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I saw a video on how to make chapatis and someone made a comment saying you must allow chapatis to fully inflate because it is the steam inside them that cooks them and not fully inflating means you have raw dough evidenced by areas with lighest colour.

This makes me wonder then doesn't microwaving cause chapatis not to fully inflate and so they would end up partly raw as per comments?

Is the only way to fully cook chapatis to put them over fire? Couldn't you pan heat, grill or bake them etc to have them fully cooked(though I imagine they will not inflate by these methods)?

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I have made chapatis many times, although I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. Most of my attempts have come out just fine.

Chapatis/rotis are usually cooked on a tava (or tawa) - which is basically a flat or slightly concave cast iron pan. A flat griddle pan or even a frying pan(skillet) could be used instead.

I've also seen them cooked over an open flame, but this is certainly not necessary.

I wouldn't recommend microwaving chapatis to cook them. They won't get the brown spots of colour or develop the same flavour caused by toasting of the surface. They will likely end up being tasteless cooked lumps of dough.

If you are talking about store-bought chapatis, then these are already cooked. If you want to reheat them, you could do it in a microwave. I would sprinkle with a little water first and wrap them in a dish towel, and microwave for 20 seconds or less until just warmed. I guess you could also reheat them in a dry pan, but not too long or they will just dry out. Again sprinkling with a little water might help them not dry out.

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Generally speaking when you microwave chapattis you're just reheating them, but here it sounds like you want to try cooking them from raw dough.

Microwaves are quite variable but in general there are hot spots and cold spots. The turntable moves the food through them quite well but to really even out the cooking needs stirring or conduction within the food, neither of which works well with chapattis (and the steam can't diffuse far enough before some bits are overcooked) . You may get lucky with a good microwave, essentially if you move it part way through cooking, but microwaves aren't generally good for things like dough.

Cooking then in a pan works well - I use an enamelled cast iron pan with no fat, and get the pan very hot first. They inflate a little that way, and cook evenly.

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They would technically cook in a microwave, they would just look a bit uninteresting & the texture wouldn't be quite the same.

Ready-made ones from the supermarket will often have microwave instructions as well as dry-fry & oven-based. In the microwave, there is a tendency towards the plastic packaging being used as part of the steaming method - cut one edge off, then microwave in the 'open bag' that remains.

Traditionally, of course, they would either be dry-heated for a minute - which doesn't greatly inflate them, or dry-heat for a few seconds before holding over a flame, which does puff them up considerably.

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