May 27, 2008


My contribution to Sunday Scribblings #112 - Quitting

It's been more than three years since I started cooking food. With a lot of experiments and trials, I can now say that I've become comfortable preparing a meal. But there is one thing which I couldn't master yet, even after several times of practice. It's the art of making perfect round chapathis (Indian bread). I tried kneading the dough using my hands as well as using a food processor. Once rolled, there was never an even distribution of the dough on all sides. I can whip out such unique shapes that kids can learn geometric figures just by looking at them - rectangles, squares, triangles, pentagons etc etc. You name the shape and I can make it for you except the elusive circle!

I tried harder and put more efforts but the focus shifted from Geometry to Geography. I rolled the dough and shapes of Kashmir started to appear. I rolled some more, extended it downwards and made it into a perfect map of India. I knew my husband doesn't really mind the shape as long as the chapathis are soft. But I cannot entertain any of my guests with such odd shaped chapathis. I tried more and in the end, I decided to give up. So what if it doesn't take a perfect round shape? Anyway, you are going to split it into smaller pieces before you eat. After quitting my efforts, I felt so much better. I was relieved from the pressures of sticking to the rules written by someone.

It was some man/woman in ancient times who invented chapathis and might have given the round shape to it. Now I'm changing the conventional habit and giving a whole new meaning and also adding a fun and educational component to the art of making chapathis. Am I not an innovator, I wonder!

Last night, while making my usual square shaped chapathis with not much thought given to shape, I observed that one of them turned out to be a perfect circle with even distribution of the dough. Wow, what an achievement! I smiled to myself but that was just one sample. The chapathis that followed suit were of my usual style, with new geometric figures coming to the forefront. Maybe, I should apply for a patent!


Granny Smith said...

A wonderful humorous post that I can really relate to! My downfall has always been pie crust. Fortunately one can buy preformed pie crusts or I could never make anything "as American as apple pie."

Bijesh said...

ahem!! would you like to learn the secret from me?

Pam said...

I think your struggle to imitate someone else is good to quit. Celebrate your uniqueness!

Preethika said...


Personally I feel shape doesn't matter. but somehow the perfectly round ones, swell in the perfectly and is cooked in uniformly.

The art lies in making the dough rotate in a circle as you roll it out.

And you know how I mastered it? I continued to make my geometrical shapes, never trying to make a circle and one day it happened and tried to repeat that.. didn't happen, over the time it just happened finally and all of them were rounds.

Alternately, get that roti presser thing, it's very easy.

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