Thursday, 12 February 2015

Chapatis the Hari Krishna Way

Orange robes, chanting, vegetarian food, tambourines?  What do they all have in common?  Yes, you guessed it!  Hari Krishnas.  Years ago when I was at university, the Hari Krishnas used to have a weekly feed up on campus.  Poor students like us could come and get a healthy vego feed for free. Naturally these were very popular sessions.  And they handed out recipe sheets so you could try making the food yourself.  I used to make these chapatis quite often in our share house, but have not made them for many a year until now!  It is a very simple recipe with few instructions, so I had to guess some of it.  I think they were interesting to make and not bad to eat, bordering on fairly delicious.  Mr Pickings liked them, but then again, he loves anything in the bread arena, whereas I am not a huge fan.  I am going to give these another go with a few extra tweaks to see if I can get them just the way I like them.  But for the first go in a very long time, they were pretty darn good.  Their recipe uses all wholemeal flour, but I think it needs to be a bit lighter. There were no quantities given for the water or butter so it was a bit experimental, but I think I have it right now.  I also added some spices for extra flavour and colour.  So going from their recipe of flour, water and a pinch of salt, I have added turmeric, chilli and coriander for a bit of a kick.


1/2 cup plain wholemeal flour
1/2 cup plain flour
3 tbs lightly dried coriander leaves (or a handful of chopped fresh)
1 tbs lightly dried chilli flakes (or 1 finely chopped chilli)
1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt flakes
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 to 2/3 cup luke warm water - this depends on the thirstiness of your flour
melted butter - 2 tbs approx.


Place the flours, coriander, chilli, salt and turmeric in a medium bowl
Stir them together briefly till flavourings are mixed in
Start adding the water - you want a soft but not wet dough
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes
Put aside for at least half an hour to rest
Break off small pieces of dough and roll out thinly - you want them about 12 cm diameter
Heat up a small cast-iron pan without oil
Cook the chapati on one side till you see bubbles rise
Turn over and cook for another few minutes till done
Grab it with your tongs and hold over the flame till it puffs up (you really need a gas cooktop for this)
Turn over and hold it briefly over the flame again till the other side puffs up
Brush melted butter on one side
Keep going till all the dough is cooked - I ended up with about 10 small ones

These will go nicely with a curry!


mixing in the spices

ending up with a soft but not wet dough  


rolling out the little chapatis 

giving them a bit of a stretch  

cook till the bubbles start to rise 

who doesn't like a bit of arson in the morning? :) 

puffing up 

brushing on the butter 

oops!  who took a bite out of the side? 

Being quite small, these were snapped up and devoured rather quickly by he who shall remain nameless.  I did manage to snag a couple to try - not bad!  Making these has brought back memories of my younger days, when we were all hairy, vego types.  My friends and I spent some time at the local ashram in our suburb (mostly for the food), and also down the coast at the main ashram.  Yep you guessed it!  More food, and lots of chanting.  Oh, and while I am at it, who could forget Kurma Dasa, he of the cute little smile and funny glasses?  I always wondered how he managed to cook without being able to taste the food till it was done?  Seems to be the most common mistake that all the amateur cooks make on the TV shows - not tasting the food before serving it.  Well, you can never accuse me of that!   I LOVE to taste as I go. :))

File:Krishna's combat with Indra.jpg
Krishna (wikimedia commons)


  1. A person who doesn't taste while cooking isn't a cook. :)

    1. Oh yes Maureen I agree. But Haris have to wait till it is cooked and blessed before eating.

  2. Hehe lucky that you managed to grab a couple! Mr NQN's sister was married in a Hare Krishna wedding (her first wedding). Alas I wasn't part of the family then so I couldn't partake in the feast!

    1. now that would be interesting. i remember we met a Hari krishna couple at the ashram; they told us they could only ever have sex if they were actually trying to make a baby!

  3. I've never made chapatis but I'm sure these would be great with a curry. I do love all your silicon gadgets! My husband over-tastes when he cooks - he eats a meal before the meal! xx

    1. That's funny charlie.:). Yes I love my gadgets too.

  4. Haven't made chapatis for ages - thanks for reminding me about them must give them a go again soon - love your additions - Sherry!

    1. Thanks Rachel. It had been years since I made them. Brought back the memories. :)

  5. We have a Hari Krishna temple nearby that I used to visit and I can still taste their wonderful food :)
    Your chapatis definitely remind me of those old days!

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. hi CCU
      they do make great vegetarian food don't they? :) thanks for visiting.

  6. lovely chapatis! nice recipe too . interesting touch - cooking them directly over the fire. I make phulkas that way :)

    1. thanks Anu. it is fun turning them over on the flame, and watching them puff up.


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