Most Indians cannot imagine a day without roti/ chapati, especially if you come from the North. The Indian flatbread made out of whole wheat flour has been a favoured staple because of its satiety value and unique taste.
The flatbread assumes different forms & names across the globe:
- Tortillas in Spain (by the way, the perfect dough for the tortillas was made by an Indian lady)
- Pita bread in middle east
- Pizza in Italy
There is no denying the fact that making a perfect Indian flatbread is really a skillful and cumbersome task . But, is all that effort really worth it considering how much processing our wheat undergoes to produce the flour that produces soft and fluffy chapattis. Fiber, many vitamins and minerals are lost in the process and then later put back through fortification.
Well, we can do much more to fortify our chapatti at home itself!
Here are some simple tips for home-level fortification of the regular roti !
- Add some of the whole grain flours to the chapati atta –
Jowar / sorghum flour : it is rich source of calcium and also contains iron, protein and fibre
Ragi / nachni flour: It has the highest amount of calcium and potassium among grains and also contains good amounts of iron. Ragi is rich in vitamins such as niacin, B6 and folic acid
Soy flour: It is a rich source of proteins, especially the best one for vegetarians, as well as iron, B vitamins and calcium.
2) Add some vegetable to increase its nutrient density
Palak/ Spinach: Spinach can be just finely chopped and added or even boiled and pureed to add some colour to the boring chapatti. is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein, and choline.
Methi/ Fenugreek leaves: Methi leaves are used for making theplas. They are a great way to increase fiber content of chapatti which can benefit the diabetic group. They are rich in vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins A, B6, and C, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, and magnesium. Fenugreek leaves are a rich source of vitamin K as well. In order to reduce the bitterness of the methi leaves, we can lightly roast them in oil.
Carrots : grated carrots can also be added to the flour to give a crunchy bite to the chapattis. Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta carotene and fiber content. This root vegetable is also a good source of antioxidant agents. Furthermore, carrots are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese
Doodhi/ Bottlegourd: Grated doodhi gives a nice soft texture to the chapatti. this gourd vegetable is rich in soluble fiber and has a cooling effect in the body. It contains many vitamins and minerals, such as, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin A, C and folate.
3) Add curd/ milk/ whey water
Curd/ Milk: Addition of milk/curd is an excellent way to make soft chapattis and also increase protein content. these are good source of calcium and vitamin A as well. Children and elderly have a higher requirement for calcium and can benefit greatly from such chapattis.
Whey water: While making home made paneer/ chenna, there is a whitish / greenish water that remains after milk curdles. this water contains an important protein source called whey and is valuable. Whey is a rich source of water-soluble vitamins, minerals, trace elements and electrolytes. It is nutritious and low calorie mineral water.
So go ahead and add some nutrition to your Roti. Remember that adding different flours, vegetables and milk products to your roti will not only make them more healthy but also keep you full for longer period of time. This way one can aim to cut down calories and reduce quantity eaten at one meal.
Let’s make every bite of the roti count!
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