves are somewhat like spinach and are also edible. Amaranth flour is available in the Bobs red mill brand. Heres the wikipedia link to amaranth - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranth
Hope this helps!

Suganya said...

Oh my, you tried all of these? Thanks for neatly laying out the facts in table form, ms. The rotis in the first pic are silky delights. I would give anything to lay my hands on 'em :). Where do you get moongdal flour?

ms said...

Hi Suganya, thank you! I found moong dal flour in my local Indian Store. Generally i think it is used to make South Indian deep fried snacks.

Hetal said...

Hey u have done a gr8 job,all these chapatis are nutritious..

Suganya said...

Now that you mention, I do remember seeing moong dal flour. Thanks.

ms said...

Hi hetal, thank you!

Srivalli said...

MS..those chapatis look ultra soft!..thanks for the lovely entry!

Sunshinemom said...

Great info! I just mix ready saffola atta mix into my flour:) Never thought of amaranth with the wheat - I have made it with boiled potatoes - Great pics and good entry:)

r2i said...

Wow Ms. great post! I saw this post few hours back and immediately went to store and got the wheat gluten. Also, I just made wheat / soy combination roti. Tastes awesome.. Even my kids loved it. Btw. which combination did you use for your first pic.. looks really great. Thanks for the sharing this with us..

Anonymous said...

So nice !! I was planning on trying out some of these combinations !! Thank you.

BTW, have you tried Quinoa flour ?

Anonymous said...

could you please send me the link to the chappatis recipe and the method you used to make the one with wheat and amaranth flour. I couldn't find the link on the roti mela for your entry. Thanks.