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I have tried making Chapatis many times. I can make dough for Chapati very well, but I am failing when it comes to structure of the roti/chapati.

I make two mistakes:

  1. When I try to flatten it, one side (when you look at it horizontally) is thicker than the other which makes it hard to be cooked evenly and results in a chapati that no one wants to eat.
  2. Chapati should be round, sometimes I am lucky, most of the times it is similar to map of Australia. Is there a trick to keeping the chapati all uniformly round?
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Is your dough properly kneaded? Underkneaded dough just sits there in lumps, well-kneaded dough springs into a nice symmetrical form almost by itself. – rumtscho Jul 4 '12 at 10:40
@rumtscho notable point! – Santosh Kumar Jul 4 '12 at 10:47
I have the Australia-shaped chapati problem too. It gets better with practice, though... – BobMcGee Jul 4 '12 at 14:45

If you are having trouble rolling dough to a uniform thickness then you might consider putting training wheels on your rolling pin until you get more practiced.

Rolling pin rubber bands
(I don't know anything about this particular brand.)

These rubber bands fit on your rolling pin and act as spacers so you can enforce a strict thickness upon your dough. They are, of course, useful for rolling out many things besides chapati.

To reiterate what @rumtscho and @bob said. Your dough should be of a uniform consistency if you want to roll it out in a uniform manner.

As far as a perfect circle goes, turn it often and don't roll too much in one direction. It just takes some practice.

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If you can't find these, you can sometimes find something else that you can use as a guide for the thickness you're attempting to roll to. (eg, skewers for really thin items (I like long metal ones ... the handle keeps them from rolling away), chopsticks for thicker but relatively small items, etc.) Just set them on either side of the item to be rolled out, a bit inside of the working width of your rolling pin. I've even rolled stuff out within a sheet pan, so the rim was the guide. – Joe May 21 '15 at 13:22

Chapatis are a pain to shape perfectly; however, I have found a few tricks that helped me conquer the Australia-Shaped Chapati Problem:

  • Roll the dough into rough balls, and allow it 10 minutes to rest so the gluten can relax.
  • Flour both the work surface and the dough THOROUGHLY. Flour is your lubricant here, and you can never have too much lubricant. I like to plop it into a bowl of flour regularly during the shaping.
  • Start by flattening the ball with your palms to get it started. This helps get the initial shape right.
  • Use a rolling pin from here, don't try to flatten with just your palms
  • Rotate the dough frequently to get it round
  • Keep flouring & flipping the chapati as you flatten it, so it doesn't stick to the work surface or rolling pin. You can NEVER have too much flour!
  • Traditionally a raised, round platform is used in shaping.

You may find this YouTube Video useful for how to shape chapatis.

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Take a chunk of the chapatti dough, roll it lightly to form a ball, and flatten it slightly between your palms. Dip in flour, place on a floured surface, and roll it flat with a rolling pin, rotating it a couple of times to ensure even thickness.

You sometimes see people flapping the chapatti from hand to hand, but they've had years of practice; life's too short, use a rolling pin!

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I use rolling pin, still get uneven thickness. – Santosh Kumar Jul 4 '12 at 10:04
Then you need to work on your rolling technique. Roll once from top to bottom, then rotate the chapatti 90º and repeat, until you have the desired thickness. Try to use the same amount of pressure each time. – ElendilTheTall Jul 4 '12 at 10:06
What about the roundness? It sometimes goes triangular, sometimes like square and sometimes as I mentioned in the question. – Santosh Kumar Jul 4 '12 at 10:14
I mean when I do it 90 degrees 4 times, it'll go quadrilateral. – Santosh Kumar Jul 4 '12 at 10:14
The roundness will depend on how uniform the ball is before you start to roll it. You shouldn't need 4 rotations, you should only need 2 really - the first will make an oval, the second will make it round. – ElendilTheTall Jul 4 '12 at 10:20

A quick hack is to place a medium-sharp-edged round shaped container top on the rolled Australian-shaped chapati to trim the rough edges :-)

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Knead you dough nice and soft and even.
Make smalls rolls of the dough for each chapati and leave them for over 5 minutes.
Flatten the chapati rolls between your palms.
Place a circular cut cloth of equal size on your rolling plate.
Now place chapati dough at the center of the circular on the rolling plate.
Start rolling the chapati and keep turning the cloth below. (You need not turn the chapati.)
The cloth ensures that your chapati does not stick to the rolling plate and you can keep turning the chapati easily and frequently so that it is rolled out evenly.
The circular cloth will help you in making exact round chapatis.

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The problem is the rolling pin...

Indian rolling pins are thicker at the centre, and taper towards the end. This helps to spread the dough into a more circular circle.

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This is actually a common feature of a French (or tapered) rolling pin. Not unique to Indian rolling pins. – Catija Jun 20 at 23:46

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