Kenyan chapatis are a beloved staple in the East African cuisine, known for their soft and layered texture.
Unlike traditional flatbreads, Kenyan chapatis are made with layers of dough that create a delicate, flaky texture when cooked.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of preparing these delicious chapatis, providing step-by-step instructions for achieving the perfect balance of softness and layers.
Ingredients: To prepare soft layered Kenyan chapatis, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup warm water (approximately)
- Extra flour for dusting
- Extra vegetable oil for cooking
Step 1: Preparing the Dough
In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the vegetable oil. Gradually add warm water while mixing the ingredients with your hand or a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Adjust the amount of water as needed, ensuring the dough is not too dry or too sticky.
Step 2: Kneading the Dough
Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. This process helps to develop the gluten in the flour, resulting in softer chapatis.
Step 3: Resting the Dough
Shape the kneaded dough into a ball and place it back into the mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This resting period allows the dough to relax, making it easier to roll out and preventing the chapatis from shrinking while cooking.
Step 4: Dividing and Shaping the Dough
After resting, divide the dough into equal-sized portions, typically around 8-10 pieces. Take one portion and shape it into a small ball using your hands. Flatten the ball slightly with your palm and dust it with flour to prevent sticking.
Step 5: Rolling Out the Chapatis
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough ball into a thin, round circle. Start from the center and
work your way out, applying gentle pressure and rotating the dough to maintain an even thickness. Ensure the surface is lightly dusted with flour to prevent sticking.
Step 6: Folding the Chapatis Once you have rolled out the dough, lightly brush its surface with vegetable oil. Next, fold the chapati into a half-moon shape, brushing oil on the folded side as well. Now, fold it again to create a quarter-moon shape, creating layers within the dough. Repeat this process with the remaining dough portions.
Step 7: Resting the Folded Chapatis
Place the folded chapatis on a tray or plate and let them rest for another 10-15 minutes. This rest period allows the layers to settle and helps in creating a soft and flaky texture when cooked.
Step 8: Cooking the Chapatis
Heat a non-stick pan or griddle over medium heat. Take one folded chapati and roll it out gently into a round shape, ensuring not to flatten the layers too much. Place the rolled chapati on the heated pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes until small bubbles form on the surface.
Flip the chapati and cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes. Apply a little oil on both sides during the cooking process to enhance the softness and achieve a golden brown color. Repeat this process for the remaining chapatis.
Transfer the chapatis to a serving plate. Serve and enjoy with a tasty meat stew or the signature peas and potatoes stew.