Captain Awesome learns to cook (chapati that is)

Saturday night Esther (T) and Purity (B) came over for dinner and taught me, yes that's the awesomest Captain Awesome (for those of you doubting the veracity of my claim, you know who you are) below, how to make chapatis.

Chapti chefs extraordinaire:
The ingredients:
flour, (garlic) salt, hot water, wooden spoon (I still cringe when I see one of those...thanks, Mom), vegetable oil, a rolling pin, and someone who knows what they're doing.  For a certain price I'm sure Esther and Purity will hire out their chapati making talents for those of you doubting your ability to read and follow along.
Step 1: 
Add dry ingredients together (easy enough...can't screw that up)...well, they didn't measure, so technically, you can screw up if you guess wrong.  But it's flour.  And salt.  You put too much flour then you get leftover chapatis, no harm, no foul.  And there's no such thing as too much salt.
Step 2: 
Stir in (hot) water with a wooden spoon (apparently hot water makes the texture smoother).
Step 3:
Mash the goop using your hands.
Step 4:
Add oil, vegetable that is, for all of you neophytes trying this at home.
Step 5:
Knead the goop.  Yes, that is the technical term.  How dare you question Captain Awesome?!
Step 6:
It should now look like this.  If it doesn't you screwed up; add some more oil, or water, or better yet, just start over it's probably beyond repair anyway.  It's for the best, I promise.
Step 7:
Cut the dough into strips.
Step 8:
Wrap the slices into rolls, like cinnabons.

Step 9:

No, we're still not done.  Remember this is Africa, we're cooking from scratch here, it takes a bit longer.  Patience is a virtue.  Pull out your rolling pin, or if you're Captain Awesome and don't need one, your glass Coca Cola bottle, and get to flattening those chapatis.  

You can attempt to match Captain Awesome's perfect flattening skills but it's doubtful you will succeed.  Just do your best and remember, size doesn't matter but shape does.  We're going for round here folks, not oblong, not oval, and definitely not misshapen.

Step 10:

Place, don't toss, the chapati onto the hot pan.  

Step 11:

Do not, I repeat, do not, put oil in the pan first.  Why, you ask?  I have no idea.  But I'm told the correct browning method is to hold the oil in a container in one hand and then spoon it over the chapati before flipping.  

The real deal:
Don't expect to match Captain Awesome's perfect chapati on your first try.  It takes minutes upon minutes to master this stunning technique.

The final product:

Fajitas masterpiece African style!  Both Esther and Purity were fajitas virgins but they loved them, I mean who wouldn't?  Esther declared it was "a little bit of heaven in your mouth."


  1. Argh. I give up on the formatting. You all are just going to have to suck it up and know that I created the post perfectly but every time I go back to edit and fix the spacing errors it saves perfectly but still publishes it like this.

  2. Sounds like a fun evening and you look to be really hitting your stride. I hated to hear about the mosquitoes though... They love me too.