Do You Think Chapatis are Overrated?
It’s actually my misters’ favorite dish. So I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings with my direct answer to this pertinent question. When he sees chapatis his eyes literally light up and his happy mood is elevated. I mean, if I wanted to ask for something out of this world, a Chapati Day would be a good day to ask for it because chances are that I will get a resounding YES. He might re-think it later, but the mention of chapati takes him to a happy place. I may not understand what goes on in his mind but I am slowly accepting it. I mean, “if you can’t beat them, you’ve got to join them.” Maybe it could be similar to how I love Chicken or Avo… Maybe.
When growing up we would religiously eat chapatis every Saturday. Without fail. It was an ideal meal for that weekend evening, because then it would serve as breakfast on Sunday, and lunch as well. It used to be served with Ndengu stew. So over time, it became just another meal for the weekend for me. And considering that we were not one of those families that had timetables for meals, the fact that Saturday was declared a Chapati Day, was worth noting. But you know how when you move out of home you tend to break some of those traditions because they can be overwhelming for a bachelor/bachelorette. Well, I clearly broke that tradition and resulted to feeling that chapatis were really overrated.
My mother tried a million and one times to get me to learn how to cook chapatis but truth be told, I was adamant, because why? We can live without chapatis, plus it’s such a process. And she would jokingly say, “You know you might just end up getting married to someone who really loves chapati.” And look at me now, it’s the life I chose, no one coerced me into it. Like I had an Ugali story, I also have a chapati story. The one time I tried to learn how to do it, we did it with our then house-help, but for some reason I must have missed a crucial step because they turned out to be as hard as rock. Then I gave up.
Clara, my baby sister on the other hand, was keen to learn to cook them and during one of her visits to our house, she made some really good chapatis. So good that we couldn’t stop talking about them and ask her when she would come over again to make the chapatis. Shame on me, right? It wasn’t very much for me, but more for the mister. Because the lovely house-help that used to make us amazing chapatis (courtesy of lessons from my mother) relocated to Meru as well. So when my mother visited this weekend, I decided you know, it’s about time I learnt how to make these things. They might be overrated but if they are the way to my misters’ heart/stomach (what’s the difference? lol) then let me take a shot at it. And here I was this weekend, getting the coveted lessons from mother dearest.
- Wheat Flour
- Cinnamon (it’s optional)
- Milk (warm)
- Water (warm)
- Cooking Oil – Golden Fry
- I tend to feel like everyone has their own style of making Chapatis, because how you knead your dough is where the magic happens. It will determine whether your chapatis turn out soft and nicely layered. So let me perfect my art then I will share my method soon. The one I have crammed now is my mothers’ and it would be unfair to share it like it was mine. Here are a few pics of the process.
We had the lovely chapatis with Ndengu Stew, Dry Beef Fry and Fried Sukuma Wiki/Spinach. It felt like a real throw back, and it made me so nostalgic. Like we have on the down-low brought back a tradition that had been long lost. And guess what, it was happening on a Saturday. So I might just pick it up once again. But let’s see how cooking them on my own goes first, before I commit to anything.
Goodness! In case you were out of ideas of what you can do with the left overs, you can try out the Chapati-Ndengu sandwich. I’m not a chapati person, as you may have figured by now, but this got me bingeing on them on Sunday and Monday. It’s too yummy!
How’s your week coming along though? Mine is super duper. So, did you have some unspoken traditions as a family that you would like to bring back to your own family? How’s that going? Please share on the comment section and let’s chat.
Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*